A ‘Chance’ Phone Call During Prayer Led This Family to the Mission Field

When David and Rachel Bell set aside a day to pray about missions, they received a call—literally.

“I didn’t need to be on Facebook,” Rachel said. “But I was.”

That March day, her second-cousin had posted a status: “Some people give up things for Lent. I’m giving up on life.”

Rachel Bell and her husband, David, reached out to her, inviting this near stranger living in the U.K. to visit them in the U.S. She arrived two weeks later.

During her visit, she requested three American delicacies: corn dogs, a root beer float, and Nerds candy.

As they drove home after securing said root beer float, she made another startling statement.

“It’s interesting that you guys, like, do Christianity,” she said. “I don’t have a Bible. None of my friends have Bibles. Actually, I don’t know what a Bible is.”

As Rachel shared an overview of the Scriptures, her cousin seemed startled. “Wait. Are you saying Jesus was a real person? I thought He was like Santa or the Easter Bunny.”

It was then that the reality struck David and Rachel, and they knew they had to go. It wasn’t just this one cousin who hadn’t heard of Christ. There was an entire generation who didn’t know Jesus as a real person.

They knew they were being called, but as they pursued relocating to England, door after door slammed shut. Yet still the urgency grew. Finally, David decided to have a day of fasting, asking the Lord for a sign “completely out-of-the-blue.”

At 2 p.m., David received a “random” phone call from a member of ABWE’s mobilization team, followed by a two-hour long conversation about serving. The timing was unmistakable. The Bells haven’t looked back since. “I knew God was telling me this was it,” David said. “He wanted us to be missionaries.”

“The people of the U.K. don’t need religion,” Rachel added. “They need relationship.”

David and Rachel were both saved as preteens. David is from Florida and Rachel is from Indiana. They now reside in Shelby, North Carolina. “We just met in the middle,” they joke.

David has spent 10 years in youth ministry, and also teaches at Gardner Webb University. Rachel teaches career and employment development part-time to adults with disabilities. They enjoy spending time with their two small children and feel strongly that they are their children’s first exposure to the gospel.