My wife Debbie and I moved to Kansas City from Liberal, Kansas in late 2009. All of our children had graduated from high school and my employer had asked us to move from the plant in Liberal to our corporate headquarters in Kansas City.
We originally moved to the Liberty area and since Pleasant Valley was nearby it was one of the churches that we visited. After visiting, both Debbie and I felt that PV was where we should invest ourselves.
Since coming to PV, Debbie and I have been involved with various ministries such as the paint team, on-site garden, choir, and leading small groups. We have been to Haiti with PV and I was part of the original team that went out to Ramah in 2014 for the vision trip – which is where our story with Ramah begins.
Missions have been very much a part of our DNA as family. I was the mission chairman (deacon) at our church in Liberal. We went to Uganda in 2008, Franklinton, Louisiana in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina, and Greensburg, Kansas in 2007 to aid cleanup from the F5 tornado.
Debbie and I felt called to take our missional life a step further, and we began attending The Grove when services started in January 2016. We are now members of The Grove and have felt a deep sense of belonging and fellowship since coming last year.
In the spring of 2017, Debbie and I decided that we needed to return to Ramah, New Mexico to help our ministry partners and the families there. To prepare for our extended time in Ramah, we went through Stephen Ministry training, a prayer boot camp, and have continued leading community groups at The Grove.
We feel like the first few years of going to Ramah have been preparation for being able to gain trust and establish credibility with the community. In going for an extended period of time, we hope to be able to teach and train people in small group development for both men’s and women’s groups.
When it comes to taking the next step in faith, Debbie and I would encourage people to listen to their hearts and to God’s calling in their lives. Following this call doesn’t mean you have to be a super Christian. You simply have to be willing to serve when God calls you to go, and have faith that God will take care of the rest. We certainly do not have all the answers, but God does. Taking the step of faith to go on a mission trip does not require special skills but it does require a loving humble heart that is willing to serve others. Who knows, it may be the door to an even greater work for the Lord!