Mike did not care for college. School had never been his thing. College wasn’t the place for him, much less seminary, so the idea of the traditional missionary path was simply not an option. It was a blow for him and his wife, Carey, both of whom had dreamed of serving on the mission field since they’d first started dating. As the possibility of seminary faded, that dream seemed to slip away.
But they didn’t stagnate. Over the next decade, Mike turned his passion for working with his hands into a successful auto mechanic shop. He and Carey welcomed a set of twins into the world, and Carey began homeschooling them. They remained active in their church and went on as many short-term mission trips as they could afford. It was on one of these trips that the missionary team leader took Mike aside and asked if he’d be willing to relocate to a South Asian megacity permanently.
Mike hung his head, mumbling about his lack of education. “We’ve got seminarians, Mike,” the team leader said. “What we need is a mechanic.”
He explained that a local bi-vocational pastor had a thriving mechanic business but was looking for someone to take over management of a few new locations on the other side of the city. What’s more, their missionary team’s pair of aging vans had broken down on the way to the village no less than half a dozen times in the past year. The team needed someone who could manage a shop and overhaul an engine, as well as share the gospel.
The minute Mike explained the idea to her, Carey burst into tears. Their dream, so long deferred, was going to come true.