How I got Involved

Following God’s Leading to GO

Tim Sissel was on the move, typically driving 600–1000 miles each week servicing IBM equipment in Nebraska and Colorado. This gave him plenty of time to listen to the radio, pray, or just think. One day a question came to his mind: “Tim, do you want to do missions work when you retire in 13 years?” His immediate response was, “Yes, Lord.” Two other questions came in rapid succession: “What if the Lord were to return in 13 years?” and “What if the Lord were to take me home in 13 years?”

Tim pondered these for a few moments, then responded, “Yes, Lord. I’m willing to do missions work now.” He spent the rest of his driving time that day praying his wife Carol would feel the same way. That evening when he told her what had happened, her immediate response was, “Yes!” Tim and Carol now provide computer support to Bible translation teams in Mexico.

Roadblocks

“In college I felt certain that God would have me spend my life as a missionary,” said John Wimbish. “So I packed myself off to the Urbana missions conference with full assurance that the Lord would make it clear how He would use me and my chemical engineering degree.” John went from booth to booth at the conference, asking, “I’m a chemical engineer, how can you use me?” Nobody had anything even remotely related to his field.

On the final day of the conference, John was sitting in the coliseum with thousands of other students. But he wasn’t paying attention to the speaker—he was wrestling with disappointment. God hadn’t opened a door. “Then I realized the problem,” John said. “I had put the condition of chemical engineering upon my service. I had told God the parameters under which I would serve.”

While the speaker continued, John prayed. “I repented of my presumption and told God I would serve Him with no preconditions. I also asked for some kind of confirmation that He would guide me.”

John tuned back in to the speaker, whose next words were: “Don’t say ‘I’m a chemical engineer, how can you use me?’ Rather say, ‘God, here I am,’ and go find out what He has for you.” “Well, I fell out of my chair!” John said. “Then my friend who was with me took me over to check out Wycliffe.”

John learned that engineers make excellent Bible translators because of their approach to problem solving. “I realized that what I had just given to God, He was giving back to me—repackaged as only He can do.” John served in Southeast Asia, and now helps develop software to assist Bible translators.

Fine Tuning

Ken Zook wanted to be a missionary pilot since age 14, when he read a book about MAF pilot Nate Saint. Two years later he publicly dedicated his life to full-time Christian service. Then, during his first year of college, a Wycliffe speaker gave a presentation in the back of a local motorcycle shop. “I was challenged by their commitment to reach those without God’s Word,” Ken said, “I wanted to help.”

His eyesight wasn’t good enough to be a pilot, but Ken got the training and experience necessary to work as a radio technician and computer support person. After serving in the Philippines for 16 years, he now programs linguistics software.

—In Other Words, Summer 1999

So what is your How I got Involved story?