In September of 2009, I took my first short term mission trip to the mountains of Nicaragua sharing the Gospel with people who may have never heard it. For the next 5 years, I took a team of people to mountains with the local missionary and came back another week to play baseball. I quickly fell in love with the people, their culture, language, food, basically everything.
In January of 2014, my small group was reading through the book “The Circle Maker”, a book on prayer. One week, the question was asked – What are some of your God sized dreams? I was immediately convicted, because I am a goals guy, it was January, and I had my 2015 goals written out and ready for implementation. There were no God sized goals, however. As I prayed about that God sized dream, the only thing I could come up with was “Nicaragua”. I didn’t even know how to verbalize it, what it was or meant. I prayed every day about it, asking God for clarity around it, what it meant, what He wanted me to do, if anything. The list of things that happened to provide very clear confirmation that this is what God wanted for me are too numerous to mention here, but let’s say I have absolutely no doubt God wants me to be a missionary in Nicaragua and he wants me to be there right now.
God made it very clear to me to take what I was doing at home and do it in Nicaragua. For me that meant disciple men and coach CrossFit. I had seen a need to teach people what to do after salvation as much of my time in Nicaragua was spent evangelizing. I had a burden for teaching people how to live a godly life, just as I was taught. To go make disciples that make disciples. Things progressed very quickly from there. By April of 2014, I was accepted on to the staff at Extreme Missionary Adventures, XMA, the group I had been traveling to Nicaragua with for the last several years. I began to raise financial support in May, quit my job in September and started as a full time missionary in October! So I went to Nicaragua, with God’s plan for me to create relationships through CrossFit and fitness and use that to make disciples. About two years in with XMA, as my ministry had grown and started to take a life of its own, Christie and I began to pray about starting our own ministry so we could serve together and work together on what God has ultimately called both of us to do. In August of 2016, we began the process of starting our own ministry, what is now Get Strong Ministries.
I am incredibly excited about the future of Ocotal, Nicaragua, Get Strong Ministries and all the people and churches we are working with. I know God has an amazing plan, I hope you will join in on what He is doing!
Special thanks to Scott Evans at www.michaelscottevans.com for the photos and video.