When I was about fourteen I went to a Christian camp in southern France, Camp Rainbow, whose director is Damaris‘ father. During that camp I strongly felt the call of the service for God, and in front of the group I gave my life to God for full time ministry not knowing exactly what, when or where God wanted me.
Years went by and I had put aside not only that decision, but also my relationship with God. It was a time of struggle between my will and God’s will. After my high school graduation in 1995 came the time for decisions as to what I was going to do. I remembered my promise to God but I still wasn’t ready to submit.
Since I had no idea, and didn’t want to do anything, my mother pushed me to go to the Bible Institute telling me to remember my decision to serve God. The three years went by quickly. After graduating from the Institute in 1998, I decided to go to the States for a while before having to do my military duty in France.
I stayed in the States from the summer of 1998 until March of 1999. I then was called to serve in the French military. During the whole time God never gave up on me, working in my heart. After my military duty in the fall of 2000, I served among the teens and started to help from time to time in the office of the Institute.
The following year I offered my help to the school as far as secretary work but also accepted to teach some courses at the Institute. During that time God was slowly giving me hints about who He wanted me to marry and build a family with and led me to Damaris. Having the firm conviction this was God’s will, Damaris and I got engaged in September of 2002. We then got married on July 5th 2003 while Damaris was studying at the Institute.
I then started to preach more often at church and continued my work at the Institute. As time went by I felt that God was calling for something more. During winter camp of 2003 I was faced with the possibility of working with another missionary.
Carey ABBETT, whom I’ve known since I was a kid, was there during camp and both of us served in the junior evening services. As I was already thinking about working in the church planting process and praying about it, I was tickled by the thought of: “what would it be like to work with Carey?“, but quickly I scrubbed that out of my mind, because I knew there was great need at the school at the time and that Carey was working with his father.
Then the following day as I was talking with Tim Knickerbocker, he shared the conversation he‘d had with Carey’s father, who was very concerned about finding someone to work with his son. Later on Tim came up to Damaris and me and said he had a great idea that he would like to share with us after the evening service. I then told Damaris I knew what her dad’s thought was: us working with the Abbetts; but also that I didn’t want Tim to be pushing me into a direction or another, and also that if it was God’s will, then He’d show it to us more directly. I told her that I’d rather have Carey come up to me and say something about it and by this show that God was truly leading us in that direction.
So the same evening Carey and I were talking about things and others, and spontaneously he told Damaris and me, that he and his wife both thought that working together could be a very possible thing. As you can imagine I was speechless for a few seconds, then I asked him if by any chance he had talked to Tim about that. His answer was negative. So I shared with him the thought that came across my mind the day before. And at that moment Tim came in the room: “Oh, you’re both there, good. I’d like to share some thoughts I had concerning both of you!…” We looked at him and started laughing. So we explained to Tim what we were talking about earlier. We talked again about it, prayed the same night all together, Tim, Carey and I.