Why Missions - Jacob

The other day I was asked where my desire to serve in Bible translation came from. It originates from many things, but at the center of it is key points in my life surrounding how I came to the Lord.

I was raised in a Christian family of twelve children. My teen years were spent on a farm in the rural mountains of Northern Idaho. Previous to moving to Idaho, my parents were in Brazil for language training as a step towards working in Mozambique with AIM (Africa Inland Missions). Through various circumstances, God led my parents back to the States after a year on the field.

Though I was raised in a Christian home with godly parents, I did not become a child of God until I was about fifteen years old. I knew who God was and believed in Him; however, I did not know Him as my Father - there was no real relationship. 

While we were in Brazil, my mom had a stillborn girl. I can remember us children being excited about meeting our new sibling and then her going to the hospital. When she came back, it was all shock and tears. Moriah Hope rests in an unmarked grave in Brazil, and I would never see my little sister. This made me angry and bitter at God. How could he have done that to us while we were giving up so much for him already? How could He so callously take my mother’s little girl from her? I still believed there was a God, but I did not want anything to do with Him.

During the summer of 2006 God began driving me to himself. My early teens were difficult years for me. Having grown up in a Christian culture, yet not having decided to make that faith my own, I struggled between two contrary ways of life. In the midst of this turmoil, a certain circumstance pushed me over the edge to make a decision to let go and give all to Him. It happened when my family went up for a hike in the mountains. I decided to take a shortcut up through the cliffs at Pyramid Lake.
At first, the shortcut was successful. Then I came to a stretch where the only option was to turn back or shimmy across a cliff face which had a fifty foot horizontal crack to hold onto with my hands. Below was a 200 foot drop. I slowly began to inch across the cliff face – only holding on by my hands. About halfway across I realized that I did not have the strength to go back or continue. Jamming my fists into the crack to try and hold on I cried out to God. ”I don’t want die this way. I don’t want to die doing something stupid.” I begged God to let me live and die for something greater. I got to the other side, but I know that it was only by the strength He gave me that I am here today.  After that I realized I had been given a choice – I could waste the rest of my life away, or I could choose to follow God and find real meaning in Him.

That is where making the Bible available to others through missions comes in. From the beginning, when I first began to walk with Him, I memorized chapters and books of the Bible and was able to find a lot of the answers to the questions that I had. This gave me a huge desire to bring His word to others who are on the same road to destruction I had been on. I know what it is like to not have God, to be terrified by evil, and to struggle in the depths of empty despair. In stark contrast, I now know what it is like to be full of joy and strength in God through His salvation. This is what I want to share with others. Living for God and joyfully striving to live in a way which brings Him glory - that is why I do missions.

Comments

  1. Wow, amazing story Jacob! We are praying for you guys.

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