I grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and it was such a treat to live close to the ocean! I loved the beach!!
When I was in grade 11, I had to take a “Speech” class. Our first assignment was to give a speech about ourselves. One of my classmates named Manny gave a speech about how his life had totally changed when he trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior. He had been living as a drug addict and came to understand that his sins had caused him to be spiritually dead and that he would have to live eternally separated from God after death because sin cannot co-exist with God. However, he discovered the sinless One who had died in his place, and who forgave his sin. So Manny put his trust in what Jesus had done on the cross for him and he was forgiven. And God miraculously took away his drug addiction and he became a changed person.
I was very impacted by Manny’s testimony. I longed to have a relationship with God like he did. I realized that I too was a sinner who could not stand before a holy God without a payment for my sins. Before long, I talked to a friend about it and she took me to someone who could help make the Gospel message clear. And so I trusted in Christ as my Savior and was forgiven too.
During my senior year of high school, missionaries came to the church I was attending to challenge us with the need to reach the many Unreached People Groups with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were small nations who lived in remote corners of the world that were completely removed from civilization. Because they spoke unwritten languages that no outsider had ever learned, the only way they could hear the Good News was if somebody went to live among them.
As time passed, the Lord kept reminding me of His Word that said, “Go into ALL the world to preach the gospel”. And also, “How will the hear without a preacher?” So when I graduated from High school in 1971, I applied and went on to Bible College in order to gain a better grasp of God’s Word. After that I attended a training center for cross-cultural ministries and that is where I met my husband Merrill. From then on our sights were totally set on getting out to the People Group where Almighty God would send us.