Q: How did God first call you to missions?
Arrived in Chile
Began first church plant, Resurrection Baptist Church
Supervised second church plant, Grace of God Baptist Church
Joined the team of New Life Baptist Church
Founded "Grow Publisher" to help service literature needs
Began the building project for New Life Ministry Center
Called and ordained a Chilean pastor for New Life Church
Called an ordained the second pastor at New Life Church
Dave:I formed an interest in missions through my parents who were church planters, and that interest grew after I read the book “Jungle Pilot.” But the real clincher came in college when my pastor preached on the promise and the plan of God to call and sustain His servants. This was the Apostle Paul's rock solid conviction, which he expressed in 2 Corinthians 4:1-4. This belief was solidified through a missionary apprenticeship trip I took to Peru in 1979.
Ruth Ann: Through the example of my parents, my heart grew more sensitive to the needs of people. Later God burdened me through Isaiah 6, where God calls the prophet to a life of holy dedication for His glory. I also visited Peru where God confirmed His leading through the influence of godly, dedicated missionaries.
Q: How did God call you to Chile?
A: As a newlywed couple, we went to ABWE's Candidate Class where we heard of all the crucial needs around the ABWE world. We were undecided on a country so we decided that we would ask the Board to recommend a field to us. By doing so we were resting in the promise that “in a multitude of counselors there is wisdom” (Prov. 11:14). The ABWE Board recommended Chile, and we took that as a sign from the Lord. We have never doubted it in all the years we have been in Chile.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time as a missionary?
A: There have been so many joys — serving alongside our field team, training local believers to serve as pastors, leading people to a saving trust in Christ — but to see those we discipled learn to evangelize others has been amazing! One example is Jose Luis who was our neighbor in our first house in Santiago.
As a university student, Jose pressed us with many questions about the Bible, and eventually we had the joy of leading him to faith in Christ. We discipled him, and later, we officiated his wedding.Then, we trained him and his wife to take on several important ministry roles in our church.
Later, Jose's work moved his family to the north of Chile, and after serving faithfully for many years in other churches, Jose felt the call of God to plant a new church. They reached out to us and we had the joy of helping them launch a church plant in their home. There are now about 25 people attending his new church!
Q: What is biggest thing you’ve learned through your time on the field?
A: Through prayer, we have learned to trust how God leads. It is a fundamental part of our lives as missionaries. However, our human tendency is to do what seems most logical or reasonable to us, instead of what God seems to be saying in answer to prayer. Throughout our ministry, God has led us to where we would serve in ways our rational minds could have never arranged.
Q: What advice would you give to those considering missions?
A: If you have questions, fears, or doubts about being used by God, consider the words of Paul, “...since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but have renounced the hidden things because of shame...but we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” Once you are submitted to God, you never need to worry that you are inadequate. You and I are only the clay pots. The work is done by the Master Potter.