Our Call to Bolivia:
A Love Story
Sometimes God just needs to give you a literal sign. That was our case. This was our sign! Read below to check out our story...
Have you ever heard, “there are no coincidences with God”? Our love story is like that. God orchestrated our call to the mission’s field in Bolivia with our relationship as a couple. Check out our story below. It's a little crazy...
When Marj was 15, she went to a youth church camp. During one of the evening chapel services, she was asking God, what He wanted her to do with her life. He spoke to her and said, “I want you to be a missionary.” About a month later doubt crept in when she was at school with some friends and they asked her, “What are you going to do after high school?” “Missionary” popped into her head, but she said, “maybe a secretary or dental hygienist”.
Later that night Marj’s youth pastor resigned his position because he felt like God was calling him to missions. When he spoke with her after service to say his goodbyes he said, “maybe I’ll see you on the mission field.” Marj froze in her tracks and asked him, “what do you mean by that?” He said, “I know this is not the last time I will see you, and I know that God has BIG plans for you, so don’t settle for anything less than what God has for your life… like oh, I don’t know… like a secretary.” Marj broke down and began to cry as her call to mission’s was confirmed.
A couple of years later, Marj moved to a Port Angeles, WA to do a ministry internship. Her second Sunday at the church, an evangelist visited and began picking people out of a crowd and prophesying over them in front of everyone. She was skeptical and thought it was very fake… until he came right in front of her and asked her to stand up. As she did, she felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. The evangelist said, “I see children all around you, they are a different color than you and a lot shorter”. Then he paused and said, “You know God has called you to be a missionary don’t you?” Marj began to weep. Once again God got her attention.
This was the same church where Jeremiah attended and where Marj and Jeremiah became friends.
Jeremiah’s personal call to ministry was never something he expected. Throughout high school, he had consistently pursued preparing for a career in the computer drafting and animation industry. Jeremiah excelled in this content area and had many opportunities to develop and connect with major companies in the industry; however, as he began to learn more about that field, his passion for it began to wane. Jeremiah was growing in his faith again having rededicated his life to Christ a few years earlier, and at a youth service in the middle of his senior year, God began to deal with his heart. Jeremiah is not a person who cries, nor does he come from a family of men who cry, yet that night he was sobbing uncontrollably. His call had nothing to do with what the speaker was talking about, but God broke him that night and he felt a powerful and clear call to serve God full-time as his vocation. Jeremiah wasn’t sure what that would look like, but he knew that God had a plan for him in full-time ministry.
At the end of his senior year of high school Jeremiah wasn’t sure what to do with his education, and could not afford Bible College, so he enrolled in the local community college, and on the side, began taking correspondence Bible institute courses to prepare for ministry. Jeremiah always had a passion to learn Spanish, and after transferring to a university, he majored in Spanish.
Jeremiah and Marjorie were friends for about 5 years but after moving away to college, they had lost touch for about a year. Both of them ended up moving to eastern Washington to different universities but got back in touch with one another via email and phone calls. After some time, sparks began to fly but they had not said anything to each other yet. One night they were chatting online with a mutual friend who said, “Wow, you guys have a lot in common. Jeremiah you’re studying Spanish, education, and are planning on going into ministry. And Marj you’re studying elementary education, Spanish and have a call to mission’s.”
As our mutual friend was just noting the obvious similarities, Jeremiah sarcastically typed, “Yeah, I’m going to marry Marj and we’re going to move to Bolivia.” But then his pinky finger hit ENTER. He never meant to send it, but when he did he thought, “Great, I haven’t even said ‘I like you’, and now I’ve ruined it.” But then Marj’s response was “So why Bolivia?”. Jeremiah said, “Um, it just popped into my head. We could go somewhere else if you like. Maybe we should talk about this later, it’s really late.” Marj replied, “Okay chicken.” And we hung up. A few minutes later Jeremiah called Marj. Her roommate answered and told her, “It’s Bolivia boy.” From there a relationship began and Bolivia, having nothing to do with ministry or missions, became an inside joke and metaphor for their relationship.
Later that year we realized that our relationship was becoming very serious. Marj knew she was called to missions, but Jeremiah was scared of the mission’s field. We prayed that night and asked God for a clear sign of what His will was for our lives. The next day one of Jeremiah’s roommates asked, “So are you and Marj going to get married?” Jeremiah responded, “I don’t know but I’m not going to date someone who I could never see myself marrying.” His roommate instantly replied, “Whatever, you’re probably going to get married, move to Bolivia and be missionaries, or teachers, or something.” Jeremiah instantly became defensive assuming that he was eavesdropping on his phone calls. Jeremiah confronted him saying, “There are twenty-one Spanish-speaking countries and no one ever talks about Bolivia, why would you say that?” He replied, “It just popped in my head, you can go somewhere else if you want.”
That same evening, Marj was on the other side of the state working in a restaurant. When she entered the break room, she saw a flyer on the bulletin board that said in capital red letters, “THE CHILDREN OF BOLIVIA NEED YOUR HELP”. It was for a social project to work with orphaned children. Marj called Jeremiah that night saying, “You won’t believe what happened today.” To which he replied, “No, you won’t believe what happened to me today.” We realized that night that God was calling us to Bolivia, and our calling was confirmed with similar situations over the next several years as we were married and began our family.
Four years later, we began to inquire about the process of getting to the mission’s field, and we found ourselves walking out of our denomination’s district office as missionary associates. We were told that it would take us one year to eighteen months to raise the support we needed to go, yet the funds were raised in seven months, and two days short of a year after beginning our inquiry, we were flying out for the mission’s field. God supplied in ways that only He could.
Although we encountered very difficult trials in our first term on the mission’s field, doors were supernaturally opened for us to address a need in the country that dealt with the largest unreached people group in the nation – the university students, and the rapidly growing middle class. Our ministries have now expanded throughout the nation, and we have had the privilege of praying with multitudes of students who have accepted Christ, seeing God call individuals into ministry, others experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit, individuals who were freed from demon possession, and others who experienced supernaturally divine healings confirmed by medical doctors. We have also had the privilege of building 6 churches and training ministers throughout the Spanish-speaking world. God has moved in an amazing way in our lives and ministry and has given us a renewed passion to see the nation of Bolivia in revival for the first time in its history.