The Road Thus Far

winding-1030867_1920The last three years have been a wild ride. John Denver’s “Sweet Surrender,” contains lines that sum up how I have felt in the midst of it all. “I don’t know what the future is holdin’ in store, I don’t know where I’m goin’ I’m not sure where I’ve been.” You see, I am a professor turned trucker turned…

Missionary.

I graduated debt-free from Calvary Bible College (now Calvary University) in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Advanced Biblical Studies. Freshly graduated and without work, I began substitute teaching at the private school I grew up in. The job there struck a chord with me and I became a regular sub to the degree that I was offered a job the following year.

Though I desperately wanted to teach Bible, the position was not open and I was steered toward special education. This was not a field I had ever considered, but I came to really enjoy the work through my subsequent training and licensure for NILD Discovery Educational Therapy and my three years as a therapist. If you knew me in those early days as a therapist, you know that I often said: “I enjoy the work, but I don’t see myself doing it for the rest of my life.” Little did I know how the Lord was preparing me for the work set aside for me.

At the end of my third year of teaching, literally two days after school let out, I underwent an emergency appendectomy on the heels of buying a truck. That one highly expensive weekend and the subsequent medical bills meant it was necessary to find higher paying work and hunker down to pay off the debt.

IMG_3468In August 2015, I spent three weeks in West Memphis, Arkansas, studying and earning a Class-A CDL and landed a job with a national trucking company. The Lord’s direction was evident in this striking departure from my normal line of work; I had opportunities to evangelize while at school and was even partnered with a like-minded believer as my trainer before going solo. The four months I spent crisscrossing the country, the longest single trip running from Norfolk to LA, served to deepen my love for the church, which may seem odd, but being away for 3-4 weeks at a time helped me see what I had taken for granted in corporate worship. Trucking also strengthen my resolve for ministry, and gave me some much-needed decompressing alone time.

In January 2016, I took on a local CDL job where I was able to continue in church every weekend and also meet with my pastor to help discern my call to ministry. The last year and a half has been a wild wide, but the Lord has been exceedingly faithful in provision of material needs and the guidance I needed.

In November 2016, I travelled outside of the US for the first time and taught a class on Biblical leadership on behalf of ITEM (International Theological Education Ministries) in Bucharest, Romania. The Lord began to stoke the fires that had long smoldered regarding missions in Eastern Europe. Yet, it was not until my second trip for ITEM, that the jumbled pieces I had held so long all began to fit into place.

IMG_5304In March 2017, I spent a week in Kyiv, Ukraine, instructing believers on how to witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. During the course of one week, an entire world of need was presented before me, friendships were fast formed, invitations to return and teach were extended, and the Lord quickened my heart for the people of Ukraine. This was the place I had looked toward since high school.

The return trip was difficult; our partings were filled with tears and promises to see each other soon. Though I left heavy-hearted (part of me didn’t want to return at all), I came back with a pocket full of contacts and leads to follow-up on.

Thirty-one days after I landed back in Kansas City, I had an invitation to teach at Kyiv Christian Academy as a special education therapist and ELL teacher. The doors have flown open and I am having a hard time catching my breath with all the changes now coming in to view. At the time of this writing, my departure is tentatively 81 days away.

I wholeheartedly trust that the Lord will provide all that is needed in order to leave on time; I confess that I haven’t the foggiest idea how it will all come together. Yet, as I learned in college, the Lord is our great provider and as He directs your path, you have no legitimate reason to fear. In fact, I am excited to see just how everything comes together.

It would mean a great deal to me if you not only read about the work in Kyiv, but that you would also commit to support it. I have given you the back story of why I am going, now I am dependent on the Lord’s provision through you to get to Kyiv. You can find all the details under the Support page.

I look forward to keeping you up to date and testifying to you of the Lord’s abundant goodness, tender care, and mysterious ways. Pray for me as I head to a foreign land, learn the language, settle in, and begin the work the Lord has appointed to me. Stay tuned to hear how God works in Ukraine!

Ecstatic in Christ,

Jacob

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2 thoughts on “The Road Thus Far

  1. Jennifer – it is good to hear from you! Thank you! I am thrilled to be headed to the field. We need to catch up; find me on FB. There will be a get together this summer with former SCA coworkers; don’t have a date yet.

    Like

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