How God overcame our $19,000 financial debt to allow us to enter mission service.
“With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27
The purpose of this testimony is to declare what God hath done for us (Psalm 66:16) and to remind all of us of Jesus’ words in Mark 10:27, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”
When our family ﬁrst decided to enter the mission ﬁeld three years ago, we looked to the Lord to do some great things for our family. My husband, Brent, had been accepted into Wildwood College of Health Evangelism’s 6-month medical missionary training program, but we wanted to be sure this was God’s will for us. This move was a big step for our family. Among other things, it would call for Brent’s resignation as a pharmaceutical sales representative and our family’s relocation from Louisiana to Georgia.
Like Gideon, we were impressed to lay a ﬂeece before the Lord. In order to make sure this move was God’s will, we asked the Lord to sell our home within one month for a certain amount of money. We listed our home on a Tuesday and by Friday some curious locals visited our home and told us we would never get the price we were asking. By the grace of God, our neighbors were wrong and we had a contract in our hands a few days later for the amount we were asking for. We closed on the house within one month, and we were on our way to Georgia.
Brent ﬁnished the course at Wildwood in June of 2007, and in December 2007 we traveled to South Korea to serve as Bible and English teachers. We stayed in South Korea for about 8 months, and during this time we were able to meet a few people operating self-supporting ministries. (For those of you unfamiliar with self-supporting work…Individuals involved in self-supporting ministries can be compared to Paul who supported himself through tent making while at the same time ministering to those around him and proclaiming the gospel.)
Whenever the opportunity presented itself, we traveled to visit our friends at Gilead Valley Lifestyle Center and Achine Mission and Farm. Gilead Valley ministers to cancer patients and others suffering from sickness and disease. They provide their guests with a relaxing country environment and encourage them to look to Jesus as the Great Physician who heals all diseases and forgives iniquities. Achine is a self-supporting institute that was very strong in sharing the gospel and teaching people how to live happy and healthy lives through the 8 laws of health in the 1970’s and 80’s, but since that time the work has slowly gone down.
We returned to America in August of 2008, and were very happy to see our family and friends again. The Lord blessed us to ﬁnd a small Bible-based church where the pastor loves Jesus and is exciting about sharing Jesus with others, and we found various opportunities to minister in church and in the community, but we felt impressed that the Lord still had work for us to do in South Korea.
In February of 2009, we again looked to the Lord to do great things for our family. Brent expressed a desire to return to Korea, but as I listened to his desire I couldn’t help thinking about how deeply we were in debt. We owed about $1,000 for unpaid bills (that somehow or another had slipped through the cracks), $6,000 for our last minute emergency return ﬂights from South Korea, and $12,000 for Brent’s student loans!!! Since we began our journey as missionaries three years ago, our incomes have decreased drastically each year and it has been increasingly difﬁcult to eliminate our debt, namely the student loans. After confessing our sin of being in debt and not faithfully trying to eliminate it, I began to pray that the Lord would work a miracle on our behalf and allow us to get out of debt.
My favorite Bible verse, Jeremiah 33:3, came to mind and the Lord encouraged me to call upon Him because He would answer me and show me great and mighty things that I know not. A couple of days after I asked the Lord to show me great and mighty things that I knew not, the Lord reminded me of a savings account I started when I started teaching back in 1999. I made a couple of phone calls to ﬁnd out how I could access the money. The process was extremely easy, and within a week and a half I had a check in my hands for $9,000!!! Praise God from whom all blessings ﬂow! I was able to use this check to pay for our $6,000 last minute plane tickets. At the same time, Brent’s mother let us know that someone she knows was interested in helping us and they pledged to give us $1,000.
About a month after Brent expressed his desire to return to South Korea, Outpost Centers International (OCI) gave us an invitation to help restore the work at Achine Mission and Farm. We welcomed the invitation, but we still owed $12,000. We decided to pray and solicit the prayers of others for God to work a miracle on our behalf before we returned to overseas mission ﬁeld. If it was God’s will for us to return to South Korea, we believed that He would totally eliminate all of our debt.
Shortly after the OCI meeting in March, a Korean couple interested in the work at Achine purchased plane tickets to Korea for our family. The ﬂights were scheduled for April 15-less than a month away. We were very grateful for their generosity, but we were determined not to return to Korea unless we were totally out of debt.
This situation was a bit challenging for me because the last time we prayed for a big miracle the Lord did everything at once-he sold our house for the asking price within one month, but this time the Lord didn’t answer all of our prayers at once, and we were scheduled to leave in less than a month. However, God is so good to His children, and one very special Sabbath evening at the end of February, the Lord encouraged me with the following verse: Joel 2:21, “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.” Praise the Lord! As a matter of fact, I found comfort in several verses in Joel 2.
The following Sabbath morning, Brent’s prayer partner called and encouraged us to read and believe Psalm 115. Verse 12 really caught my attention, “The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us…” At the same time, the Lord put a dear sister named Tamika in our life who often seemed to have more faith than Brent and me that we would be returning to Korea. Whenever we saw her she was always ready to say a word of prayer with us and encourage us with promises from the Bible.
The Sabbath before we were scheduled to leave for South Korea, we still owed $12,000 in student loans! Things were not going as we had expected, but we settled in our hearts to trust in God’s will for our family even if it meant not returning to South Korea. Then our Heavenly Father sent Tamika again. She reminded me of James 2:17, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” This was tough medicine, but as I thought about our situation I realized that we had been so focused on praying and soliciting the prayers of others that we failed to add any works to our faith. But God is so merciful to His children.
Monday morning, Brent was impressed to add works to his faith and after breakfast he left the house going to talk to a friend about helping him with his loans. Shortly after Brent left, the Lord told me to start packing and cleaning. This was a strange command, but I obeyed. Around lunchtime there was a knock at the door. It was Tamika and her family. She came by to pray with me, encourage me with promises from the Bible, say farewell, and give me some money for our trip.
Brent and I had no way of communicating with each other during the day, and by the time he came home late that night he was surprised to ﬁnd the whole house cleaned and packed up. I told him about the Lord’s command to pack and clean, and then he shared a miracle with me. The Holy Spirit impressed his friend to pay off his student loans!!! This faithful servant of God committed to giving us $4,000 for 3 months in order to repay Brent’s student loans so we could be volunteer missionaries in South Korea!!! Praise the Lord!!!
The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Psalm 126:3
With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Mark 10:27
By the grace of God, we arrived in South Korea on April16 - just in time for OCI’s retreat for Korean ministries. When the retreat was over, we stayed with our friends at Gilead Valley Lifestyle Center and visited a few other ministries. During our second week in Korea, the Lord opened the door for us to serve in a small church just 15 minutes away from Achine Mission and Farm. We are so happy to have the opportunity to serve the Lord in South Korea.
It is my prayer that this testimony of God’s goodness towards our family would encourage you keep praying and believing in God’s promises. May you “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”… Amen.
Here a few of the Bible verses the Lord used to encourage me as I waited for Him to do great things for our family:
Joel 2:21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.
Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye ﬁrst the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 7:7,8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall ﬁnd; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh ﬁndeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God [is] a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good [thing] will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Malachi 3:10,11 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it]. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the ﬁeld, saith the LORD of hosts.
Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good [thing].
Psalm 37:4,5,7 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:…
Psalm 21:2 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
Psalm 23:1 The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want.
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulﬁlled the law.
Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender.
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
I Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.