Since our first short term missions trip to Guatemala in February of 2011, we have had a burning desire to return there and serve. Since then, God has shown us how He used our entire lives to prepare us for the mission He is calling us to fulfill. As our desire to return to Guatemala grew, we started to realize that he was calling us to spend more time there. After much prayer and discussion, we asked God to show us His will.
Since then we have been preparing our minds and hearts for God’s purpose for our lives. We’ve held various roles within our church to prepare us spiritually. As graduates of the Celebrate Recovery (CR) small group step study program, we worked as facilitators in our church’s CR ministry. Dylan has been a sponsor and leader of the CR connection group. Missy has been a group leader in the CR children’s program. We both were involved in Connection Christian Church’s 5th and 6th grade Sunday school class and led one of the church’s connection groups in the spring of 2012. In November of 2012 we completed New Life Advance International’s School of Mission to prepare for our work abroad and spent the first 6 months of 2013 attending Spanish language training during which time we lived with a Guatemalan host family to obtain full language and cultural immersion. We are now transitioning into the ministries for which God has called us to Guatemala.
As we continue to seek God’s will for our lives, we ask Him to show us the way and “slam the door shut” on anything He does not want us to do. His faithfulness in our lives has resulted in multiple open doors that continue to guide and mold us for His calling on our lives. Our biggest focus other than serving His people in Guatemala, is to involve as many people as possible in this experience. We’d like to invite you to partner with us through prayer as we continue to share our experiences and bridge the gap between Guatemala and our home country.
Little did we know that when we signed up to go on our first short term missions trip in July 2012 that God would change the direction of our lives forever. That is exactly what happened. While in Guatemala, God began to reveal to us that He has a plan for us to return to serve the people there. Over the past year and a half we have had the opportunity to return to Guatemala two more times. During these times God allowed us to see more of the need among the Guatemalan people. He has spent the past several months showing us how we will serve Him while serving others in Guatemala.
God has called us to serve low income at risk children and families in Guatemala. We will be serving the spiritual needs as well as the physical needs of at risk families. We will do this through spiritual and educational development programs in the local community designed to serve children and their families. We plan to also evangelize through children’s camps and discipleship programs. We are constantly seeing how God has used our past experiences and education to prepare us for His will for our lives. Kasey has a Master’s Degree in Education as well as a Bible degree and has spent 5 years as a teacher as well as two years working with low income families in the York area in the Social Work field. Esther was born in Brazil as a missionary kid, and she spent the first 18 years of her life serving others in Brazil. Additionally, Esther has a Bible degree and has spent two and a half years as the Assistant Children’s Ministry Director in our sending church, Connection Christian Church, which we started attending in August of 2008. In addition to these experiences, we’ve spent time in other roles such as teaching Children’s Church, directing children’s camps, and leading a young adult small group ministry. God has given us a passion to serve the people of Guatemala, and we believe He has been preparing us to do so for many years.
Moving forward, we are continually seeking His will for our lives. In September 2014 we graduated from the New Life School of Missions in San Juan, Texas. Upon the completion of language school in Guatemala we will be a part of the Serving at-Risk Families (SARF) Ministry through Servants full time. We are very excited that God is using us to serve the people of Guatemala, and we look forward to God calling faithful partners to our team to be a part of what He is doing. We are very thankful for all of the prayers, encouragement, and financial support of our family at Connection Christian Church. If you feel that God is calling you to join us we would love to talk to you more about exactly what He has called us to.
Towards the end of February 2014, I really felt God telling me he had other plans for me; where he had me as far as employment was only temporary. I really had no idea what to make of this feeling that was growing inside me. I talked to my wife about it, and Alicia and I began praying about the situation. In April, I went on my first Kingdom Builders disaster recovery trip hosted by Connection Christian Church through Servants Home Helps Ministry. Needless to say, it was awesome and it validated what was already brewing inside of me. After doing a couple more Kingdom Builders projects, I really felt a push from God to serve within the Servants organization. One day after a Kingdom Builders Saturday workday, I was driving back to church with a friend. During the ride I expressed my desire to serve more with Servants. He encouraged me to continue to pray for God’s will in this situation. He said that if it’s God’s will for me, then it will be. After this, the desire continued to wear on my heart and I continued to pray for God’s will. In late August I received an email from Trent Davis saying that he heard I had some interest in the ministry.
Wow!! We met a couple days later. Alicia and I continued to pray. God made it clear to both of us that this is the direction He wanted me to go. It’s cool looking back at my life and the events that have happened in the past. I can see how God put all of the pieces together. I now know why God placed a strong desire in me to be a carpenter at a young age and why I’m more comfortable wearing a tool belt then a tie. I know why, from the moment I first stepped into Connection Christian Church, that this is where my family was going to continue to build our foundation in Jesus Christ.
Please pray for my family as I make the transition to a U.S. missionary with Servant’s Home Helps Ministry beginning January 2015. Pray that nothing and no one will distract me from the vision that God has placed in my heart. Pray for God to give me understanding to know how to minister to those in need and who are lost. There will be hard times, struggles, and frustrations, but I will not lose faith in my Lord. I am overwhelmed with excitement to begin this journey, and I invite everyone to join with me and my family on this journey. None of us are meant to selfishly hoard God’s love. We are meant to be a channel for God’s love to shine through to everyone.
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