Our Call to Missions
The summer of 1991 Susan was living in Shreveport, LA, with her family while Erik lived in Houston, TX, with his mother. They had just graduated from High School and Susan was planning on living at home while pursuing a business degree from LSU in Shreveport. Erik was attending U.T. in Austin with a friend where he was planning to earn his undergraduate degree followed by a law degree. The same summer, before having ever met, the Lord called them both to missions changing their plans completely.
They both felt compelled to go to East Texas Baptist University, where they would eventually meet, to pursue a degree in Christian Ministry. For years they pursued their calling feeling that the Lord was calling them to the Sudan to work with the Atwot people. They were in constant contact with the International Mission Board. Then in early 2000, the Sudan was closed to foreigners, especially Christians. Erik was quickly working his way up in management at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Through the years Erik’s salary and benefits increased and they became too comfortable, too content, and too worldly. They no longer pursued God’s call on their lives. They had become active members of Calvary Baptist Church and were very content with Erik serving on the Missions Committee, Susan serving as Missions Ministry Assistant, and taking mission trips. Eventually they begin to doubt if they had ever even been called.
Then in January 2009, they both felt that the Lord was drawing them into a closer walk with Him. Separately, yet at the same time, they began the same Bible Study – Priscilla Shirer’s Discerning the Voice of God. Susan had just completed the same Bible Study with a women’s group at Calvary the previous spring. However, thru the study together with Erik, the Lord spoke to her as if she had never been through it before. About three weeks into the study, one of Susan’s close family members was going through a major life-crisis and a friend recommended a book to Susan on fasting. She, nor Erik had never read or been taught much on fasting and God used the teaching on fasting to change their lives.
As a result of reading the book the Lord called Susan to begin fasting immediately. She felt God was asking her to fast for three weeks. The weeks were amazing! One Sunday evening, about 2 weeks into the fast, they entertained missionary guests from the Middle East. After putting her girls to bed, Susan sat down to meet with the Lord. She poured her heart out to Him and pleaded with Him to show her how to seek, serve and follow Him. In those moments of absolute surrender, He began to put an extreme urgency within her, saying, “If you are ever going to serve Me you better do it today. If you are ever going to love, follow, obey, seek Me or be My disciple—today is the day. Will you do it today—not next month, next week, or even tomorrow—will you do it today?” “Yes!” was her only answer.
But one thing she begged of God was to give Erik and her clear direction immediately. Later that evening when Susan was sharing with Erik what had transpired, he told Susan that he had been praying for 3 weeks that the Lord would remove every obstacle that was keeping them from following Him completely. Together they prayed and went to bed in complete peace, having completely submitted and yielding themselves to the Lord.
The following day Erik was laid off from his job. Erik & Susan had complete peace knowing what had been prayed the night before. Erik told his boss he realized that his job had stood in the way of God’s calling for 15 years and without God’s drastic intervention nothing would have ever changed. The prayer from the night before had been answered and the obstacle of Erik’s job had been removed.
Their prayer in the days following was that they would not take even one step that God had not preordained for them. Despite many lucrative job offers made to Erik, he immediately took a night job stocking shelves at a local grocery store, knowing if he ever again made a large salary, he would not walk away from it. Instead, he decided to wait on the Lord for direction. A few months later, Calvary hired him to work on staff in their Academy’s financial office. About the same time, they sensed the Lord directing them to put their house on the market, believing by doing so they would be positioning themselves to move at God’s direction. The house sold in 24 hours! After selling all but what they absolutely needed they moved into a small one bedroom, one bathroom apartment on the Calvary campus and continued feverently praying as to where God would have them serve Him.
In June 2009, Susan was able to go on a mission trip to El Salvador where she fell in love with the country and the Lord burdened her heart for the people. The following December, Erik & Susan, along with their two daughters, Hannah & Sarah, visited El Salvador together. While there the Lord spoke to both of them confirming that is where He would have them serve permanently. God has given them a heart for El Salvador and the millions of people lost in darkness—trapped in ritualism, idolism and Catholicism.
God has completely changed their way of thinking and the desires of their hearts. The two verses He has given them: 1 Corinthians 6:19&20 You are not your own for you have been bought with a price—the believers’ life is not his to choose how he lives it. He bought you and your life and everything in it belongs to Him. And the second: Isaiah 50:5&7, The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me, and I have listened. I do not rebel or turn away. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will. And I know that I will triumph.
Please pray that the Lord’s will be done in their lives! They are asking you to consider partnering with them to help change the lives of the people of El Salvador.
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