As a child, I had always wanted to be a missionary. When I got saved, I immediately gave my life to Christ for missions. Mari Jo and I had attended the same Bible college. During the Mission’s Conference in 2000, our pastor encouraged us to get to know some of the visiting missionaries. Mari Jo and I sat down at a table during a dinner and two couples joined us. We didn’t know these couples, but we soon found out that they were both missionaries to Nigeria. They had heard we wanted to be missionaries so they sought us out. That night God used the burden of these two couples to plant the burden for Nigeria in our hearts. When the conference was over, neither Mari Jo nor I could get rid of this burden. After much prayer and counsel, we surrendered to the field of Nigeria. God used several verses to show us His will. (Jeremiah 8:20, Romans 10:13-15, and II Corinthians 4:3-6)
In 2006, we took a survey trip to Nigeria to find out what we would need on the field. However, we were unprepared for what God had in store for us. We expected to find information, but God gave us a love for the Nigerian people we didn’t have before. After spending just one week in Nigeria, our hearts now belong to the people of Nigeria. When we returned from Nigeria, I felt that I understood how Jesus felt when He looked on the multitudes in Matthew 9:36-38.