Joel’s Salvation Testimony
I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior when I was in the first grade one Sunday afternoon after church. After approaching my parents with questions about salvation, my father was able to explain to me the way of salvation by grace through faith alone in the person and work of Christ. I understood Biblically my helpless condition as a sinner already condemned because of my sin. I understood who the Scriptures reveal Christ to be the one and only way of salvation. I understood that the sinless Son of God became my substitute by taking my sins upon Himself and bearing the wrath of the Father that I justly deserved. I also understood that through His substitutionary death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, He purchased for me the gift of eternal life in order that I could receive eternal salvation by humbly placing my faith in Him. That day I placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone and received His salvation totally of His grace and free of any merit of my own.
Deanna’s Salvation Testimony
Having been raised in a Christian home, I came to an early understanding of the truths of the gospel. I was a sinner who was to be condemned eternally as a result of my sin, and I was helpless to change my condition. I understood that Christ as God’s Son came to earth and died to pay the punishment for my sin and rose again that I might have eternal life. After understanding these truths, I responded in faith trusting Christ to save me. John 5:24 states, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.”
Our Call to Missions in Ghana
I believe that I first had the sensitivity to recognize the leading of God upon my life into full time Christian ministry while I was attending the Bill Rice Ranch the summer before my senior year of high school. I had previously surrendered my dream to play professional baseball earlier my junior year. Through a youth group mission’s trip that summer, the Lord began to continue to direct me and develop a deep desire to serve Him in the ministry. I believe that this desire has been cultivated primarily through studying the Word of God both personally and formally, recognizing my position in Christ more fully, and exercising the gifts that God has given me as I served in local churches through college, seminary, and now at Anchor Baptist Church. Psalm 96 and II Corinthians 4-5 have become two of the most influential passages that God has used in His directing in my life. The Lord also used a number of mission’s trips to Romania, Honduras, and Ghana to begin giving me a burdened desire for missions and to begin exercising the gifts God has entrusted to my stewardship. It is while serving on these trips that I began to sense that the Lord was directing me into missions, specifically to Ghana. My wife and I are planning by God’s grace to begin raising support to serve in Ghana West Africa beginning this fall.
Deanna’s Perspective of Our Call to Missions in Ghana
The Lord has given me a burden for the mission field from the time I was about seven years old as I realized the condition of the lost world without Christ. As a teen, and during college, I was definitely willing to go to the foreign field, but was unsure if that was what God had specifically for me. I minored in missions in college, and following college, I was able to take to summer missions trips to Uganda, East Africa which the Lord used to burden my heart more specifically for African missions. As Joel’s wife, I believe that foremost I am called to his ministry as his helpmeet. I look forward to encouraging him in the work that God has given him to do. I also am eager to see how the Lord will use me directly in the ministry to Africa through children and ladies outreaches.