When I was six years old, my sister and I went to a vacation Bible school at a small church near our neighborhood. There, they told us how there was this bad place that we were all going to go to but there was a simple way to avoid it: it was to say a simple prayer. It was that day that I got my “fire insurance” but it wasn’t until later that I came to an understanding of what that prayer really meant for me.
By the time I was in fifth grade, I had gotten into a lot of trouble at school. Suddenly my father’s job transferred our family to Charlotte, North Carolina where I had a clean slate and could start again. But soon, I was right back in trouble again. Pretty soon I knew I was going to fail at changing myself. At a Wednesday night service, I prayed to God, “I give up. I can’t do it. God, you’re going to have to be the one that changes me. My life is yours.” I knew that God was my Savior, but now I was making Him Lord of my Life.
Things did start to change for me. They weren’t overnight but as I started understanding that God wasn’t just interested in where I spent eternity but He was interested in me. I became intrigued to find out more about Him. Through the rest of my school years, I learned how to pray and how to read the Bible in a fresh way. Through my adult years, He has taught me how to be a servant and how to follow diligently and obediently after Him.
I had the privilege of growing up in a Missionary family in Ethiopia and later Ghana, West Africa. At an early age I recognized my need for Christ as my personal Savior and accepted him into my heart. When I was 16 years old, I went through a difficult period in my life and I was faced with the reality that, although I was a Christian, I had not really make God “Lord” of my life. It was then, in that decision, that God really grabbed a hold of my life and has been teaching me what it is to be made in the “image of Christ”.
From my background, I have always had a fondness and draw toward missions. Throughout High School and College I participated in many short term missions experiences. One of the reasons I was drawn to my husband, Courtney, is because I knew he shared the same interest in missions. During the first 12 years of our marriage we would often look at each other and ask if the other felt called. The Lord helped us to wait, and had a specific training ground in mind for us through leadership and responsibilities in the local church and our community. Finally, in the summer of 2004, we did feel a specific calling and the doors were open wide to pursue mission opportunities in Europe. It is with great joy that we begin this race that is set before us.
Courtney began to develop a love for missions during junior high and high school when every summer he went on mission trips with his church youth group. Krista’s heart for missions was more innate, having grown up in that context.
During our junior year in high school we both felt God laying on our heart that one day He would call us. Once married and through college, we would turn to each other about every six months and ask… is it time yet? God had other activities and ministries as training ground, but finally in the summer of 2004, God began clearing our plates and we began to see that something big was coming. Through the experience of job searching, God revealed that the time for missions was finally right and gave us the vision for how we could use our giftedness in computers and administration to further His kingdom.
We discovered the work of Greater Europe Mission and fell in love with it’s vision of partnership with European Christians. In August 2004 we took a trip to Germany to meet with the team there and the Lord just put such a peace in our hearts. With the confirmation of our sending church, Lake Forest Church (Huntersville, NC) and our appointment with Greater Europe Mission in November, 2004 we knew we were like Isaiah “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)