Friday, February 12, 2010

My Journey (Part IV): The two shall be one...

So my Pastor invited me to go with him to Michigan to a meeting he was preaching in Lansing. I went to help drive, get stuff for him, basically help him out. He never traveled alone so nobody could say he was doing something he should not be doing. While there I met my first wife. Now understand. I am Hispanic growing up in the south. Every girl I had tried dating would tease me and lead me along and then pop the, well daddy wouldn't let us date...story. So here was a girl that looked beyond my Hispanic name and saw me...I was immediately in love.

In true keeping with the impetuousness of youth I moved to Michigan a week later, asked her dad if I could court her a week later and was married six months later. What can I say? I was hooked...completely. We got married and settled down to, what I hoped, a long life together. I won't go into a lot of details about my marriage, this series is not about dwelling on the bitterness of my marriage and how it ended...all though that is down the road a piece anyway.

About four to five months after we got married we moved to Georgia, back in the town where I grew up, in the same church, in the same crowd. My “search” was on stand still as we worked on building a life and I wasn't really questioning anything. I was indeed living by faith at this point in my life. We moved to Tilton, Georgia and joined the Tilton Baptist Church. My daughter, Rebekah Jewel, was born about 10 months after we were married and about 10 months later my son was born.

I became an active member at Tilton Baptist Church. I was helping direct the music, playing guitar and preaching whenever the pastor needed me to. I look back and the doubts were gone during this time. I was probably more happy in my life during this time than any other time before or after. But then if ignorance is bliss...well you figure it out.

I surrendered to be a missionary to the Hispanic people in the USA. I was going to do what my dad did, start churches and turn them over to pastors. I began what is known in independent Baptist churches as deputation. Basically I spent a lot of time on the phone, planning and scheduling meetings at churches to go tell them what we are going to be doing. The idea is that, as opposed to the Southern Baptists and most other denominations that support their missionaries full time, the independent Baptists piecemeal a living together by different churches sending a little bit of money. So these churches support their missionaries with 20.00, 25.00, 50.00, etc. and it all adds up to whatever the missionary needs to survive so he can work full time starting these churches. Deputation typically will take 2-3 years since obviously it takes a lot of 25.00s to add up to an income.

During this time I began planning to move to North Carolina to start a Spanish church in the Charlotte area. My wife was expecting our third child and I was anxious to get started doing the “Lord's work”. Now keep in mind I was still at this point in my life where I was not questioning. I was preaching and teaching. I was actually teaching in a Spanish Bible Institute. Teaching advanced subjects like theology, homiletic s and hermeneutics. I was training young men and women for the ministry. I was preaching meetings around the southeast of the US. I had been to Monterrey Mexico to preach a youth rally and been to New York City to preach a youth meeting. Most would have said I had a very promising ministry ahead.

Our third child was born....and little did I know that my life was about to change....


Anonymous said...

I grew up in Charlotte, NC. In fact even now, I probably live pretty close to you...

My niece is on a missions trip to Costa Rica right now. She is learning Spanish and can imagine she will take that knowledge into the hispanic community in Charlotte when she comes back.


Musings of a Madman Copyright © 2010 | Designed by: Compartidisimo