Scott and Angela
Noah, Leyton, and Caleigh
Arrived in the Dominican: May 21, 2012
Current Financial Support Level: 91%
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Freedom International Ministries, Inc.
2905 E 46th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46205
** Write checks payable to Freedom International Ministries, Inc. Include "Mitchener Family" on the memo line. **
I grew up hearing what Christianity was supposed to be all about. I learned all kinds of Bible verses and knew all the answers to the Bible trivia questions. At the age of twelve, I remember coming to the realization that I needed to personally live according to all of the knowledge that I had learned. I finally understood that it was not simply about knowing that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. Rather, I needed to trust that this was the truth in my own life. I needed to allow that to change the way that I lived. So I chose to trust in Christ for forgiveness and depend on Him for the rest of my life.
It was not until later in high school and college that I really began to put together a fuller picture of what God wanted in my life. I spent a lot of time wondering what I should major in and what career path I should choose. Throughout the process, it became clear that no matter what I chose, God created me with specific talents and abilities that were meant to serve Him. As that happened, I decided that I wanted to be involved in something meaningful, something that impacted people's lives. Angela and I met at college, began dating, and then got married. Since that time we have been excited about serving together on the mission field.
As a pastor's kid, I grew up in an environment where learning the Bible was an easy task. I really enjoyed attending church, and going to Sunday School was one of my favorite activities. I was also a sensitive child – I'm not sure if it was responsiveness to the Holy Spirit or to the mood of certain services, but I often felt pulled to raise my hand or go forward if there was ever a call to make a decision for Christ.
I remember very clearly one time as a young girl sitting in church and listening to my dad preach a salvation message. For some reason, the only part that stuck out to me was his section on hell. All I could think about that night was how scary and horrible it would be to live in such an awful place for the rest of my life. I would've done just about anything not to go there. Looking back, I'm really grateful that my dad didn't give any sort of altar call that day. I know I would've responded simply because I was scared of the alternative to accepting Christ. Thankfully that wasn't the end of the story! In a following service Dad continued that message of salvation, and I started to put the pieces together more fully. I had a loving God – one Who had sent His precious Son to die for me so that I wouldn't have to pay that penalty of death! It was so unfathomable that Christ was willing and waiting to forgive me of my sins so that I could enter into a deep and full relationship with Him. Even at that young age, I knew that's what was lacking in my life. That night in my bunk bed, I lay with my face in my pillow and asked Jesus to truly take control of my life. I will never forget the feelings of joy and peace that just overwhelmed me there in my dark room.
In high school, I took two missions trips – one to Costa Rica and one to the Dominican Republic. Those trips did much to change my ethnocentric perspective, and I remember leaving both week-long visits with a tug on my heart to be involved in missions on some level. However, I dismissed the idea that God would ever want me to do missions outside the States. I went to college to get a degree in Education with the intent of working in an inner-city public school.
But then... I met Scott. Before we started dating, he basically gave me an ultimatum. He told me there was a strong possibility he would be going to the mission field – if I couldn't handle that, then we probably shouldn't start a relationship. During that conversation, all of those moments I had felt pulled to foreign missions years earlier came flooding back to me. I knew that if God wanted me to serve Him in another country with Scott, He would give me the strength to give up the people and things I was accustomed to. After many more talks and prayers together, Scott and I made the commitment to work our way towards serving the Lord in the Dominican Republic.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Scott and I feel so blessed that God is allowing us to be a part of His plan for the Dominican. This journey has not been the easiest, but God's faithfulness and grace is sufficient. Our goal is to make Him famous in everything we do.