Rick and I met in 1974 through the ministry of Irl and Lois Duling and Officers’ Christian Fellowship. We married in 1979 and began our married life in the military, first in Pensacola, FL and then in Jacksonville, NC. Rick felt God calling him to ministry and the Chaplain Corps and he began studying at Westminster Seminary in 1984 and graduated in 1987. We headed to Charleston Naval Base shortly thereafter, followed by orders to the University of Texas for graduate school, and back to NAS Pensacola in 1992. During those years God blessed us with three wonderful children, Erick in 1983, Michael in 1987, and Kaitlyn in 1991. Rick became a Navy Reserve chaplain in 1993 and served with the reserves until his retirement in 2002.
Rick has also served as the pastor of Christ Memorial Baptist Church in Dover, Delaware, and the director of the Georgia Family Council in Atlanta, Georgia. He later worked for Officers Christian Fellowship and as a Program analyst for suicide prevention for the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. I have been a teacher in private and public schools over the past 13 years, and have been involved in Sunday school, Bible Study, and Alpha. I have also loved being a soccer, wrestling, and lacrosse mom!
Over the past few years, God began to change the focus of our lives. Through God’s intervention, we experienced a great deal of loss: loss of identity, loss of relationships; loss of jobs–both of us! On the outside these changes were difficult, but on the inside God was growing a new plan and a new direction for our life.
As different doors in our lives began slamming, shutting, quietly closing and locking, we didn’t know what to do but cry out to God. And as we called out, He answered in many ways, with all kinds of provision: housing, unexpected financial blessings, friends–but we still didn’t know where God was calling Rick to work or minister…or for that matter, what God wanted me to do in the future.
Then Rick began to seriously examine Military Ministry, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ. He had always loved their vision and call, but the idea of raising support was something his wife could not handle; the pride of self-sufficiency had closed that door for sure! But I agreed to visit headquarters and I agreed to entertain Military Ministry as a possibility for our future. If you don’t want God to change your heart, don’t entertain possibilities…
So, over the months, as no jobs appeared out of the blue, or out of industrious searching, Rick and I made application for a position with Military Ministry. It wasn’t all easy and we had a number of complications in our lives that had to be changed in order to qualify for service, but eventually, God provided not only the grace but the resources and MilMin gave us a call.
I was still waiting for a miracle of another sort, but Rick was completely committed to the path God had set before us…the open door–the only open door. Knowing and trusting my husband’s heart compelled me to surrender and I now am so thankful for God’s wonderful plan and provision!
God is in this and we are thrilled to be able to minister along with our partners, so that “everyone in the military knows someone who truly knows Jesus.”