When Hannah (pictured), the oldest daughter of Jonathan and Erica, was 4, the family began supporting GFA. It became a favorite family tradition to go through the Christmas catalog together every winter to pick out gifts for needy people in Asia.
A Change in the Norm
Eventually, the Lord entrusted Jonathan and his family with another opportunity to serve Him and the people around them in a deeper way: starting a small fellowship in their home.
Through the years, Jonathan and Erica watched as God blessed their fellowship. Missions was in all of their hearts, and the fellowship provided the funds needed for a church building in Asia and sponsored and prayed for GFA-supported national missionaries. But as time went on, God slowly began to change the course of this fellowship.
"The [fellowship] had always been kind of a stopover point," Erica says. "A lot of people were there for about a year. It was like it was a respite, sort of a hospital, maybe spiritually speaking."
This similar pattern lasted for several years. People would come to the fellowship and then go, but the Lord always brought another family or individual to fill the empty seats. As faces and seasons changed, missions began to burn on Jonathan and Erica's hearts more and more. During these months, they watched as God relocated families and drew people out of their fellowship and to the local churches. Meanwhile, the empty seats left behind stopped being filled.
"Now we can see," Erica says, "that He was shutting it down so we were free to go."
The One God Chose
As the Lord continued to press missions on Jonathan's heart, a revelation struck him: Why not serve in the place where they had already been investing for the past nine years?
"It wasn't that we chose GFA because we thought it was the most prestigious, or because we thought it would be the best place for our family, or the easiest place, or the most fun, or the most spiritual, or any of those things," Jonathan says. "We're here, and we remain here, because this is the one God chose."
After raising monthly support for their livelihood, Jonathan and his family packed up their home and moved to Texas to join GFA's staff as behind-the-scenes missionaries. They were ready to serve the Lord together once again and in an even greater capacity.