Copyright 2013. heart4nicaragua. All Rights Reserved.
Theron W. Crawford Sr.
I had the wonderful opportunity to be reared in a great Christian home. I attended church while still in my infancy, in the church where my grandparents were charter members in Galena Baptist Church. At the age of 5 years old, I heard the Gospel in my Sunday School class about heaven and I knew that I needed to be saved. When I arrived home from church, I asked my father about salvation and how I could go to heaven. My dad explained the way of salvation and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I remember I was so excited to be saved that I ran to my grandmother’s house 2 doors down and burst in to tell her I had accepted Jesus into my heart. She was so excited for my salvation
As a teen, I attended a very strict but disciplined school, where I received a quality education. Many of the classes I would later take in college were already being taught to me in high school. At the age of 17 years old, I answered God’s call on my life to be in full-time Christian service I recall telling one of the associate pastors of our church and he simply replied, “oh”. I guess I had a lot of growing to do! I immediately began searching my heart for where and what the Lord would have me to do. It was about that time that a great missionary named Darrell Champlin was a guest speaker at our church and school. He stirred my heart about the mission field and I surrendered my life to be a missionary. I was incredibly burdened for Central America, in particular the country of Nicaragua.
I entered college with a Missions Major and began preparing for God’s call on my life. But as is often sadly the case, the devil was at work as well. The church I attended was very strict, and we began to have disagreements. I had attended for college for 2 years and it was becoming apparent that family, college and church began to overlap in a bad way. My family was very involved in the church and I was soon being shunned by family and friends. It was during this time that I allowed the devil to work in my heart and I soon decided to leave. I don’t blame the church or my family, as this was my decision to allow these things to distract me away from God’s calling in my life.
I left the church, my family, and His calling. I got married to my wonderful wife, but soon was angry and bitter at the Lord because of my upbringing and my family situation. My wife tried to remain faithful to the Lord, but I refused to speak of it. And for 2 years of my life, I ran from the Lord, much like Jonah of old. And God then went to work on me, bringing despair and hopelessness as only He can bring. Soon I began to come back to church, and in the process of 6 months, was tired of running. A missionary from the Philippines was speaking and that message was intended for me. I quickly made my way to the altar, and gave the Lord back my life, if He would have it! Oh the joy of being back in His fellowship! It was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders and my life was begun anew!
That was 23 years ago. I have never gotten over the awe of it! I soon began working with the teens of the church I was attending, and became their full-time Youth Pastor. Over the last 23 years, I have served in 4 different ministries as a Youth Pastor, College Pastor, and Senior Pastor. Ten years ago, the Lord led my family to start a Church in South Haven, Michigan, where we have been serving the Lord as best as possible. We have seen many souls saved and baptized, great and stable attendance, and have seen 9 men surrender their lives to full-time Christian service. The Lord has truly blessed in so many ways. But there was still a pull on my heart towards missions.
This last fall, I took a church missions trip to Nicaragua under the guidance of Project 14, a new mission endeavor in that region. This was my second trip to Nicaragua, and during this last trip, the Lord spoke very clearly to my wife and I that it was now time, 27 years later, to fulfill His burden upon my heart. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord has called my wife and I to the field of Nicaragua as missionaries. We are excited to see how the Lord blesses this new call of ministry in our lives.
Brenda L. Crawford
I had the wonderful opportunity of being reared in a Christian home from the age of 5. My aunt took me to church when I was a baby. Then when I was 4 years old, the church had a contest if you would bring your parents to church you would receive a Bible. My parents came and in the process were saved and then went into ministry about a year and a half later.
At the age of 9, my Dad was finishing Bible College and the Holy Spirit pricked my heart during a message about my need for a Savior. When we got home, I talked with my Dad and he explained the Romans Road and there I knelt by my bed and asked Jesus to be my Savior!!
After finishing college, my parents moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan and planted a church. I grew up as a P.K. and the Lord gave me many special blessings by being a P.K. Through my teen years, I was able to be in a very active youth group and at the age of 14 at a special Youth service, I surrendered to do whatever the Lord wanted to do with and through my life.
When I went off to college after graduation, and in the second semester of my freshman year, I met my wonderful husband. We have been married for 25 years! Through circumstances and the devil getting a foot hold into our life, we were away from church for 2 years. Then the Lord began stirring in our hearts and through a missionary message, the Lord definitely got a hold of my husband’s heart and since then we have dedicated our lives to serving our Lord.
We love doing ministry together and have gone wherever the Lord has lead us. The last 23 years have been wonderfully being able to serve here in the USA, but the Lord has more for us. We took a missions trip to Sept-Oct of 2014. A couple of weeks before we went, my husband asked me to pray and see if the Lord would burden my heart for the people of Nicaragua and so I began to pray. While there, we saw the definite spiritual need of the people there as well as physical needs. Our hearts were broken and we knew the Lord was confirming to us that He wanted us to go. We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us. We pray that you will pray for us and consider partnering with us to reach the people of Nicaragua.