Anyway...if you want to see my new place here is the link: http://www.myspace.com/pnutsplace
When did you first begin to feel called into the ministry?
I got my call to the ministry when I was 16 years old. I was serving as a camp councilor at FL. GA/Acteen Camp. I was sitting at the candle light service praying for my campers and God started speaking to me. I realized that I had dedicated my life to telling others about missions, but I had not surrendered to go. I knew from that moment on that I would be in a position of ministry in the future. Clark got his call to missions when he was 17. He was in Russia on a foreign exchange program. As he saw the lost world around him, he knew that it was what God wanted him to do the rest of his life.
How did you know that God was calling you and your family to become missionaries?
After we got married we quickly began chasing the American Dream. I got a job as an elementary school art and theater teacher. Clark started his own company. We were after a "full" life...2 new cars, a house with a backyard, 2 kids, a dog and a cat. However, the closer we got to reaching that dream the more unhappy we were. We had no peace. We argued a lot. We were not fulfilled in what we were doing. We got a phone call from a friend asking us to go on a short term mission trip to Swaziland, Africa with her. We prayed about it and finally decided to go. God provided the way 100%. Once we arrived in Africa, God began working on our hearts. We were reminded of our calls to the ministry. We received a peace unlike any we had felt in 2 years. We had a joy that was unmatched. We knew that we needed to begin the process of becoming missionaries because it is what God had called us to years before!
How has becoming missionaries affected your family?
Becoming missionaries has affected our family in many ways. I know it has drawn us closer together. There are many times when we are all we have. God has taught us how important our family is and how special it is. He has also drawn us closer to Him. As individuals and as a family unit. He is truly the center of all we do now.
At times it has given us a feeling of instability. Not knowing what is to come next. Being missionaries means being in a constant state of change. We have had to learn to say good-bye a lot and it takes it's toll on the whole family. We each deal with change and good-byes differently. It is hard.
What is each family memberÂs role(s)?
We each have similar roles and very different roles at the same time. We are all considered front linemissionariess. That means we are on the front lines of the mission field seeking to share the good news daily and show the way to the Lord. The whole family, even Melisa our 6 yearoldl, does intentional ministry every where we go. That means we watch what we do and say, how we live, the example we set at all times. We shop from the same stores and get to know the people we are living among.
Clark goes out daily. He prayer walks 2 to 3 days a week. He targets different villages, prayer walking them for a week and then searching for people of peace in the village the next week. He also teachesEnglishh through the bible at the local university. His goal in this class is to win people to the Lord and then send them back into the villages they come from to share the good news! Clark also helps monthly with a nursing home ministry where he helps to lead a worship service in a local nursing home. When he is not doing these formal ministries he is meeting with people that we have intentionally ministered to in our community.
I have 2 primary jobs. My first role is a home school mom. I spend my days teaching Melisa1stt grade. We are in the school room 4 to 5 hours a day. In the afternoon she goes to a ballet school where I go and meet with many of the mothers. I am teaching a few of them English through the bible. My second role is Team Prayer Advocate. I maintain the team web page, publish the team prayer calendar, and send out our prayer requests to different organizations that publish missionary prayer requests. I also lead in the training of most of the volunteer teams training. I have written our teams prayer walking guide that we require volunteer teams to complete.
During the summer Clark and I work together as the lead missionaries for beach and tourism ministries. We plan 5 weeks worth of ministry with the 2 million tourist who visit Jeju.
What are some cultural barriers that your family has had to face?
The biggest cultural barrier that we have to face is language. Korean is a very difficult language to learn. We have not have formal full time language study and it makes life and ministry difficult. We study hard, but still are very limited.
Another barrier that we have a hard time with is the lack of discipline of the children in Korea. Many people do not understand when we send our daughter to time out or do not allow her to play as punishment. It can be hard to raise your children withoutupsettingg the Koreans in their culture yet holding true to what we believe is the way the Lord would have us train our children.
On the island many people want to preserve their traditional Jeju, Korean culture and they see outsiders as a threat. They immediately put up a wall and don't even want to speak to us. They just want us to leave. It is a big barrier to developing relationships and sharing the good news.
Other than cultural barriers, what would you say the most difficult adjustment has been?
Probably the simple fact of being away from everything that isfamiliarr. Being away from family and friends. Being away from the culture we know as our own. Is probably the hardest thing. We have very close extended families and having them on the other side of the world is hard. As I mentioned above, saying good-byes so often as missionaries, friends, family, and volunteers come and go in and out of our lives on a regular basis. It is never easy, but as we learn how each member of our family handles these situations, we are learning how to be there for one another and help each other adjust.
God has been SO good to us! He always provides and brings us His comfort in these hard times. Even though we have difficulties on the mission field, I have a peace that passes all understanding that THIS is where we are supposed to be! God ALWAYS provides and brings us through the fire closer to Him and closer to each other