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Question 4:

In your profile on the WEBC website, you tell about leaving behind the American dream and a career in orthopedic sales to serve God in full-time ministry. Can you tell us a little bit of your story?

I never imagined this column would turn into a time of personal sharing, but I guess that is OK for one week! Rather than telling the whole story, let me focus in on one part of it, which is really the part that I think is most meaningful.

For nearly 10 years, I worked as an orthopedic sales rep, with one company for 5 years, and then a second for a little over 4.5 years. It took a few years for me to understand the business, as well as learn the necessary science involved in that type of medical sales. But, after that time, growing the business and functioning day‑to‑day was something that came easy to me and fit my personality and strengths well. A large part of that job is spending time in surgery during procedures involving the implants you are selling, and building relationships during that time. Its a highly technical business, so the sales rep becomes part of the surgical team during the cases. I enjoyed that work, and was able to provide well for our family through it. We had a large, beautiful home in Sycamore, as well as all the things we often classify with the “American Dream”.

Fortunately, God was working in my life, and in Lindsay's life as well. Even in our seemingly comfortable life, we finally accepted that God had other plans for us and to use us in ways other than just being good suburbanites. However, neither of us had ever even dreamed or desired to be missionaries. I actually had only been out of the country once at that point, and that was for a 48 hour business trip to Montreal.

During this time of God working on us, Lindsay was invited on a week-long trip to the Dominican Republic to serve at a school there. It was during that week that we both realized that we would become full‑time missionaries and leave behind this life we had thought we were supposed to have. That was in April 2009, and we moved to the DR in August of 2010. We served for 3 years with Students International, working with students from the US and working in the poor communities in the mountains of the DR, and I also had the privilege of preaching in a local church as well.

My favorite story to recount is Lindsay's charge to me during our final weeks stateside. She said, "You know how to teach, but where you need to grow is to take those things you teach and be able to sit with someone one‑on‑one and love them there as well." It was a hard thing to hear, but a good lesson to learn. And I took it to heart, spending countless hours on the phone and in my office with staff, friends, and even missionaries from other organizations.

We learned many, many things while serving overseas, and we still carry some of the scars from that time as well, but looking back, we know that our time serving as missionaries was really a time of preparation and growth, all leading to our return to the states and for work in pastoral and preaching ministry here. We certainly didn't know that going in, but it is obvious now as we reflect back. Without that time of preparation, as well as the separation from that former life, we never would have been able to come to WEBC when and how we did.

Today, I am so thankful that God chose to use missionary service as his means to pull us out of that comfortable life we once had. I have so many rich memories and friendships from that time, and the battle scars as well, all of which has shaped my thinking and my theology. For example, it wasn't until I was overseas that I realized that one of the biggest mission fields in the whole world are the people who claim to know Christ, yet believe and worship a Christ who exists outside the one revealed in Scripture. That mission field exists in no greater population than right here in the United States.

Because of Christ,
Pastor Jayson
jayson@watersedgebible.org

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