In 2006, we were small business owners serving our 12th year as youth leaders at our local church in central Indiana. Our two children had grown up in the same town and the same church since birth, and our immediate family members all lived within 15 minutes of us. We were very comfortable, and we had no idea what God was about to do to turn our world around.
That spring, God introduced us to Mormonism through Chip and Jamie Thompson's ministry. Having lived in "The Bible Belt" our entire lives, we had very little knowledge of Mormonism and were drawn to learn more about witnessing to Mormons. After studying Mormon scriptures and history for about a year, we led a high school mission team to Utah during the summer of 2007 to participate in street evangelism to Mormons. God used those interactions to soften our hearts for the LDS people revealing their bondage and heavy burden to us. We saw first hand that they were entrapped by fear and the pressure of works-based false doctrines was crushing their souls. God emboldened us to commit to sharing the peace and freedom that is found only in Jesus with Mormons.
That week, God placed a calling on our lives to "set the captives free" in Utah. When we returned home, God immediately began moving amidst a severe economic downturn to sell our business, sell our home and acreage, and provide support for our arrival in Ephraim, Utah in 2009 as Christian missionaries to the Mormons.
Upon our arrival in our new mission field, we saw more clearly how God had equipped us for specific needs in the ministry.
1. Having run a landscape company, Shane was well trained for managing people and projects which led to the creation of a ministry internship program and our part as Intern Directors.
2. With Kim's bookkeeping experience for our small businesses, God had prepared her to take over the bookkeeping responsibilities showing to be God's provision for the next 7 years of rapid growth in the ministry.
3. Shane's mom had run a restaurant for many years which trained him for the position of Cafe Manager of the Solid Rock Cafe, a ministry tool of Tri-Grace Ministries.
4. With Kim's spiritual gift set, God made her well suited to become TGM's Operating Officer which aids Chip with many of his duties as Executive Director.
5. Both gifted in exhortation and having received some biblical counselor training, we find ourselves having chances every year to do premarital counseling with young couples in our community which blesses us greatly.
6. God gave both of us a unified passion for college-aged young adults which fit us perfectly into the TGM college ministry at Snow College. We spend day and night with both born-again and unbelieving college-aged people whether students or interns who are making pivotal decisions about careers, marriage, and spirituality.
As we look back at how God's hand has directed us, we are humbled to be used by Him in an area that is in such need of the Good News of grace. What an amazing privilege to be used by Him! We are encouraged to see God moving and will continue ministering to Mormons with a sure hope of Him building His Kingdom. Please "hold the rope" in prayer for us!
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