Many people have asked how God called me to serve in this ministry. The answer to this question begins way back in my childhood days. God created me with an innate zeal for His creation. Enjoying nature and being outside has always been “my thing.” Even more specifically, He created me with an interest in plants. What has never ceased to amaze me is the mysterious intricacy and detail with which God formed His creation, particularly seeds. There are millions of different types! Each one is so small, yet has the potential to produce so much!
One of my earliest memories of planting seeds involves a cantaloupe that my mom had cut up for supper one evening. As I took the rind and scraps out to the chickens, I saved back some cantaloupe seeds. I planted these seeds and this became my first garden.
Over the years, I developed my passion for agriculture through gardening projects with 4-H as well as floriculture and nursery competitions with FFA. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was absolutely convinced that God’s purpose for me involved dirt, seeds, and plants, with a little sunshine and water thrown in.
I decided to study plant science at Dordt College, as it is a Christian college that would both emphasize and reflect the values of my faith. A few of my agriculture professors there introduced me to ECHO, the Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization. ECHO is a Christian, non-profit organization dedicated to honoring God through sustainable hunger solutions. This idea of using agriculture in missions work, to equip people with resources and skills to reduce hunger and improve the lives of the poor inspired me. Dordt even offers an Ag Missions major and I considered this option. However, I was still unsure that was the direction I should go, so I continued on with my study in plant science.
I graduated in May 2010 and began working at a large, wholesale plant nursery in Oklahoma. I started out managing a perennial propagation greenhouse, working with 5 Hispanic women. It wasn’t long before what little Spanish vocabulary I knew came in handy! It was here at work that God introduced me to the abundance of physical and social issues that the Hispanic people group faces in their home countries. Each year, desperation drives many to come to the U.S. in search of stable jobs that will support their families.
Once again, God brought to my mind the need of agricultural training and development to be used for His glory, to serve Hispanics living in poverty in their home countries. More specifically, the Lord called me to serve Hondurans here in Central America. Through Christ’s redemptive work, I pray my ministry helps to meet both outward physical needs, as well as deeper, spiritual needs.