Seven Years of an Amazing Missionary Life
On New Year’s Eve of 2013, if someone had told us the course of our lives was about to radically change, we would not have known what to expect.
We had traveled to a few exotic places, but never in our wildest dreams did we anticipate a dramatic reversion to our faith through FMC, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and receiving Jesus’ call to follow Him with a lifestyle of preaching the Gospel and serving the poor.
Gerry had been ambitiously pursuing his career goal of becoming a world-famous advertising and fashion photographer. He had already assisted a few well-known, successful photographers in India. He was setting sights on moving to Europe to work in one of the famous fashion capitals of the world: Paris, Milan, or London.
Mel was enjoying her teaching job of twelve years. She loved her time at work, the joy of educating young children, as well as the close relationships she had cultivated with her colleagues and students.
Many layers of deception were peeled off so we could understand His truth.
We had two children at that time, Elijah and Ethan. Living in an urban Asian context, we probably wouldn’t have had any more children because of the lies and propaganda we had heard.
Jesus tells us that He is “the Way and the Truth and the Life…” (John 14:6). God made a supernatural move to have us attend an FMC retreat where our eyes and ears were opened to His ways. Many layers of deception were peeled off so we could understand His truth, and a new trajectory was set with Jesus directing the ship of our life.
The Lord orchestrated so many miracles for our family of four to respond to His call and follow Him, from our corner of the world to South Louisiana.
In August of 2015, we arrived at the FMC base at Big Woods to prepare for our missionary training to begin the next month.
One of the first people to welcome us and take us around Abbeville was FMC co-founder Frank Summers. Mr. Frank’s spiritual fatherhood blessed our family. He was always encouraging us and would pray with us instantly for any of our intentions. His unwavering faith in the Lord, his determination to expect miracles, and his zeal to boldly announce the Good News inspired us tremendously.
Mr. Frank’s spiritual fatherhood blessed our family. He was always encouraging us and would pray with us instantly for any of our intentions.
Over the past seven years, the Lord has had us on quite an adventure. And the miracles continue: we have seen material and financial provision, prophecies unfold, physical healings, inner healings, deliverances, and logistical and administrative wonders. Most of all, the Lord has blessed our marriage with four more children: Elliana, Evan, Emmaus, and Estelle.
Our ministries have been wildly diverse. In the Philippines, we helped with Bible study, prison ministry, and hospital visits. While at Big Woods, Gerry served at the office using his media skills, and Mel assisted in children’s ministry. From 2017 to 2019, Gerry enrolled and graduated from the Alleluia School of Spiritual Direction. In Wisconsin, we used the Alpha program to invite people to our home, Gerry served in prison ministry, and we offered prayer ministry. While there, Gerry was a student with the Encounter School of Ministry at their main campus in Michigan and graduated in the summer of 2020.
Currently, our missionary life in Augusta is full. We serve alongside the Alleluia Community. We spearheaded the launch of the Encounter School of Ministry’s Augusta Campus, with Gerry as the School Director. We have seen tremendous transformation in the lives of our students, and the campus is bearing beautiful fruit. Mel is currently training as a catechist for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program based on the work of Maria Montessori and assists in the atrium at our local parish.
In John 15:16, Jesus tells us: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.” We are so grateful for the Lord’s call.