Our Mission Story

Our story begins in 1996, the year we were married. We knew then that we not only wanted our own children, but felt a strong calling to work with other children in some capacity. Beginning in 1998, with the birth of our first child, Malachi, we began serving in children's ministry. Starting with nursery, we worked our way, over the next 10 years and 4 more children, through each age group finally ending up in youth ministry.

During that time, we considered many ministry ideas from being children's pastors to opening our own children's home here in North Carolina. But doors always seemed to shut and new doors did not open.
In 2007, God called us to Raleigh First Assembly and although we didn't fully realize His reasons, we obeyed. Within 2 months, we began to get a small glimpse of where God was leading us, as Raleigh First began their annual Missions Celebration. As missionary after missionary spoke and shared of God's calling on their lives and His work being done on the field, a passion began to stir in our hearts for missions. We have always supported missions and missionaries, but we had never felt called to go ourselves. As we sat listening, our hearts were set on fire to go and be a part of God's work in the world outside of the United States.

We toyed with the idea for almost a year, sometimes seriously praying about it and other times thinking that we were just crazy and it was only our emotions. But in December 2008, God made it painfully clear that He had a job for us to do and we needed to wake up and answer His call.

After six months of arguing with God, in October of 2008, Scott finally told God no, that we would not go into full-time missions until our children were grown and out of our home. Just so you know, it is never a good idea to tell God, No!

On December 28, 2008, Scott began having serious signs of a heart attack. He drove to our doctor's office. (not the best idea in the world) Once there, our doctor hooked him up to the EKG machine and faxed the results to the cardiologist. He was told to get Scott to the hospital quickly. Scott always says that 15 minute ambulance ride to the hospital was the most expensive ride he has ever experienced.

As the medical professionals administered nitroglycerin tablets and patches frequently, the pain still continued and we waited as patiently as we could for Scott to be admitted. During the wait, one of the elders from our church came and prayed over Scott. Tom is a giant in the faith and God had appointed him to come at that very time. As he left, Scott looked at me and said, "I'm ready to go home."

We didn't leave, but stayed overnight as Scott was sent to the Heart Center. There they ran every test imaginable and put him through the gauntlet of heart-attack inducing activities.

Nothing further could be found!

He was perfectly healthy and they couldn't explain his earlier EKG readings. In fact, what had been seen on the first EKG, was no longer appearing at all. That is NOT possible, (without God's intervention) as EKGs show the scarring of any and all past and present heart attacks.

It was as if nothing had ever happened!

God completely healed Scott!

The original cardiologist still can't explain what happened! He would look at the first EKG, and then all the later ones and just shake his head, as words failed him. As Scott likes to share, when doctors tell you that they don't what happened, then you should know, Jesus has intervened on your behalf and healed you.

We know that with our God, all things are possible! As we were rejoicing on our way home, God gently spoke to Scott's heart, "Are you ready to go now?" Yes, was our obvious answer!

That experience shook us into a new reality and make us really look at what we really wanted to do with the rest of our lives. We knew God's call to missions was there and we had finally said yes!

We decided that we didn't want to be a Jonah and run from God's calling anymore. Now was the time to embrace and pursue the call.

Thus began a new journey, one filled with excitement but also caution.

What do we do first?
How do we start?
What is the best way?
Where do we go?

First, we thought we should go on a short-term trip to get a feel for what it would be like to live in a foreign country. I know nothing can truly prepare you until you actually live there, but I had never been out of the country and I needed a first-hand experience to satisfy the questions in me.

So we went to El Salvador with our youth AIM team in the summer of 2009 and spent two weeks working with King's Castle there. What an amazing and tiring experience, but one that solidified in our hearts a call to Latin/South America.

Once we returned, we kicked it into high gear with filling out our online application with GoAG.org. I spent a good deal of time filling out page after page of medical forms for 7 people. By December, all forms had been filled out and mailed to AGWM (Assemblies of God World Missions).

We applied as Missionary Associates for this initial first term for two reasons. One, it would make our budget a little smaller and more manageable to raise. Two, it would allow us to serve under the supervision of seasoned missionaries, already on the field, who could give us much-needed 'on-the-job' training as we served alongside them.

Our ultimate goal is a lifetime commitment to missions. Once we return from our first term, we will change our status to Full Appointment. We believe God has called us to Venezuela 'forever', but we are open and willing to go elsewhere, should He call us.

Having our pastor, Chad Harvey, as the District Missions Director (DMD) for the state of NC Assemblies of God was an added blessing, as he gave us great advice and wise council.

Although we had completed all of our paperwork and things were progressing nicely, we still had not decided on a country in which to serve. We didn't want to just blind-fold ourselves and stick a pin in a map or say eeny-meeny-miney-mo. We wanted to serve in the country that God was calling up to specifically and we knew that if He had been leading us thus far, He had His plans all laid out for us.

