I was born on a farm just east of Pella in 1956. I was like most boys, dreaming of growing up to be like my dad. Some of the greatest days of my life were: the first time I got to drive a H Farmall and harrow all by myself; take a load of manure to the field; and drive the baler.
My elementary and high school educational years was wasted because I was so focused on farming. My relationship with my father was bad, so after high school I went to Dordt College, got a business degree and meet my wife, Judy, from Chino, California.
After college, we moved back to Pella. Like most young men, I thought I was invincible. I still wanted to be farmer. I found someone to rent me a farm, and we got started. We were successful for ten years, but in 1988 there was a severe drought. And in 1997, we had to sell out. We were completely devastated. I felt like a failure, a loser, and a nobody. It is a miracle my marriage survived.
I found a job at a building company and became a salesman. In 2000, God called me into prison as a volunteer to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. One year later, He called me to Russia to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. He then called me to Tajikistan to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. I also have been to Honduras, sharing the gospel. Now, God has called me to Africa.
On the farm there was nothing that gave me more pleasure than running the combine (especially if it was a good crop). My world then was limited to Mahaska and Marion counties in Iowa.
Today, I am still a farmer.
I plant seeds. I harvest a crop. The crop is not corn and soybeans, but souls for Jesus Christ. My field today is so large, honestly, I cannot fathom how it has happened. Often I ask myself when I am in a faraway place, “how did this farm boy get here?”
God took the farm away so I would have to surrender and follow Him. For the last 20 years, I have just said “yes” and tried to hang on for the crazy, wild adventure farming for the Kingdom of God. Spiritual Farming to me means planting and harvesting to fill God’s grain bin—heaven filled with His children from all over the world.
Today, my main field is in Uganda. The mission is so big that it boggles my mind. My dream is to distribute 15,000 math sets; buy 450 uniforms at a cost of $15 a piece, and buy porridge for all the schools (450) for the entire school year at an average cost of $171 per school. This a lofty dream, but it is God’s idea, not mine. I would be so grateful if you would partner with me on this project.
Slava Bogu x 1000
(Praise the Lord in Russian)
Nuper Nunnikhoven sharing his testimony.