An Unforeseen Business Model
On a warm Georgia October day in 2007, an 11 -year-old boy rolled down his car window, and for the first time heard the shrill of countless bagpipes echoing through the trees. He had no experience with Scottish culture, but one must think God was at work that day – warming a young heart to love a culture not his own. Fast forward about four years and that young man (who had picked up the bagpipes) came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as the One who died in his place and made forgiveness of his sin possible.
You’ve probably already guessed, but that young guy was me – 15 years old, a freshman in high school and not really possessing any idea of the great journey God was going to take me on. When I first came to know Jesus, I wasn’t in a church where the gospel was fully preached. So, for the first several years of my walk, spiritual growth was slow. After graduating from high school God opened the door for me to attend the University of Georgia beginning in the Fall of 2014. (If you happen to be an Alabama fan reading this, it’s ok… God can redeem anything.)
When God took me to the University of Georgia, I stepped onto campus with the desire to be a businessman in Germany. My family background was German, I spoke German, so it made sense to me. Then, the second week of classes, I went to a Christian event, and God broke me with Luke 6:46. Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? ESV
I understood that night, perhaps for the first time, that my life belonged to Christ, and I should live for Him. Not long after that I prayed something along the lines of, “God I’ll go anywhere you want me to go and do anything you want me to do.”
A few months later, after being discipled and starting to study the Bible more intentionally than ever, the guy discipling me told me about a missionary in Scotland who his church supported. He said the missionary invited folks over to help with summer-time outreach. I couldn’t remember having ever been exposed to missions, but I still loved Scotland and I played the bagpipes. God provided for me to go in July of 2015. I came back to the U.S. after that trip and wanted so badly to go back and live and serve in Scotland. I prayed and God lead me to Biblical Ministries Worldwide, whose headquarters by the way, I grew up three miles from and never before knew they were there.
Over the next several years God took me to Scotland several more times, and on the most recent trip I actually met my wife! – over Instagram – while she was in the U.S. Now don’t get weirded out. I worked with her dad previously so there was a connection. My wife and I were married on May 25th, 2019. She reminds me every day of my blessings and God’s faithfulness. One interesting thing about my wife to note here is that she has two passports. One for the U.S. and one for, you got it, the U.K. Only God…
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps Proverbs 16:9 ESV
As my wife and I make our plans together for the future we recognize fully that our God is in control and can use us as He wills. With this grace-given awareness we are making plans to move to Scotland in the Summer of 2022. I stuck with business and graduated with my BBA from the University of Georgia in 2017. God opened the door for me to work at one of the biggest IT/Software companies in the world, which has a healthy presence in Great Britain. With my wife’s British citizenship we are looking at having her sponsor me in for a spousal visa. With that visa I could apply for jobs with this same technology company in the U.K. This would provide the income we would need to live in Scotland. Once in Scotland, we would look to continue to obey Matthew 28:19-20 and, by God’s grace, serve in a local congregation there.
If you would like to hear more about this God story, talk about tentmaking missions, or recant for liking Alabama, feel free to message me on Instagram @garrbear96.