Many times as we prayed and pursued different places, the door would shut, but God continually reminded us of His words in Rev. 3:7-8.

What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 
I know your deeds. 
See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.

And so He encouraged us!

In February 2010, our youth pastor, Ashley Penley, came to us and shared about a conversation he had felt God leading him to have with Missionary Chris Nelson. He was planning another AIM trip for the youth to go to Venezuela that upcoming summer. As he and Chris were discussing details of the trip, he felt the need to share about our family's call to missions. As he shared, Chris became excited about the possibility of our coming to work with his family in Pavia and surrounding areas in Venezuela. 

Immediately, plans began to be made to have Chris visit in our home on his trip here in June 2010, along with Scott, Malachi and I joining our youth for their trip in August. What an exciting time that was as we prepared and prayed for God's confirmation on whether Venezuela was His place of service for our family.

Now I have to stop here for a moment and tell you something that has great significance to our confirmation. In the United States, people often think you are strange if you have more than two or three children. So, when we go out in public places with 5, we are often stared at or we see people counting or complete strangers make comments. We have been asked, "Are you Catholic?" Are you Mormon?" but my favorite is "Are you done yet?" How do you respond to that? Well, for our family, with the love we have for children, we would say, "God has given us 5, but one day, He is going to give us hundreds."

Do I need to tell you how quickly they continued on their way?

Let's just say, God allowed us to use that phrase for a very specific purpose that only He could know.

Now, back to the story. In August, our team arrived in Venezuela. We jumped right into work, providing a VBS in the mornings and an adult service every evening. We were working primarily in Pavia, with Pastor Gerson Perez and his leadership team in a children's only church.

On our second day there, after the VBS, Pastor Gerson asked Scott & I to come to the front of the church.  He told the children that we were considering coming to serve in Venezuela and asked the kids to pray for us. Immediately the almost 200 children there, bowed their heads, closed their eyes and stretched forward their little hands toward us as Pastor Gerson led in prayer. We cried!

When he said Amen, he immediately told them to come and hug us. Instantly, we were surrounded by hundreds of little arms hugging, loving and touching us. We cried more!

Finally, he said (through the translator) the words we will never forget...

"Scott and Charity had 5 children, but now they have hundreds."

Who could have told this Venezuelan pastor, who speaks only a few words in English, the very words we needed to hear to confirm God's calling to this place?

Only our precious Heavenly Father, who loves us so very much, that He spoke those specific words to this pastor to let us know, we were HOME! And we cried the most!

We cried because God had taken the time to speak directly to us in such a special way.
We cried because only He knew that we needed His confirmation.
We cried because these were the hundreds that He was giving to us, to be mommy and daddy to, emotionally & spiritually, and possibly even physically.

Oh, by the way, this may be a good time to ask if you remember how Scott told God that we wouldn't serve in full-time missions until all our children were grown?

Well, God gently reminded and corrected us concerning that statement when (upon our return), He used our then 8 year old son, Matthew, to say to us, "If you had waited until we were all grown up to go to Venezuela, you would have missed telling all those kids about Jesus!"

What could we say? 

Out of the mouths of babes...

On that trip, God not only confirmed our calling to Venezuela, but He calmed our fears of the unknown by allowing us to see where we would be serving and meet those we would be serving alongside. He placed a desire in us to strive diligently in raising our support funds, so that we may get to our new home as quickly as possible.

As we said our goodbyes and prepared to head back to the US, our emotions were raw. We struggled with the desire to stay with our new family, and yet an even stronger desire to return here to see our youngest four children. If we could have flown back here, grabbed our children and returned to Venezuela on the next flight, we would have done so without hesitation.

But God had quite a bit more preparation for us on this journey.

So we returned to the US, and in September received our final approvals with AGWM to begin itineration. (support raising)

That is where we are right now, traveling all over the state of NC, and even to some churches in FL, SC, & MD, sharing our story of God's calling, confirmation and the work He is already doing in Venezuela.

We desire to be in Venezuela as soon as we can, but we need...
100% of our monthly budget promised &
100% of our cash budget received
by AGWM before we can depart.

We will then receive clearance to travel to Costa Rica for one year of intense, full-immersion Spanish language training at CINCEL Language School in San Jose. After which, we will return here for a couple of weeks, re-pack and move to Venezuela.

This journey has not been easy by any stretch of the imagination.

God is continually stretching us,
molding us,
stretching us some more,
molding us more,
correcting us,
disciplining us,
training us,
preparing us, but
mostly teaching us how to wait...to wait on His timing...to wait on His provision...to wait on His will.

But if have have learned one thing on this journey... it would be...

The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it!
I Thess. 5:24(MSG)

When this journey seems long or hard or difficult, I recall this verse.

He is faithful to bring it all to pass, because He called us & HE WILL DO IT!

Thank you for taking the time to read our story!
We hope it brings you encouragement & 
the desire to follow God's calling for your life, 
whether it is right outside your door or around the world.