Hebrews 6:15 (NKJV) And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
Today as I share about my time in Nicaragua in January 2011, it is not of a mission accomplished but small taste of a promise still yet to come. You see the Lord first called me to be a missionary when I was just a teenager back in the mid 1980’s. I was young zealous, passionate and sure of my calling when I moved from West Lafayette, Indiana in August of 1986 to Houston, Texas to attend Bible College and to begin living around Hispanic people. As any young college girl, I began to date and ended up getting married at the end of my Freshman school year. I was still on track to becoming a missionary, it was just turning out a little different than I had envisioned.
As time went on, it was apparent that my husband and I had completely different goals and aspirations in life and we were not in sync with what God had laid on my heart as a young teen. By the summer of 1989 my zeal and passion had been doused with rejection, pain and suffering along with unbelief of those in my immediate circle. I was more of a wounded animal than a bright faced young woman ready to conquer the world for God. I ran as far away from everyone and anything that had hurt me. I got divorced, moved to Dallas and dove into my work to hide. Life was not turning out as I had dreamed.
Fast forward 15 years: I am back in Houston, Texas; 2nd husband and now two children; new corporate job with good pay and benefits when the call of God could no longer be ignored in my life. I surrendered to Him and rededicated my life to God and God alone. It was not easy as I knew that when life had gotten hard in my past – I checked out. Now I repented of my sin and unbelief and gave everything that I had to my Lord and Savior. My marriage, my children, my job – everything! My one and only desire was to please The One who loved me even while I ran, while I was hurt, while I tried to lose myself in things that are only temporary. It was now January 2004 and God had given me another opportunity to serve Him and please Him. It was not going to be easy as now it was no longer just me – a young fresh faced teenager. I was now a mother of two elementary aged boys and a wife to a good man that did not know the Lord as I did. I was a career woman that had been climbing the corporate ladder but found nothing to satisfy me like living my life pleasing God.
God is patient and kind as He nurtured me back to spiritual health. Both my boys came to know Him personally and were baptized, the oldest son in the summer of 2006, the youngest in the summer of 2007. With our family dynamics changing, I was learning how to be a godly wife and to submit to my husband as unto the Lord. In September 2009 my husband Brian repented of his sins and gave his life over to our Lord. It was a happy day in our home and I was living in expectation for God to just drop the “Mission Bomb” on our home so that we could all just get ready to pack up and go to whatever country God was calling us to.
October 26, 2009 around 3pm I received a phone call at work to go to the hospital as Brian was being transported there. As I drove I prayed in diligence, I expected that my husband had suffered from a heart-attack, however the love and peace of God enveloped me in the van as I drove. A sense of calm and serenity – sweet peace.
After I entered the emergency area, I noticed a lady crying inconsolably. The man sitting beside her kept patting her shoulder occasionally but seemed to be at a loss as to how to comfort her. I walked across the room and sat down beside her, “Ma’am, I don’t know what is wrong, but God does. Do you mind if I pray for you?” She looked up between tears and shook her head yes as words could not seem to leave her lips. I whispered a small prayer to the Lord to give this poor woman peace like He had already given me and to wrap His arms around her for comfort as it seemed as if no human touch would do. I then went up to the desk to check in and see what room my husband could be found in.
I had to wait for a little while, so I just sat down beside the lady I prayed for to help calm her some more. When they called me back to the ER, I was taken to another waiting room. The doctor entered and began saying, “Mrs. Evans, there was nothing we could do…” I did not comprehend what I was being told – I tried to explain that I had our insurance card and information, along with my husband’s prescriptions but no one would take down our information. Finally the doctor said, “Mrs. Evans, your husband is dead.”
Dead, this could not be. I had peace, sweet peace – there must be some kind of mistake. Maybe he had been misidentified when the ambulance brought him in through the ER. Within a few minutes I was escorted into the room where my husband was being kept until formal identification and examination by the Medical Examiner. When they pulled back the white sheet, the peace of God that was on Brian’s face was beyond anything I had seen even when he slept. My husband had gone home to be with the Lord.
What’s next? I could not help but feel that something was not right. I am now alone with two teenage boys to raise, the call of God has been rekindled in my life and I was so looking forward to ministering with my husband. But now my husband has gone home to be with the Lord before me. I just don’t understand. Though I had the peace of God, it seemed that the dream, the call, the vision from my teenage days just got dashed against the stones.
The First Time life got hard – I ran and hid. Now here exactly 20 years later life is hard, unexpected and full of more challenges than I had counted on. I had a choice to make – run again or stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.
