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God’s Plans Are Much Better!
By Chris Phillips
Our journey of serving in full-time missions began in the mid-1990s. Dawn and I
were enjoying a fruitful Christian school ministry at Grace Baptist Church in West
Columbia, South Carolina. We were constantly encouraging the students to consider
surrendering their lives to full-time service, including missions. As we began to see the
Lord work in their lives, the Holy Spirit began to burden our hearts to go to the foreign
field in order to share the Gospel with those who had never had a chance to hear the
Good News. We had so many unanswered questions as we began this journey and, if we
had known all the obstacles, trials, and challenges that we were going to face, we would
have thought twice before taking that step. However, being able to look BACK now and
see how the Lord has opened doors, saved souls, and changed us along this journey, we
both agree that we would do it all again.
In May 1999, we landed in Costa Rica with our four children in order to study the
Spanish language. Costa Rica was a wonderful bridge from the American culture to
the Spanish culture, where we learned so much about ministering to the Hispanics and
we made some dear, life-long friends. It was there our children were able to gradually
become accustomed to the differences in culture.
After language school, the biggest challenge for us was that very seldom did things work
out based on our plans. God closed doors and opened others in order to accomplish
• We planned to find a way to live in Cuba full time and plant a church, but God chose
for us to live there for a short time and travel back to minister through basketball
camps, intensive leadership training, and providing resources.
• We planned to plant a church in a middle-class neighborhood in Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic, so that there would be financial resources to sustain a
ministry, but the Lord led us to a poor neighborhood where there is now a self-
12 Reseeding America – Spring 2020