I was raised in a Christian home, and as long as I can remember I was told that I was saved. Apparently, I prayed as a preschooler and asked Jesus into my heart. For a time I trusted in this, but the truth was I did not remember, and I knew deep down my life was unsurrendered.

At age 10 I began attending a horseback riding club. It was a ministry run by a widow woman who opened her home and farm to young girls. It was a fabulous combination of learning to ride horses, memorizing scripture, and participating in Bible study. One day, she had a talk with me. She asked me if I knew I would be going to heaven when I died. I felt panicked and weakly answered that I hoped so. She showed me from the Bible how I could be sure. I listened, but did nothing about it at that time.

That summer, I attended camp, and was asked the same question at the end of a chapel time. Was I sure that I would be with Jesus in heaven when I died? I knew I needed to settle this once and for all. I couldn’t trust in a prayer that I was told I said as a youngster, I needed to make a conscious choice to make Jesus the Lord of my life and enjoy the relief of knowing my sin problem was taken care of. I gratefully did that at the altar that night at summer camp

As a teenager my faith was put to the test when I began dating Josh, my future husband. After getting to know him, it became apparent that his profession to be a Christian was based in watered-down teaching he had received during his Lutheran upbringing. I battled with what I knew the Lord required of me and what my flesh wanted. Reluctantly, I made the decision to end the relationship due to our differences. God had other plans though, and used my mother to lead him to the Lord. Dramatic changes occurred in his life and priorities and we were able to continue as a couple. We were married after college, and have served together in various capacities at our church for the last 14 years.

In 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a hereditary genetic mutation leading to great cancer risk. I underwent a few surgeries followed by chemotherapy and I am likely to never deal with cancer again. I was given the opportunity to see my mortality and lessen my grip on treasures here on this Earth as God gave me peace and hope in the midst of great trial. The summer after my cancer treatment, I went on a mission trip to Honduras. I want to use the remainder of my life to serve the Lord more vigorously and with greater urgency than before. After participating in the ministry of the Lopez’s in Honduras, I felt the Lord showing me that foreign missions was how he would use me. I returned home from the trip and shared my thoughts with Josh. We discovered that we met the qualifications for TEAM missions, and prayerfully decided to move forward with plans to participate. My prayer is that as a missionary I will bring glory to God and see many people saved. He is the hope of the world.