Baptized at eight years old, involved in youth group, attended church regularly, Clay had all the marks of a devout believer. But inside he harbored severe doubts about Christianity.
These doubts simmered for years, and at 19, they reached a boiling point. He demanded from God tangible proof of his existence.
Then, he gave God an ultimatum.
He would read through some of the Bible and wait for God to reveal himself in a concrete way. If he didn’t, Clay would forsake Christianity once and for all. He started in the book of Matthew.
Over a summer, the Holy Spirit began chipping away at Clay’s heart of stone.
A pivotal moment in Clay’s journey occurred the night he visited his dying grandfather. They hadn’t spoken in years, separated by a deep resentment Clay had held on to as a teenager.
“It was the first time I saw him in a long time,” said Clay. “By God’s grace, I was able to forgive him.”
Soon after he forgave his grandfather, Clay realized his own need to repent of his sins and seek God’s forgiveness too. He then began meeting with a local pastor. One day, the pastor asked him about missions.
“For some reason, I had told people in high school that I was going to be a missionary,” said Clay. “I told the pastor that, and so he encouraged me to think about it.”
But by graduation, Clay hadn’t sought out missions and picked up a job selling insurance. Yet, he knew the Lord had a greater purpose for him than sitting behind a desk. Missing working with his hands—his first job as a teenager was in construction—Clay quit and jumped back into manual labor.
Throughout this transition, he continued to pray about God’s calling on his life. Again, he asked for a sign. This time, God provided him with something tangible—an encounter with a construction missionary.
Clay met the missionary on the job while buying a trailer from him. Their conversation about prices quickly turned to faith and then missions. Inspired, Clay went home and discovered ABWE online.
Clay serves in the US with ABWE’s Project Office, which is responsible for the mission’s construction needs. Clay hopes to go to Togo next year on his first construction trip with ABWE to help with the Hôpital Baptiste Biblique renewal project.