A Story Called Life by Nate Bell
Nearly ten years ago, packed into a hotel event room in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, crammed with over a hundred other teenagers worshiping Jesus Christ, I sensed God speaking to me, calling me to missions. All week long, as we served and ministered in rural sugarcane villages, the Holy Spirit had been convicting me of my lifestyle of disobedience. Each evening we would gather to worship. I do not remember the speakers. I do not remember the songs. All I remember is the Spirit convicting me to “go.” That night, I was broken. With tears rolling down my face, I walked out of my row, up to the front of the room, and fell to my knees. Overwhelmed with guilt and remorse, I prayed to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, “Anything. Anytime. Anywhere. My life is Yours. I am ready.” I was finally surrendering my life to Christ.
Graduate high school. Buy a one-way plane ticket to Africa. Serve God by working in an orphanage the rest of my life. Pretty good plan, right? So I thought ten years ago, and that God would make it happen. Praise God for His plans and His ways. Praise Him for His faithfulness. His plans proved far superior to mine. Since I answered His call, He has guided me through finishing a degree in Bible. He has led me to serve Him in Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Mozambique and South Africa. And all along, He has been teaching me about Himself and His plan for me, one step at a time.
Indeed, my plans are not like your plans, and my ways are not like your ways, for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my ways are superior to your ways, and my plans superior to your plans. Isaiah 55.8-9
…TO BE CONTINUED…
A Story Called Life by Lauren Bell
The worship song, “Jesus Paid It All”, was when the light bulb went on for me. I was on a senior trip in Dominican Republic (different than Nate) and up until that point I thought I had fully grasped what Jesus had done for me. Though I had not been sensitive to this great sacrifice, I thought I had given my life to Him. Listening to those words “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe”, hit me like it never did before when I sang that song. I thought for a moment after singing those words and began to cry. I finally understood what Jesus did on the cross and surrendered my life to Christ. I do owe all of me to Him for how He rescued me.
I grew up in Christian home where Christ was the center and missions was something I was always a part of. Not only is my dad the chairman of the missions committee at our church, but we always had missionaries in our home and my favorite time of year was the missions conference at church. I had an inkling that missions might be in my future because of my passion for it early in life. My senior year, after I thought I had my future planned, I told my Savior I would do WHATEVER He wanted me to do to bring glory to Him.
John 3:30 is a verse that was always in the front of my mind that can relate to everything I do. It reads, “He must become greater, I must become less.” This verse was a turning point for me to recognize my life should be lived for Christ and serving Him however that may look. A few years later after I got my teaching license, Nate and I were married and began to pursue full-time missions.
A Story Called Life: Part Two by Nate and Lauren Bell
Growing up together in the same church and same neighborhood, it was inevitable that Lauren and I would be spending a lot of time together. We have similar passions and often found ourselves in ministry roles, serving side by side. I realized it before she did, but I sensed she would become my wife. We dated in high school, college and all throughout the global adventures God was sending me. After returning from Mozambique, I proposed and we married August 4, 2012. We continued serving at our home church and being discipled by Pastor Tom Wright through our call and the preparation of our future ministry. We were blessed with our first child, our son Lennon William Bell on August 11, 2015.
We committed to be faithful wherever God placed us, and for however long, as we sought His direction. In 2014, we were sent by Memorial Baptist Church to serve Mountain View Baptist Church in Cape Town, South Africa with missionaries, Tom and Nancy Wolf, for a three-month internship. After serving there with open hearts and praying for God to show us His direction, it was very evident the Lord was calling us to South Africa. Lauren and I are overjoyed to share the faithfulness of God as we now stand confirmed, supported and endorsed for missionary service by our home and sending church, Memorial Baptist Church! And we have now been accepted and appointed by ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism) for full-time missionary service to South Africa.
We have been serving in different ministries in our church for years now, and are currently being trained and discipled by our pastor specifically for this new ministry.
Our role, sent by Memorial Baptist Church, partnering with ABWE, will be to join the Mountain View Baptist Church team in Cape Town, South Africa. We are jumping into a team effort to plant churches, disciple, and develop communities in the Western Cape. Regular Sunday meetings have begun for the new church plant in the community of Hermanus recently, but there is a great need for additional leadership and discipleship personnel to root this work and prepare it to launch yet another work in the Western Cape area!
We ask that you might pray about your role in partnering with us and the church God is building from Columbus, Ohio to Cape Town, South Africa. – making His name known across the globe.
Whoever speaks, let it be with God’s words. Whoever serves, do so with the strength that God supplies, so that in everything God will be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4.11