David Smith's Call to Missions Testimony
In 1981, during a mission conference, I prayed a prayer of commitment for the first time concerning serving the Lord and missions. I prayed a decision to God that from that moment on, that I would be His man, without reserve, without retreat and without regret, where ever He sends me. That evening I wrote down this prayer of commitment and kept it in my Bible as a reminder. In 1985, I was an Art Teacher at a secondary public school and at the same time the Sunday school teacher and youth director at Cheney Baptist Church, Cheney, Kansas. While at this church, the Lord continued to touch my heart through the missionaries that came there to present their field and ministry. That summer in 1985, we took a group of our youth to Minnetonka Youth Camp in Oklahoma. During one of the chapel services at camp, the Holy Spirit touched my heart through the chapel preacher’s message. The speaker, Bro. Ronnie Williams, gave a message challenging the young people to consider giving their lives for full time Christian service. I was convicted by the Holy Spirit that God wanted me to become a missionary of the Gospel in another country.
I went forward at the invitation to the alter and prayed, “Lord, here I am.” The Spirit of the Lord witnessed to my spirit the will of God for my life. It was similar to what we read in Isaiah 6:8, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
Debby and I were married July 26, 1986. We then attended Arlington Baptist College, Arlington, Texas. After my graduation from ABC, I was ordained to the ministry by our sending church, Cheney Baptist Church, Cheney, Kansas. Nearing the end of our deputation, we made visa applications to go to France, but were denied twice. The doors for France were closed.
Similar to the way Paul was prevented by the Holy Spirit from going to Asia in Acts 16:6, and the Lord directed him to Macedonia, (v. 9) I believe that the Lord prevented us from going to France and that He redirected us to French-speaking Quebec. And here we are.