I’m Rusty. My life has been a journey of ups and downs getting me to this point, and although I am blessed to be where I am, it hasn’t always been this way.
I grew up in the Mormon church, serving there consistently until I moved to Utah after high school. As I was growing up, I had felt off about the Mormon church. As if something just wasn’t right. It wasn’t until some time had passed that I understood why.
I began attending a Baptist church with a friend of mine in early 2000. It took one service, one message, for me to see the truth in Christ. It wasn’t long after that when I converted to Christianity.
Although this was a big change in my beliefs, that’s all that it was. My actions hadn’t changed. I had an idea of what was right and wrong, but many times didn’t want to follow through.
A few weeks back, I heard about the Dominican Republic trip. I immediately felt a deep desire to go. This was odd because I had never felt the desire to go on mission. It was just never part of my plan. What is even weirder is what came after that. My Wife leaned over to me and said “Rusty, I think you should go”.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience.
Going into the trip I had a big head. After all of the obstacles the Lord had overcome leading up to it, I knew I was there for something big. What I didn’t realize was that the “something big” was actually happening in my own heart.
After spending time with the locals, serving and praying. My heart began to break for them. After seeing them experience the joy in Christ even in their circumstances made me realize how shallow my faith was.
I understood what it was like for the first time to have a full heart for Christ. To want him more than I wanted anything else.
Now I think back to that trip and how it impacted me to see the believers in the D.R. who were faithfully serving the Lord. I look back and think of the lady whose heart was hardened to the Gospel, and how we prayed for her, and how heavy my heart was.
That has been the life change for me. That was what I needed to take home and walk out what it looks like to love my wife well. To love my kids well and teach them what it looks like to follow Jesus.