I was converted around the age of 12, having grown up in a pastor’s home and known the Scriptures from a young age. When I was 15 the Lord began to deal directly with me regarding a call to preach his Word.
On the recommendation of my father and pastor, I enrolled in Bible college to prepare for the Christian ministry. I graduated in 1980 and for the next nine years laboured with my father in teaching and preaching.
In the autumn of 1985 my wife Debbie and I were commissioned to go to the mission field and in June 1989 arrived in Aguascalientes, Mexico, with our children, Krista and Justin. However, in September of the same year, we were forced to return home due to the terminal cancer of my father.
En route to North Carolina, on a bypass around Monterrey, Mexico, a large lumber truck missed a stop sign and collided with our vehicle, killing both my wife and five-year-old daughter, Krista.
Two weeks later my father passed away, and I stepped into the pulpit of my home church where my father had been pastor and addressed the congregation on ‘God’s answer to man’s question, Why?’
The church requested that I become their interim pastor, which I did until June 1990, when I stepped down and made plans to return to Mexico.
Since my mother agreed to accompany me back to Mexico to help take care of my son, we again raised funds, and in February 1992 arrived in Mexico City.
After studying Spanish for a year, we began Bible studies in our home along with three families. In summer 1992 I met Marty Behn, and in January 1994 we were married. We now have two more sons, Joshua and Nathanael, both born in Mexico.
Our primary mission in Mexico City is to establish a Reformed Baptist church through various means: home visitation; tract and literature distribution; home Bible studies; regular Sunday worship services; and Wednesday night Bible studies.
In 1998 we were able to secure religious workers’ visas, and shortly we expect our Grace and Truth Baptist Mission to be re-constituted as the Grace and Truth Baptist Church, with a congregation of around 35 people.
I am a commercial printer by trade, and we are heavily involved in translating and publishing reformed Spanish literature. In July 1998, Publicaciones Faro de Gracia (Beacon of Grace Publications) was incorporated in North Carolina as a non-profit-making organisation, to publish and distribute Spanish literature internationally.
In early 2005 my family and I are due to receive Mexican citizenship. This will enable us to expand our literature ministry in Mexico and Latin America.
Publicaciones Faro de Gracia has published 25 titles in books and pamphlets, as well as tract titles. Our largest project was completed in January 2001 – a Spanish hymnal for reformed worship.
We are working to initiate a new programme to place a library/book-table of reformed Spanish literature in 3,000 churches in Mexico and the US, and in 10,000 churches in all the Latin countries. To that end we have opened a bookstore and distribution centre in Mexico City in addition to our warehouse in North Carolina.
In 2005, we are opening a Christian Resource Centre in Mexico City. We plan to do the same in other major cities in Mexico and the Latin countries.
The centre will house a bookstore; a distribution centre for the book-table programme; a conference centre; a pastor’s library and study resources; teacher training material; a counsellor’s training course with NANC accreditation; and seminary classes.
Our first annual literature conference is scheduled for the fall of 2005, when we will launch our book-table programme.
In May 2002 we published four pamphlets, A life of principled obedience, What’s wrong with preaching today? and The practical implications of Calvinism, all by A. N. Martin, as well as The Cross: the vindication of God, by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
In early 2003, we published Reforming marriage by Doug Wilson and The holiness of God by R. C. Sproul. We have recently published several other titles, including Chosen by God by R. C. Sproul and Nine marks of a healthy Church by Mark Deaver.
Six new titles are earmarked for publication in 2005.