At the age of sixteen I was given the opportunity to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with about fifty other believers on a two-week mission trip. While there, my high school Bible teacher and I were teamed up with a translator and assigned to assist a local church with visitation, outreach, and gospel preaching.
After about a week of going house to house proclaiming the good news of Christ, the pastor of the church asked me to preach one evening at an outreach. After preaching, my Bible teacher shared with all of those in attendance that I had been considering full time gospel ministry and was seeking the Lord’s direction.
The pastor then asked the deacons to join him in laying hands on me and praying that the Lord use me in His service. As I had been seeking the Lord’s guidance in this matter for some time, I surrendered to His call upon my life to serve Him as a proclaimer of His gospel.
After returning to the US after my time in Brazil I began to seek the Lord’s will as to in what capacity (pastor, evangelist, missionary) I should give myself to serve Him. About a month later, my church’s youth group went to a week-long summer camp. One evening as the preacher preached on missions and the need of the nations for a Savior, I sensed the unmistakable prompting of the Holy Spirit within me telling me to give myself over to serve Christ among the nations.
There was much rejoicing that evening as I shared with my youth pastor as well as others in the youth group that the Lord was setting me apart for missions service to Him.