OUR FAMILY: Walking By Faith
We have been married since 1994. We met at the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas from which we both graduated. After we married, I worked at UMHB and Crista started teaching school. I had experienced a call to ministry in high school but didn’t know exactly how that would play out, thankfully God had been working through a series of Godly men in my life to disciple and prepare me for what was in store.
“We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
From 2006 – 2013, we served four churches in both Texas and Oklahoma. Our last church was in Amarillo, TX, where we served for ten years from 2003-2013. Crista worked as a teacher full-time for the first four years of our marriage before we started having children. Our first daughter Katelyn was born in 1998, then a second daughter, Ashlyn, in 2001 and a son, Andrew, in 2004. Our oldest, Katelyn started college this year, back at UMHB where our journey started.“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
– Jeremiah 1:5
While serving at Trinity Baptist in Amarillo, I first went overseas. That first trip was to Tanzania, Africa. There, my heart and mind were opened to the lostness in the world. God really changed me at that time, but Crista was home about to give birth to Andrew, so she was having her own life-changing moment which had nothing to do with moving across the world. Neither of us were ready at the time for a life overseas. God was still working and preparing us both as well as the place to which he would call us to go.
“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” – Psalm 37:5
After Africa, over the next eight years, I traveled to Taiwan, taking groups of students and adults to work with college students sharing the Gospel. I became more and more convinced that God was going to lead us at some point in the future to move overseas, but I didn’t know how since Crista really didn’t seem interested. What I didn’t know was that God was working in her heart to do the same life-changing work, just in a different way and at a different pace. In 2011, she joined me on her first international trip to Taiwan and her heart was moved a little closer, but she still wasn’t ready.
In 2012, God used a missionary in Taiwan to stick a finger in my face and challenge me directly to consider moving my family and make a life here in Taiwan. God has given us grace beyond what we could have imagined and we have faced challenges and trials we thought were insurmountable, both in our family and in the work here. But in every situation that has come up, He has taken care of us and seen us through.
I have been able to learn a language, Mandarin Chinese, that most thought would be impossible at my age, we have built friendships, and our children have seen that