This is the story of how we ended up in the Dominican Republic from Jon's viewpoint:
When God first called me to the Dominican Republic, I was working in Dallas at a job I did not like. But as my wife has said, I was “comfortable in my misery.” I found out in December that, starting the following month, I would no longer have a job. Shortly after the realization that I was going to lose my job, we found out that my wife was pregnant and due in the fall. Prior to my job in Dallas, I had worked for 10 years with a ministry that helped struggling teens and their families. Looking back, I can now see that these circumstances were clearly God pushing me out the door and back into ministry.
I began to fill out job applications and take interviews anywhere that was hiring. The interesting thing was that only ministries responded. The main issue that seemed to be preventing me from getting any job was the fact that I had a family of four with one more on the way! I spent the next six months unemployed and taking on any day jobs that would come my way. Meanwhile, my pregnant wife worked the early shift at the Container Store unloading trucks.
As summer rolled around, I had two job opportunities: one in the United States and one in the Dominican Republic. Both my wife and I were leaning towards remaining in the United States. We could not imagine moving out of the country, raising support and having a baby in a developing country. God had other plans! Soon after our discussion, circumstances caused the job opportunity in the United States to no longer be an option. At that time, we were assured through prayer and tears (mostly my wife’s tears) that God was clearly calling us to move to the Dominican Republic. Following God’s call, that August we moved our family and the majority of our unsold belongings across the ocean!
We have now been serving in the Dominican Republic for 9 years, and are continually blessed, stretched and molded by being here. We have seen God work in amazing ways during our time here, and are confident that this was His plan all along.
From my experience, I can understand the difficulty in taking that first blind step of faith, and then the next one. However, I would encourage others to trust God's plan and to let the Holy Spirit guide them in endeavors marked by the thumb print of God - even if they're afraid. Trusting God's plan always leads to deeper relationship and great surprises, and I’m glad that we trusted Him!