In the summer of 2012 Marcus went on a short mission trip to Laredo, TX. While there the team took a one day journey across the border to Reynosa, Mexico to check out Isaiah 55 Ministries. During that visit Marcus sat down with the director of the mission and they began talking about skill sets and what God could do with the variety of skills Marcus possessed. It didn’t take long for Nono (the director) to plant the seed in Marcus that God very well could use his skills, and that perhaps He could use them right there in Reynosa. Isaiah 55 was starting a trade school for the deaf, and needed someone skilled in a lot of different areas to come help run and expand it.
Now, the thing you need to know about Marcus is that he is not an excitable type of a person. It’s just not his personality. So, when he came home truly excited to go back and take Calder and me with him I knew that God must be at work. I agreed that we’d go to Isaiah 55 together the following summer. All year we prayed about the possibilities. Having been there and seen it all for himself, the prospect of being down there full-time was very real for Marcus. For me, it was still a far-off idea.
When we finally went down as a family in June 2013 it took all but about a half a day for that idea to sink in as reality to me. Upon touring the trade school area, the conversation quickly turned from talking about the equipment and what they were currently doing to, “If you guys were missionaries living down here…” I have to admit, it took me aback a little. We’d been praying about this very possibility, but to hear someone else say it out loud really made it real to me!
We prayed all that week about whether God was calling us to serve there. Actually, the picture above of the Isaiah 55 mission…those two little blips on the balcony…that’s Marcus and me discussing and praying about whether God was truly calling us to missions and to serve there.
We prayed for several weeks after we got home, and then called NoNo to tell him of our interest. He was excited and invited us down the following month to meet with the whole team.
It was late July when we had our meeting with the team. On the way down I kept asking Marcus if this was an interest meeting or an interview. He said he thought the latter, but I wasn’t sure since it was all happening so fast. After 2 hours of getting to know one another and answering and asking lots of questions, we discovered that it was, in fact, an interview when we were excused so they could vote on us.
We waited downstairs for a while and then Kate (Nono’s wife) came down to see if we wanted to go see Kim and Erin’s (2 of the other missionaries) house so we could get an idea of a middle-class home in Mexico. We asked if that meant the decision went well, and she confirmed that the vote was in our favor! Whew.
Upon returning home, we knew from the counsel of our pastor and friend, Whit, and the folks at the mission that we needed a sending agency, so we began to look. We decided on MTW (Mission to the World) because of their high level of training and support while on the field.
The application process began in September/October of 2013 and it was a lot…A LOT! Fast forward to now and many psychological/personality tests and a few trainings later, we had been approved by MTW and were officially official missionaries.
2014 and 2015 saw us fundraising all across South Texas and across the United States. The Lord was faithful and gracious in allowing us to meet all of our fundraising goals throughout the year and in August of 2015 we began Spanish language studies in San Jose, Costa Rica and finished one year later. In October of 2016 we begin our work with Isaiah 55 Ministries in Reynosa.