I grew up in the upper Midwest and lived amongst the Lutheranism of the area. Although I was never religious, my family attended the First Lutheran Church. Dissatisfied with the church, we began attending a Baptist Church in my later teens. I was about to graduate from High School and enter into the Air Force. Spiritual things were the last thing on my mind. My pastor at the time desired to see me become the youth pastor. For a number of reasons there was no personal desire or unction to lead such a ministry. At the age of eighteen I had made a false profession. The head knowledge was there, but my heart still wanted to do it’s own thing.
Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
I knew Christ had died on the cross for me. I knew it required Repentance and Faith. I knew Jesus Christ was God in the Flesh! I knew, I knew and I knew. It was all for naught. I hadn’t accepted the free gift of His sacrifice.
After the military I attended a secular college where my goal was to pursue a career in federal law enforcement. Having interviews with the FBI and Secret Service I proudly thought I was “on my way.” Plans were being made to move to Washington D.C. to continue and it was then that the Lord truly got a hold of my heart and changed the direction in my life.
Something has to be pointed out here. Throughout all of this, there was no peace. I had always owned a KJV Bible and as I read it, I couldn’t put it down. I prayed like Cornelius, desired to know more like the Ethiopian Eunuch and searched as Nicodemus had. Along with these lost men I too found myself in that similar situation. Sin had not only been in my life, I “was a sinner.” Lost and going to Hell. The darkness God had shown me that I was still in I couldn’t bear any longer.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I needed and desired light.
Jonh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
After a lifetime of struggling against the conviction the Lord produced in my Heart and life through “His Word” I had finally seen and agreed with God about my Sin and that I still needed to be saved. I gave my life to Christ on March 13th of 2003.
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Out of love and gratitude for what Jesus Christ had done for me, I desired for Him to be the Lord of my life. God led me to Fargo Baptist Church where the “whole counsel of God” is preached. Within a year I had become a Law Enforcement Chaplain and over the remaining years have served in various ministries such as Visitation, Barnabas Discipleship, One-on-One Bible Studies, Truck Stop Ministry, Vacation Bible School and Master’s Baptist College .
While attending FBC I have participated in a number of missions trips. It was in January of 2006, while in Thailand, that the Lord started asking ” would I go?” That is also where I would meet my future wife.
Since that trip I had prayed and asked the Lord where he would have me serve. Africa was continually placed on my heart. In time, after counsel and confirmations from the Lord, a survey trip was planned for Botswana in 2008.
I am looking forward to serving the people of Africa and reaching those who either haven’t heard the Gospel, or have and do not have the Gospel in their own indigenous language, to see churches planted, and for those churches to reproduce themselves.
For His Glory!
Robert B. Johnson
I grew up in a Christian home. My dad is a preacher and we were always around preachers and missionaries. I was gloriously saved when I was 11 years old. I began teaching Sunday School at the age of 17 and have been involved in various church ministries since that time.
Beginning in my late teens, I felt God asking me was I willing? Whether in a mission conference, revival, or regular service, I would sense God asking, “Are you willing?” I wanted to know what He wanted me to be willing to do. His reply was always the same, “Whatever I ask.” I had always been timid and “whatever” was not something I was prepared to commit to. I knew if I committed to God, there would be no turning back.
As I continued to resist, all would be quiet for a while, then I would hear that still, small voice again. During all this time, Africa loomed in my vision…that one place I was afraid God would send me if I gave Him full control of my life. Finally, I confessed I was afraid of “whatever”, but if God would go with me and give me the strength, I would do anything He wanted me to do.
I made my first mission trip in 1998 and spent the next several years overseas. Working with other missionaries, I learned to typeset (Desktop Publishing). Since the fall of 1998 I have been typesetting Bibles, outreach literature, and discipleship material in multiple languages. I have been involved in outreaches and other areas of ministry, but typesetting has been my focus.
In 2006, after the group from Fargo came to Thailand, I returned to the States for what I thought was a short furlough. However the Lord changed those plans and I remained stateside, but continued with the typesetting ministry.
I am still amazed that the Africa I was so afraid of as a teenager is the Africa I can hardly wait to see. God has turned my greatest fear into my greatest anticipation. He has proved faithful all these years and I know He will bless and use us in Africa too.
To read more through past updates, you can visit Myra’s Musings
Because all I am is His,