When I was boy, I sometimes sat and watched as Dad tuned his ham radio to chat with people in faraway lands. The accents coming over the speaker were Hispanic, Germanic, sometimes British, or from other exotic places. I dreamed of visiting such lands. I also enjoyed reading and toyed with the idea of writing my own stories.
The teen years
As a high-schooler, I studied French. Then added Spanish. Then added German. All in hopes that someday I would travel the world. At the same time, though, a friend kept inviting me to “youth rallies” held by churches. Reluctantly I agreed to go one time. I had nothing against God; I didn’t want to become a religious fanatic. Besides, I was something of an introvert and didn’t gravitate to large groups—especially not if there were any chance of me becoming the center of attention! But as a result of that gathering and subsequent visits to church, I became convinced that God—and the new life He offers through Jesus—were the missing ingredients in my life. There came a day when I returned home from church, stretched out on my bed, and in prayer asked God to forgive me for all the ways I'd offended Him and asked Him to make me one of His children, based on the sacrifice Jesus had made on my behalf.
Dreams coming true
As a follower of God, my life and interests changed. I was willing to give up the dream of traveling to pursue whatever plans God might have for me. But God didn’t rip away my dreams or force me to do something I didn’t want to do. Instead, He took the things that already interested me and gave me new reasons to pursue them. I ended up adding Russian to my repertoire, and today I serve as Director of Church Planting Support in a ministry especially active in Eastern Europe. Although most of my duties are in the home office near Indianapolis, I frequently visit various countries of Eastern Europe, where I preach in Russian, help in children’s camps, and do what I can to shine the Gospel light so that others, too, may find and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus came to make possible.
My author side
Oh, and that childhood toying with the idea of writing for publication? That’s the flip side of my life. To date, I’ve authored over 200 articles and short stories, had 3 novels published. It's also my privilege to serve as president of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) – Indiana Chapter.
I praise the Lord for each of these blessings and for the blessing of my wonderful wife, Pam, who is my best dream come true!