From American Dream to Living on Mission

Tori and Tim, two Global Gates personnel once lived the American Dream in a small Texas town. As a young married couple, they lived for their own kingdoms instead of God’s. Now, they are leveraging their lives for the sake of the gospel. God’s redeeming grace highlights their journeys from lives centered on personal autonomy to surrendering to God’s calling for them to engage the nations with the hope of Christ.

The Tim, the husband quit attending church after high school. He even doubted the existence of God for several years. He worked offshore on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico after five years in the Navy as a gas turbine mechanic on missile-guided cruisers.

“I was living a sinful life,” He said. “I was your typical sailor and your typical oil field guy.”

Now, a Christ follower, he manages a chemical plant.

Tori attended church for two years as a child but embraced atheism as a teenager following a death in her family.

Darkness and pain marked her life. A friend invited her to church when she was a young adult, and a pastor she respected gave her a Bible. She didn’t encounter the gospel again for a while.

Tori and Tim married, suffered the tragedy of a miscarriage, and had a little girl.

Friends kept inviting them to church, so they started going.

Tori continued to struggle bearing the weight of her pain. One night four years ago, Tori remembered the Bible that pastor gave her. She opened it and said, “God, if you are there then this is your now or never point.” The Holy Spirit led her to the Gospel of John. She read, the Holy Spirit opened her eyes, and she surrendered to Jesus.

Tori changed, which made Tim mad because she was not the same person he married. Tori told Tim that they should sell all their things and move wherever God told them to go.

Tim was incredulous. He told her he understood God gave him his hands, but he worked hard with those hands to get them everything they had. He was resenting her and the Lord.

They were drifting apart. Tim knew this was not good.

He doesn’t know why, but he soon started reading the Bible and praying while he was offshore on the oil rig. Not much time passed before Tim told Tori what he was doing and asked her to pray for him.

They soon heard their church was sending a team to Serbia on a mission trip to teach ESL. Tori didn’t even know what a mission trip was, but she felt convicted that they should go. So, she overcame Tim’s hesitation and convinced him to join her.

Tim, who wasn’t a believer at the time, doubted that God could use him, but he ended up sharing the gospel with a girl in Serbia despite his unbelief. He realized that was God’s way of saying, “Come to me as you are, and I will use you.” Tim gave his life to Jesus 10 months later, which was about a year after Tori trusted Christ.

God used that mission trip to Serbia to open Tori’s eyes to the nations and give her a passion for unreached people groups. He did a similar work in K’s heart soon after he became a believer.

So, when they discovered Houston was a magnet for many of the world’s least reached peoples, they sought the Lord about going to them. They didn’t know how they would serve among the unreached, but the Holy Spirit confirmed that Houston was where the Lord called them. So, they sold their home, and began preparing for their move. God gave Tim his current job as a chemical plant manager and blessed them with a wonderful home west of Houston.

They joined a local church and met a Global Gates missionary, who invited them to join the Pathways Texas Internship.

Through Pathways Texas, Tim and Tori picked up tools they picked up for missional living, evangelism, and discipleship. Tori said the real joy is getting to see their daughter apply the training.

They traveled to South Asia on a mission trip during the internship. During the trip, their daughter told a group of children the story of when Jesus forgave the sinful woman (Luke 7:36-50). Adults marveled at this seven-year-old. She asked her crowd, “What do you need prayer for?” One man requested prayer, so she asked Tori to pray.

The man said, “Please, my wife is at home. Let’s go share this with her.”

Pathways Texas empowered Tim, Tori, and their daughter to live on mission.

Now, they can proclaim the good news to unreached peoples with confidence.

-Ben Doster, Global Gates Director of Communications,