About US - PreAfrica continued...

After this, Dwight became convinced that there was more to his purpose than just working for a company whose primary goal was to make money. Together, we filled out applications with a Christian placement organization. Within weeks we had pages of opportunities from various organizations and locations around the world that would utilize our technical skills and teaching experience. The vast majority of these had the phrase, “raise your own support” listed on them. We both knew that this was something we really didn't want to do. We had seen firsthand how some missionary friends never knew how much income they would have each month, so we just shelved these papers of information.

In February of 1988 we received a letter from SIM USA that told us how our various gifts and skills could be used at Radio Station ELWA in Monrovia, Liberia. Once Dorothy understood that this was in Africa, she was quite adamant that taking two small children to Africa was not what she wanted to do. Dwight, however, was very intrigued at the possibility. At the same time, there was an opening for a teacher at our old university that Dwight would qualify for, which was much more in line with what Dorothy wanted us to do. Going to bed that night, Dorothy prayed, “God, You said you would give us the desires of our hearts. It is going to be fun watching You change Dwight's desires.” She woke up knowing that our family would be moving to Liberia with SIM. When uninformed Dwight came home from work, he discovered that Dorothy had checked out every resource our area library had on Liberia – a dusty tome that was as boring as it was long; a children's book (which was very helpful!) and a pamphlet from the US State Department.

We applied to SIM and were invited to their July 1988 Candidate Orientation in Charlotte, NC. We didn't fit the normal missionary profile (if there is such a thing)...

  • We had not been to Bible college.
  • We had never seen a mission presentation.
  • We weren't familiar with missionary jargon.
  • We had a significant amount of debt.

We just were following the path that the Holy Spirit was leading us on. So, after being accepted as career missionaries, we went back to Minnesota to sell our house and belongings, raise prayer and financial support, pack for living in Africa and prepare to say goodbye to family and friends. At some point during the year, both of us looked at each other and asked, “Why is God calling US to full time missions?” Individually we spent time in prayer and the clear answer to both of us was, to support missionaries where they are working.

On to Africa...