Rich’s sister told him about a place called “hell” and she pointed to a fire. Rich was three years old and didn’t want to go to a place like that – so he prayed to ask Jesus into his heart. Rich was 17 years old when he felt his calling to mission at General Council (this was before General Assembly existed). President Dr. L.L. King was preaching on missions – and he felt a strong call to go forward at the end, but he was embarrassed. So, he made a deal with God, if they sing his favourite song at the end – he will go forward. The second closing song was his favourite, All to Jesus, I Surrender. He went forward – and the Lord confirmed his calling when he got to the front by providing his mom and dad as the counselors for missions. It took several years on the mission field before they realized – God put them on this earth to reach the 300 million youth in Latin America. Their parents were missionaries with the Alliance for 45 years – Rich’s in Ecuador and Elisa’s in Argentina. Now they know why.
Elisa was seven years old when she became a Christian. She loved church, serving Christ, and loving people. But when she was in college, she didn’t feel like she could be a missionary. The missionaries she knew in Argentina and grew up with were like superheroes. But one night, when she was doing her regular devotions it was almost like an audible voice. God used John 15:16 and it sounded like He said, “Lisa, you did not choose me, but I chose you, to go and bear fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. And, whatever you ask in my name, I will give it to you.” Rich and Elisa went to the mission field in 1990.