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We Move Forward

It’s funny how the Lord works. Often times, He stretches us by pushing us out of our comfort zones. For those who don’t know me well, this is not how I like to grow. I would venture to guess that most people don’t love growing in this way either. However, it has been demonstrated time and time again that God clearly knows what He is doing, so I should learn to roll with it. I was shocked when I began considering working for Answering the Call (ATC). Growing up, I was not about traveling. And in my adult life, I was not about leaving my beautiful wife, AC, at home while I went away on mission -- sometimes providing uncertainty. I wanted a simple life where I could see AC every day. As I write this, I am trying to think of other benefits to mention, but honestly, nothing else matters as much. I just want to be able to see her every day. Eventually the time came when I committed to this organization and to my old man. I was in, but I did have one condition. I was not going to South Asia. I remember when I used to say that about South Sudan. Now I am starting to see a pattern. The places I say I won’t go are where the Lord ends up sending me, and each time, my experience ends up being awesome.

The reason I didn’t want to go was two-fold. First, I have always heard about the intense darkness and spiritual battle that occurs in Southern Asia. Spiritual darkness can often manifest in a big way that makes me feel isolated and alone. That is the last thing in the world I want. The second and more difficult reason for me to admit is the orphanage. You see, about ten years ago, my old man connected with a man that was living in a village where radical Hindu’s came through and slaughtered the Christians. The Hindus would hide in the forest, waiting to gun the Christians down as they fled. This left thousands of orphans. So my father, alongside this loving and gentle man, who you may know as "Beek", our Man of Peace in the region, founded an orphanage. The orphanage takes kids in and provides them with food, access to healthcare, and education. The staff absolutely loves these kids. So, why was I nervous? I was expecting to be greeted with sadness, fear, and pain by these children due to the things they have experienced.

However, the Lord is good. The kids were happy, joyful, loving, forgiving, peaceful, and energetic -- the very opposite of what I thought I would encounter. It restored my heart to be with these children. To know that they have walked through so much pain and see them still be so open was incredible. In America, it can be hard for me to get over the smallest of offenses, but at The House of Love, they have mastered the art. God is continually calling His children (that's us) to seek Him. He does this not out of a place of hurt, but out of the place of the Father.

My brother Josh recently had a baby. Izzy is her nickname. When we play peek-a-boo with Izzy, we always reveal ourselves to her. We do not stay hidden. And as she grows, we will play hide-and-seek, and again, we will always show ourselves to her. As she becomes older, we will make finding us a little more challenging. But our intention is always to be found, not to stay hidden forever. Following God can be like a game of hide-and-seek. He wants us to search for Him, so that we can find Him. God wants us to seek Him. Often that means we have to get up and go look for Him. Praise the Lord, I found a little piece of Him in South Asia.

"You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole heart."

Jeremiah 29:13

Please be praying as me and a team of two others are leaving for the Middle East on January 12th. I am sure that you have seen the news. I ask you to pray for our safety while we are there and that the team and I would be able to push past the fear. Often times people will contact me before trips, asking, “Why are you still going?” or “You know this is dangerous, right?” While all of these things are true, I’ve found that it's more dangerous to not be where the Lord wants me.

So, we move forward.



Jake never thought he would follow in his father's footsteps, but after stepping in to lead an emergency relief trip to the Nuba Mountains in the fall of 2017, he knew God was leading him into missions. After graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in Agricultural Science and a minor in Social Change and Leadership, Jake accepted a full-time position as ATC's Field Coordinator. When he's not leading trips or coordinating projects, you can find Jake working on the family farm or hanging out with his wife A.C.

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