Ministry Testimony Part 2 – The Call to Missions

Moving on… Summer of 2001, we started planning a missions trip to the Dominican Republic. I was SO excited about this, since I have a love for different cultures, especially Hispanics (uh, I married one ;-)) and since I speak Spanish. Then, in August, I found out that we were expecting # 3!!! Now, this was FUNNY, because only a few years before, we really struggled with infertility for our 1st child (WHOLE ‘NOTHER BLOG), yet our 2nd child came right when we started trying and the 3rd, well we weren’t even trying! God has a wonderful sense of humor!! So, with a baby due the end of April, and the missions trip planned for middle of June, it just wasn’t going to work out for me to go… in our little non-omniscient brains J.
Four weeks after Joey was born and TWO weeks before the trip, Kevin called me from church one afternoon and said, “Kendra, we have NO female chaperones going on this trip. We need you to go with us. Pastor said the church will pay for you to go, so will you???” My brain couldn’t process all that needed to be done in order for me to get this all worked out; renew my passport (IN TWO WEEKS), make arrangements for the girls (Joey would be going with me… DECIDING if it would be a good idea to take a 6 week old baby to a 3rd world country…), getting an airline ticket with the rest of the group and so on. Kevin came home ten minutes after the initial phone call; we prayed and left it in the Lord’s hands. If it was His will for me to be on this trip, He would work it all out! It was. I got my passport in TEN days, I got on the same flight as the group, Joey was able to get his shots a week early and the plans worked out for the girls!
It became blatantly obvious WHY God had me to go on this trip shortly after arriving in the Dominican. Strangely, Kevin and I felt way too “at home” in this 3rd World Country and instantly fell in love with the people there! We began the “what-ifs” of what if God was calling us to be missionaries to the Dominican Republic. The current director let us know that he and his wife were going to be serving stateside, and there was going to be a need for a director. WHY DID HE TELL US THAT!?!?! The trip was FABULOUS! God moved in our hearts and the people blessed us more than we blessed them! (Side note: On our return trip, we had a connecting flight in Boston where were delayed for several hours. While we were there, someone from our group notice that Senator John McCain was in the terminal. Our whole group got our picture taken with him, and he was holding baby Joey. Now won’t that be cool if he becomes the president, and we have a picture of him holding Joey? All political matters aside, a picture with a president is cool. )
After we returned, we kept what we thought God was calling us to, to ourselves. We really had to discern if it was just the emotion of the trip, or really God moving us in that direction. I mean, what was He thinking?? We had a great ministry in Ohio, we had a house, a new van, three beautiful children… Basically, we played “Jonah” for the next few months, but the Dominican Republic was on our hearts and minds EVERY DAY. It broke our hearts to think about leaving the church we were in, the church that we were discipled and trained in, to be sent out to a foreign mission field. Of course, being only an hour away from family, that weighed heavily on our hearts also.
That October, the former Director and his wife came to Ohio to speak at a teen event we were having. They also talked about SCORE and the Dominican the next day at Sunday School. After church, I got in the car and looked at Kevin and asked, “We’re going to the Dominican Republic, aren’t we?” He said, “Yes, I know that God is calling us there.” <>
We contacted the President of SCORE and met with him soon after. Kevin went back to the D.R. the 1st week of November to solidify if this was God’s will. I was at home with our three kiddos, listening to Kevin every night becoming more and more sure of God’s will, yet I couldn’t talk with anyone really because we hadn’t announced it to the church yet, and we hadn’t told our families yet. God and I had some major freak out sessions (not Him, me.) Kevin came home, we put the house up for sale, told our families, and got the ball rolling for the next chapter in our life… Deputation. Our last Sunday on staff at church was the last week of February, and the 1st week of March was their Mission’s Conference and we were there as missionaries. How weird was that?? LOL
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