It was time to stand. Stand I did – I dove into Women’s Bible Studies, started attending a Saturday Hebraic Christian Assembly as well as my regular Sunday Church. I served on the worship teams of both assemblies, took Hebrew Language classes and read the Word of God like never before. I was determined that I would not disappoint God again. I would be a woman of my word and serve Him with all that I was.
January of 2010 I received a Word of Knowledge about my future service to the Lord and the fact that I would be married again. February I had a dream about my future husband and the beginning of our life together (these things will be shared in detail in a writing at another time) However later that spring a Mission Trip opportunity at our church came up.
Both of my boys signed up for the Trip to Nicaragua not Haiti, not Jamaica but Nicaragua. At the beginning of May our little family began filling out the trip application information to travel with the Well Network (now Happy Kids International) we were going to Nicaragua. Could it be Lord that I had misunderstood when I was just a teen that I would be a married missionary? I now had been married twice but currently a widow. Maybe I had remembered some detail wrong? No matter I was getting the opportunity to go on my first mission trip to a Latin American Country that had only been a dream/vision in my life up to this point.
God blessed and we were able to go for a full 8 days with a team of 11 people total. I fell in love with Nicaragua and was confident that this was only the beginning of what God was going to do in my life. The eight days flew by and we were back in the USA before we knew it. In preparation for my life in missions, I finished my Inspire Women’s Leadership Institute final project, received ministry training and became an ordained minister and waited for further instructions from my Heavenly Father.
He opened the windows of heaven once again and I was blessed to go on my 2nd trip to Nicaragua – God provided all of the funding! I flew down right after Christmas but before New Year’s – 2011 was coming and I felt it was important to be in Nicaragua to see in the New Year.
While in the car with Pastor Omar and his wife Jimena I experienced something that has never happened to me here in the USA. A Cow Crossing! What, I didn’t remember seeing any of these signs on the side of the road when I was here last August. They must be joking – but no they were not.
We had to come to a complete stop so that over 200 head of cattle could “cross the road”. I asked if this meant we were going to be late for church, they explained that church would not start until we got there and then the word would spread and everyone would come. You see there is no “absolute” time for church to start because things like cow crossings, flooded roads and various other obstacles can not be predicted. Church starts when the people come together when you are out in the rural areas.
You see we just had to wait patiently in the car. There was no getting out and wrestling with the cows. There was no hurrying them along. If we were not still, they are big enough to do great damage not just to our bodies but to the vehicle we were riding in. We had to wait them out. We were on the right road. We were in God’s will. We were going about the work of God. Yet we had to wait for the cows to cross the road. After what seemed like hours, but in reality was close to 20-30 minutes the road was again clear and we were able to continue on and get church started. The people came, God blessed and many came to know the Lord for the first time. Others were encouraged in the Lord and in their bodies as we came bearing gifts of rice and beans that we gave out after the service. On the way “home” there were no obstacles in the road and it was smooth sailing.
God used this Cow Crossing experience to speak to me. He reminded me of the years that I was young and zealous, the years that I fled from Him, the years that I was growing and steadfast and showed me in His Word that He was faithful to Abraham – though many years had passed. In Hebrews 6:15 – God’s Word says that Abraham patiently endured and he obtained the promise God had for him. God is the same yesterday, today and forever and He has been and will continue to be faithful to me. I trust God above all others.
It is now July 2013, two and ½ years since I witnessed my first cow crossing in Nicaragua; I am now happily married to a man of God, no longer a widow. My two boys are both interns at churches and continuing to grow into the men that God would have them be. The husband that God prepared for me, shares not just my beliefs but my zeal and passion in serving our Lord and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others. We are both serving the Lord in the Harvest fields that He has currently placed us. We know and understand that this is also a training ground for what He has in store for us in our future.
My desire and passion to go and serve in Nicaragua has not dulled or slowed down – the fire is kindled hot and bright as intercessory prayer has become a staple for this country that God has burned in my heart. God has proven Himself faithful time and time again. However now I am not alone, God has provided a partner – my Warrior Husband, Donnie. We don’t know when. We don’t know exactly where in Nicaragua. We don’t know how. However, we just want to be found faithful in what He has already entrusted with us and ready to run and serve when God says – “Donnie & Genie Ojemann – Nicaragua Now!”
Sincerely Nicaragua Missionary in Waiting,
Mrs. Donnie W. Ojemann,
All I am, All For HIM!