Part 3 – Tulsa, Oklahoma
“You make your choices and your choices make you.” This is a saying that holds much truth. There are other things that form us and shape our being beyond our control; thank God for it! Yet many of the outcomes of our life can be traced back to decisions that we have made. I read another quote just the other day, “If I succeed, I will give thanks. If Ifail, I will seek His Grace.” Choices are powerful things.
In our thoughts of grandeur we narrowed our choice of mission schools down to two: Ulf Ekman’s training center connected to Word of Life Church in Uppsala, Sweden or Billy Joe Daugherty’s Victory World Mission Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We opted for the latter. Off we went again making our way southward; a couple more inches closer on that map.
Fall was quickly approaching in the year 2000. Everything was packed in the truck down by the street, including DaRonn’s diploma. He finished his Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Marketing. I am so proud of him! We are standing together alone in an empty apartment and he decides that now would be a good time to tell me, “We have money for gas to get us down there, and that is it.” I knew that we did not have much; but somehow I knew that it was going to be ok. I looked at him, smiled, and said, “Ok, let’s go.” We turned to walk out and heard a knock.
There standing at the door was a friend from church breathing heavily from running up the three flights of stairs. The door had been left open; Shane Daniels popped his head in smiling and said, “I wanted to catch you before you left. Don’t open it ‘til you get to Tulsa.” He handed DaRonn a plain white envelope. The contents of that envelope were exactly enough for the deposit and first months rent!
God provided miraculously for us during that time. Once DaRonn was in his “office” (half of the garage of the duplex where we lived he had painted, put down a rug, and set up his desk) and his prayers turned to the financial needs we were facing. He sensed that God told him, “Look what you have in your hands.” And all of a sudden he remembered a check that had been given to him a few weeks ago that was just sitting on his desk.
Our spiritual preparation took place in Saint Joseph; the mud was being worked into formable clay. Tulsa is where we learned the technical ins-and-outs of this precarious career we had chosen; the hands of a skilled Potter were shaping us and then we were set out to dry. Santa Cruz, Bolivia is where it all would be put to the fiery test.