Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Great Door

Brian and I met in Poland (serving with Josiah Venture). It is so fun to share that with people because they inevitably ask questions like--is your husband Polish, are you Polish, how did a guy who lived in Denver and a girl who lived in Minnesota meet in Poland (great question:))?

Well, besides being a great story to tell--meeting there linked us in a unique way and prepared a way for a great door to be opened to us.

This spring, we were invited to attend Josiah Venture's spring conference held in Czech. This conference is for second-culture missionaries serving with the organization (meaning, those that are serving in a culture that is not their own). All together JV has over 180 missionaries serving in 11 Eastern European countries. We knew a lot about Poland--having gone there so many summers, but we were invited to the spring conference to see a larger picture of the organization.

We left the states thinking that we would be coming home from the conference with more of a sense--should we become full-time missionaries in Eastern Europe? My prediction, as we were flying over the ocean on our way, was that we would come home with a maybe. We would think about things for several months, and God would gradually lead us.

Well, much to our surprise, we left Czech this spring, with a clear calling. I want to share one of the most impacting conversations Brian had while he was there.

Brian was sitting in a small-group. Dave Patty, the president, was speaking and leading the small-groups through a series of questions. The session ended, and the groups gradually disbanded. Except Brian found himself sitting alone with Ken Pitcher. All Brian knew about Ken at that point was that he was a missionary in Czech, who had served with Josiah Venture for close to 15 years, and that him and his family were leaving the field. Brian also knew that he was highly respected because of the honoring things people were saying about him and his ministry.

Ken asked Brian who he was and why he was at the conference. Brian explained that we were considering a role with the Bteam (the leadership team that serves the Josiah Venture missionaries). Brian is very logical, so the idea of quitting a good job and becoming a missionary was really hard for Brian to wrap his head around. I'm sure that it only took Ken a few minutes to understand Brian's thinking and emotions.

Ken told Brian about two verses that God really used to help him (Ken) make the decision to move to Eastern Europe 15 years prior. One is 1 Corinthians 16:9--a great door for effective work has opened to me . . . and the other is 2 Corinthians 2:12--Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me . . . . Ken went on to explain, first, that the greek word for door in both places is referring to the kind of doorway that is only open for a short amount of time (window of opportunity would be my version:)), as opposed to a doorway that you can come and go through. In addition, Ken said, in one situation Paul goes through the door, and in the other he does not.

That night, Brian and I processed the day together in our room. I will never forget this moment as long as I live. Brian was retelling the conversation to me. Brian said that he felt like God was telling him two very clear things. First, Brian said, "I feel like God is telling me that he is going to love me if I go through this door or not. After all, God loved Paul, right!"

Then, Brian said this, "I also feel like God is showing me two doorways. This one--that leads to ministry in Eastern Europe is only open for a very short time period. If we say no to this, we are saying no to full-time missions. This will mean that we will stay on the road we've been on, which is not bad--it's just true. However, if we say yes to this door (serving with Josiah Venture in Eastern Europe), I am going to doing a job that has direct eternal value, and I am going to be passionate about my work in a way that I have never been before. I am going to be a different husband, and I different father at the end of this. "

At that moment, I knew how the story would end. I knew which door we would choose!

. . . a great door for effective work has opened to me.

Visit our website to find out more about the great door that God has opened for us!


  1. What can I say??? I'm SO thankful you're walking through this door!!!

  2. And, a BEAUTIFUL family picture!!

  3. Thanks for recapturing that moment again here. I love that story and I love how it is the specific and direct words God had for Brian. And I love how Brian knew exactly what it meant for him in this "door of opportunity"!!

    See you soon!!