My name is Tim Sims, missionary to Thailand since July 2004. My wife’s name is Jahnet and we have two daughters, Hannah (17), and Ahleah (16).
I did not grow up in church and my wife was raised in a Catholic family. It was not until the fall of 1997 that I stepped foot into a church or learned anything about the Bible. My friend, Rodney Burdette, along with his fiancé had gotten saved right before their wedding in 1996. After he grew in the Lord and started attending Lighthouse Baptist Church in Maryland he told the pastor that he had someone he would like to begin praying for… that person was me. I praise the Lord that they began praying for me. I was invited to come to church with them and I finally did. After attending service one Sunday the pastor asked if I would like to meet with him one on one. I agreed and he asked me “If I were to stand before God and He asked, ‘Why should I let you into Heaven?’…what would you say?” Again, I was completely un-churched, but a friend’s Aunt had told me at one time that, “If you believe Jesus was born and lived and died for you, then you will be alright.” I did not disagree with her, but I also did not understand what that meant, but this is what I told the pastor. He asked, “Would you like to know what the Bible says?” I answered, “Yes.” He proceeded to share the Gospel with me and I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour that day. It was November 26, 1997… Praise the Lord! I began attending Lighthouse Baptist Church regularly and began growing in the Lord.
I met my soon-to-be wife in March 1998. When we met she was Catholic. She was living in New York and teaching third grade in the Bronx. She began traveling down to Maryland on the weekends. I had not grown in the Lord all that much, but I praise the Lord I was in a church that was teaching truth. I attended the Catholic Church a few times with her and she would come to the Baptist Church with me on the same Sunday’s when she came to Maryland. She began asking questions to me, to my pastor, and also to the priest at the Catholic Church. Long story short (she would be glad to give all of the details about this sometime), but on July 14, 1998 my fiancé at the time, trusted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour... Praise the Lord! She had been chased away from the Catholic priest after asking sincere questions …about Jesus and the Bible….but, Praise the Lord Pastor Gary welcomed teaching about Christ and His forgiveness! We were married on September 5th 1998. She moved to Maryland and we attended Lighthouse Baptist Church together.
I began studying the Bible more intently under the leadership of our pastor, Brother Gary Hubble. My wife and I began a set of discipleship books under our pastor. That fall, a year after my salvation, the Lord really began moving in my life and pastor asked if I felt as though the Lord might be calling me into the ministry. After prayer I realized the Lord did want more from me, so I surrendered my life over to God for Him to do that which He wanted to do with me. Our church began Faith Bible Institute, A 3 year video course taught by Brother John Yates out of Rowland Road Baptist Church in Monroe, LA. I was the director of the satellite location at our church. On Sunday evenings my pastor began a leadership class teaching the young men who felt called by God at our church about how to study the Bible, how to prepare a sermon, etc. Then, we each got opportunity to teach in front of the other men.
Our church began having a Faith Promise Missions Conference each year. During this time we began learning about mission work, missionaries, etc. My wife and I feel in love with the idea of mission work and we would find ourselves sitting at the table of the missionaries asking questions. We wondered why others were not doing the same, (we understand now that the Lord was working in our hearts and leading us into the field of mission work). My wife and I began to feel that the Lord may one day call us to a mission field to serve Him. We were willing to do whatever the Lord called us to do.
During one of our churches Mission Conferences we had missionary to Romania, Doug Wiersema and his family visit. And again we really enjoyed getting to meet missionaries when they visited our church. Our church planned a mission trip to Romania in 2000. My wife and I got to go on that trip and during that trip the Lord began to plant in our hearts the idea of being foreign missionaries. Then, in 2001, I got to go back to Romania again. On this trip the Lord confirmed in my heart that He was calling me to be a foreign missionary.
My wife and I continued serving God in our local church. Our church had a nursing home ministry on Saturdays. My pastor asked if I would like to be the one to preach there. I agreed and so my wife and I would go in each Saturday and sing songs (I am not the greatest singer, but we did it anyway) and I would share the Word of God. During this time, we still had Faith Bible Institute and I was also teaching Adult Sunday School while my wife was teaching Children’s Sunday School. We continued serving God where He had us as we waited for His call upon our lives.
We had missionary to Thailand, Brother Danny Jones as our mission conference speaker in May 2002. God really gave us a burden for the Thai people after watching his video. After the conference our church planned a mission trip to visit Brother Danny in Thailand in October 2002. We prayed and felt the Lord wanted us on that trip so we signed up. In August of 2002 our first daughter, Hannah, was born (we had had 8 miscarriages before Hannah was born, another story that my wife would love to give details of, but not here). God gave peace to my wife to stay in the States and I went with My Pastor and 8 others on the trip to Thailand in October. During this trip the Lord confirmed in my heart that He wanted me to be a missionary to Thailand. I had been surrendered for a while. I loved Romania; I loved hearing stories about other mission fields, but had not had peace about going to any specific location. But during that trip to Thailand God showed me why I never had peace about anywhere else… because He wanted me in Thailand. My pastor was on this trip and when I told Him the Lord had called me to Thailand, he said, “I knew He would.” After returning to the States I announced the call of God upon my life to my church and Lighthouse Baptist Church in Walkersville, Maryland became our sending church. From mid-Dec ’02 to mid-Jan ’03 we had a survey trip in Thailand. During this time the Lord confirmed His call upon our lives to my wife and we began deputation in March of 2003. In November 2003 our second daughter, Ahleah, was born (we had 7 more miscarriages in Thailand as well as 2 stillborn sons born and buried there, but we praise the Lord for the children God chose to give us on this side of Heaven and we look forward to seeing the others when we get there). We spent January and February 2004 visiting churches in Florida. Fun Fact: In early 2004 Pine Grove became one of our supporting churches, for which we are very grateful. We finished our deputation in the summer of 2004 and we moved to Thailand in July 2004.
We have many more details of how God has never left us nor forsaken us as we follow His will for our lives. And no matter what we have always felt we were safe in the center of His will for our lives and have always felt blessed and humbled to serve Him in Thailand. We are grateful for all the churches that partner with us in bringing The Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world!