My first mission trip was to Rio Blanco, Mexico in December of 2003. My self and another guy from my church got on a plane with only a phone number and directions of what bus to get on at the Mexico City airport. We ended up at the wrong bus station and had to wait several hours for our host to realize we were lost.
We spend the week with a small group of believers who spent all day going from village to village in the mountains spreading the good news of Jesus. We saw many people come to Christ and when the week was over, I knew I had experienced something that would change me forever.
Over the next 8 years I was part of 10 short term mission trips including Russia (3x), Ukraine, Mexico (3x), Peru, and Ecuador.
Over this entire period, Jo and I were always aware that we wanted to serve full-time but we were planning to do that after I retired. In 2011, God started accelerating our retirement plan. After a series of burning bush type experiences with God, we knew He was leading us to Operation Mobilization and much earlier than we ever thought possible.
December 31, 2011 was my official retirement date from the Federal Aviation Administration. After 28 years and 7 months of federal service as an Air Traffic Controller, I started with OM.
The transition from fast paced, high satisfaction, high salary to lower salary, lower stress, lower satisfaction was abrupt and unsettling. But, knowing that everything we had decided to had been guided by the Holy Spirit gave us the peace to continue.
After about a year, God finally had my attention and He was able to start working in me so that He could start working through me. Oh what a difference the Word of God made in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I knew the Bible! I had taught the Bible, I had led people to the Lord, I had done everything every pastor had ever asked me to do. I got an A+ in “churchianity”.
Then one day the Word started sinking into my heart and mind like never before. The scriptures began to come alive to me and my life was again, changed forever. (thank you Chip)