I was born in Florida and have been in church for my entire life. I was raised in Welcome Baptist Church in Lithia, FL and hardly remember a time when I wasn’t there. I remember the day I was saved and how the Holy Spirit got my attention that day. I grew up listening and learning about every Bible character and how God worked in their lives. I knew who they were and what they did and more importantly, who Jesus was and what He did on the cross. I knew that Jesus died for everyone and paid the sin debt in full, but on that day the Holy Spirit convicted me that the sin debt was also mine and that I was included in the “everybody.” I stayed after service was over and talked to my pastor and accepted Christ as my Savior on the front left pew of the old church building. When I was fourteen, God called me to preach at church camp in Groveland, FL and the very first time that I preached, I may have lasted a whopping three minutes. I spoke so quickly and unintelligibly that it probably sounded more like an auctioneer than a preacher. God really does not call the equipped, but truly equips the called!
My wife, Alina, was born in Romania. An ABA missionary came to Romania and began to share the Gospel. She was saved and baptized during his ministry her and was a charter member of the church that was planted in the city of Otopeni. She was faithful in her church and heavily involved during her time there. She has always had a servant’s heart and never refrained from helping. She isn’t afraid to work and is the most intelligent woman that I know.
We met in 2007 in Florida while she was visiting the missionary and his family that she grew up with. We went to watch some fireworks on July 4th and I was hooked! We began dating and in November of 2007, I visited Romania for the first time. I had never been out of the US before and it was an exciting time. It was even more exciting when I asked her to marry me and she said, “Yes!” She moved to the States in February of 2008 and we were married in June of 2008. Our first son was born in March 2009 and our youngest in August 2010.
I was surrendered to preach and I knew that I was going to end up in a pulpit somewhere. I thought it would be in Florida and actually had two churches that were interested in me, but God had other plans. In January 2012, we were at a missions conference at our home church of Westwood MBC in Winter Haven, FL. Something happened that first night that I did not expect. God called me to the mission field. He was clear that night but I struggled with it. Each night during the conference when we would go home, I would go to bed each night begging God to change His mind or trying to convince Him that He had the wrong man. I knew that I was in the wrong but I did not want to yield. I finally did. I surrendered to go to Romania as a missionary. God placed Alina and I together for a reason and that was made clear to me during that conference. We began deputation in May 2012 and moved to Romania in May 2013.
When we first arrived, we settled in to Otopeni so that we could be close to people that we knew and so that I could learn the language and culture. It was tough. EVERYTHING was different from what I knew and what I was used to. The language was a real challenge but through much practice and prayer, I became fluent after eleven months. God heard my prayers and blessed me tremendously. We lived in Otopeni for the first five years and helped the church in Otopeni as they searched for a pastor. In 2017, we moved to the village of Tancabesti and in March 2019, we began a work in a village named Buriaș. God is blessing and we have already baptized two. We are thankful to have been chosen by God to be used here in this part of the world. We are so thankful for churches like this one and others that are prayerfully, financially, and physically involved in this ministry. May God continue to bless you all!