When Jeff and I were first married, he was in the military and about 4 years later he went into the ministry. I was raised in a ministers home and let’s face it living in a minister’s home could be considered, like living in a fishbowl. But yet when you know that there is nothing else you can do because God has so lined up your life to place you and your family in that profession. You either surrender or live a life unfulfilled and miserable.
In fact, I would say Jeff and I were set up, or more like pushed into a corner to go into the ministry. You see Jeff had been out of work for 6 months and one day when Jeff was asking God to give us a job. God reminded Jeff “I already gave you a job when you were 12 yrs old at a youth camp I called you into the ministry”
The problem was, God also gave Jeff amazing engineering mind, and as many may know, there isn’t much Jeff can’t build or repair. He is amazingly talented and for many years those abilities has supplemented our minister’s income allowing us to minister where many couldn’t because they would need to make more money.
So I have had a running joke for about 36 years now and it goes something like this. “There are two things I said I never wanted to be the first one, was a military personal wife, and the second was a preacher’s wife, So now I am telling God I never want to go to Hawaii, and hoping I can use reverse psychology on Him”
This joke usually gets a good laugh because we all know the old saying “Man makes plans and God laughs” The truth is, we all know that it doesn’t matter what we want, if we truly want to follow God’s plan for our lives we have to submit our will to Him and there is no reverse psychology going to work on the Creator of the Universe, ever! The bible tells us that “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21NIV
There was one other thing though, I have whispered in my heart, that I never wanted to be, and that was a missionary. Despite the fact that Jeff tried to stand at every church conference we ever attended, when they asked all the missionaries to stand. His reasoning of why he was standing when, I would jerk on the hem of his suit coat to sit down was “Well I am a missionary from Alabama to Kansas” I would just roll my eyes and tell him “That isn’t what they are talking about, now sit down” in my mean momma voice, as I tried to hide my head of embarrassment.
You see I never said I didn’t want to be a missionary’s wife out loud, because by the time I decided this I had already realized that if I say I am NOT going to do something out loud, God will hear it and make me do it anyway! At least that has been my experience up to this point in my life as you can judge from my other protests above, so I was of course just going to think it and it wouldn’t really count. Would it??
Then Jeff was elected by the other pastors in the state of Kansas to serve on the Kansas Assemblies of God board of directors we call Presbyters. In this position, he traveled all over the state assisting some of the smallest churches in Kansas with whatever he could do in various areas, all while still serving our church here in Greensburg. Our hearts broke as we felt helpless in some situations by the needs they had.
Because we believe there is nothing like the local church when the local church works, the problem was some of our Kansas churches aren’t working to their full potential because of various, needs they have, from building repairs to ministry worker needed.
So Jeff approached the Pastor over all the Assembly of God pastors in the state of Kansas and asked “What about making a special position for this ministry need?”, only to find out there was no budget for it. Disappointed he walked away wondering why God put this desire in his heart if He wasn’t going to help Jeff fulfill it?
Several months later through a series of events, Jeff was asked to be a speaker at one of our Kansas Family camps. Where he met Billy Thomas another speaker, Billy and Jeff hit it off right away, because Billy previously pastored in Georgia and was born and raised in De Soto KS where we previously lived before moving to Greensburg. Billy didn’t talk that much about his position in the Assemblies of God except for the fact that he was the director for the US MAPS Department but we didn’t really know what that met, and at camp were weren’t talking much about that. Except for the fact that Billy wanted Jeff to have him out to our church to preach.
Jeff said he would see what he could do, but honestly inside he brushed it off, because frankly our church is small and we didn’t want to have him out unless we knew we could give a good offering because we know how hard these missionaries work.
Then, fast forward even more months later, and because Jeff served on the board of directors, he was asked to attend a meeting in Springfield where the Assemblies National offices are and guess who Jeff saw again? You guest it! Billy Thomas and guess what the first thing Billy asked Jeff “When are you going to have me out to preach? Well, backed into a corner again, Jeff books him for a service.
So Jeff decided he wanted to have Billy over to the house for dinner the night before he spoke and invited anyone in the church to join us so they could get to know what kind of ministry he does. As Billy talked, He shared that he oversees all the RV Volunteers and Church teams who help do physical labor of work on churches as well as Missionary Associates who are people who serve in non pastoral ministries in the church, like children workers, tech teams, etc.. He also added that he needed a Field Director for Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico to help oversee all those ministries in those states and the director would need to have Heating and Air Conditioning, Construction, Electrical, Plumbing experience, and it would be good if he has been a church planter and pastor.
Jeff and I looked at each other and knew this was the mission that God has been leading us too! Because what Billy said was like reading Jeff’s resume he has all the qualifications for it and the more Billy talked the more we realized it was the exact job that we saw was needed here in Kansas..
That is why Sunday Oct 27 Jeff told our congregation, we are becoming US Missionaries with the MAPS Department of the Assemblies of God. Our last Sunday in Greensburg will be March 15 and we will be moving in April to Tulsa Oklahoma where we will be centrally located as Field Directors for Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, we will be traveling about 40 weekends out of the year to churches all over these states, in order to connect people who can help, with those that need help. Jeff will be overseeing the construction of two churches in Kansas this next year.
And we are on a new adventure with God, and Yes, I am now a Missionaries wife! Something that I had only spoken in my heart that I didn’t want to be, but the truth is God knows our every thought and hears our every prayer and He isn’t doing this to punish me, because the desire He put in our hearts would not allow us to do anything else but this. We are extremely excited about our new adventure.
The most challenging part is that we now have to raise our own budget for our living and ministry expenses and that only comes from donations from friends and churches that are willing to step out in faith with us and help the local church be the best it can be. So check out http://www.millers4usmissions.com and see everything we will be up to and don’t forget Whatever you have planned, God’s plan is best so just follow it, because reverse psychology never works on God!