When my older sister was five years old, she was reached through the bus ministry of Briggs Memorial Baptist Church. She started attending church every time she could and prayed, for many years, that my parents would get in church as well. Two weeks before I was born, my mom and dad began attending church with her. Because of this, I had the privilege to grow up in a Christian home. In July of 2005, I was saved after reading my Bible one morning and coming under the conviction of my need to trust Jesus to forgive me of my sins. I put my faith and trust in Christ alone, through what He did on the cross for me. I surrendered to full time Christian service soon after that and since then, have served God as a Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, Outreach Director, Church Planter, and Pastor. In 2013, God started working in my heart about missions but I waited to act upon it because I was unclear on how to move forward at that time. Back in September of 2017, God made it clear to me that I was to surrender to be a missionary. At the time, I was pastoring Commerce Road Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, AR. I resigned my church a few months later and moved to Alpharetta, GA to intern for missions at the Our Generation Training Center under Pastor Austin Gardner. After surrendering to missions, I prayed about where God would have me go. God burdened my heart with Romans 15:20-21 for the need of Muslims throughout the world. I was training under Pastor Gardner on my internship when God worked on my heart that this task was better done in partnership with another missionary. We prayed and God led our heart to the country of Turkey, the most open Muslim nation in the world, where our good friends, Brady and Sarah Van Winkle, are called.
In October of 2011, I came under the conviction of my need for salvation after eight years of thinking that I was already saved. I realized that I did not fully understand the gospel when it was presented to me back in May of 2003, when I first began attending church. I had been depending on the “Christian service” that I had participated in and in the experience of the “decision” that I had made to save me instead of just putting my trust fully and only in Jesus and what He did for me. I came from a broken home, many times I was the only member of my family that attended church. As a teenager, I had a desire to marry a man who was going to serve God with his life whether that was a pastor, missionary, or anything in between. I desired to live a different life than my family did that involved serving, pleasing, and honoring God. I had known for a long time that God had been working on my husband’s heart and in his life for missions without him ever really having to tell me. Through his preaching and emphasis on missions in every area of life, my heart was touched to also have a part in some way to get the gospel to the world, even if it was only just financially trying to support others. I could tell that deep down he had a desire to serve on the foreign field and was not surprised at all when he told me of his decision to surrender to be a missionary and to move to Alpharetta, GA to train under Pastor Austin Gardner. I’m so excited about this journey that we are embarking on and can’t wait to see how the Lord will use us in Turkey!