A love for adventure, a heart for the world

by Majors AmyJo and Paul Ferguson

God gave us a love of adventure—from our travels around the U.S. and Canada to our fondness of camping in God’s creation to our appreciation for the flavors we find in out-of-the-way, hole-inthe-wall ethnic restaurants. Perhaps, it was this love of adventure that factored into our call to be officers. Each new appointment has been an adventure.

In 2008, we embarked on the Biblical Educational Tour in Israel. It too was an amazing adventure. We were privileged to walk where Jesus walked and to learn about the culture and the people. An unexpected side effect of this trip was the Holy Spirit placing a burden in our hearts for the people of the Middle East. We came home wanting to go back and minister there.

We shared this desire with our family and a few friends; however, we had small children at home and The Salvation Army was not even operating in the region at that time. Given the circumstances, it seemed silly to even mention this desire to our leaders at the time or to go through any official processes to move overseas. Whatever desire we had in our hearts seemed hopeless, impossible and unrealistic.

Fast forward 15 years to 2023. We were busy working in Grand Forks, N.D., on the corps’ annual back to-school distribution program when we received a call from Lt. Colonel Dan Jennings, territorial secretary for personnel. The Middle East Region of The Salvation Army had made a request for officers, and the Holy Spirit brought to his mind a conversation he had with us many years ago about our desire to serve in the Middle East. Had he remembered correctly? Would we be willing to serve overseas? Yes, and yes!

While we had set aside the desire God put in our hearts, God had been working all that time to make possible what we thought was impossible. We are awed each time we think of each piece the Holy Spirit had to put into place to make our next adventure a reality—from the initial desire He placed in our hearts to the perfect timing of the call from the Middle East Region to placing Colonel Jennings in a position to put it all together.

After that conversation, things began to move very quickly. Within two weeks we were preparing for a new adventure as we relocated from Grand Forks to the Chicago area to prepare to move to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

We are excited and, admittedly, a little nervous. But our faith has been renewed. We are reminded of the words of Proverbs 16:3 (NIV), “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” and Romans 11:29 (NLT) “For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.”

 

 

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