ArticleMissionary Life

How a Cancer Patient Inspired This Couple Into Missions

With missions on the back burner, the death of a friend motivated them to think again about their calling.
It was Black Friday, and instead of waiting with friends for Best Buy to open—like he did most years—Nick sat at home watching “My Hope America” on Netflix.

Nick never took Christianity seriously growing up, but something prompted him to watch the Billy Graham docuseries. Halfway through the first episode, he paused the show, confessed his sins, and surrendered his life to Christ.

As the Holy Spirit worked in him, he began attending a college ministry, where he met Jill.

Jill came to faith in high school and caught the missions bug after participating on a few short-term trips. She was set on going to the mission field after college, but, upon meeting Nick, her plans changed.

After they got married, Nick was hired as a youth group leader. Nick and Jill fell in love with discipling and mentoring teenagers, but Nick noticed a theological famine among the kids.

“We needed to get back to basics and go over foundational truths, like the existence of God and the inerrancy of Scripture,” said Nick. “We started something called ‘Tacos and Theology’.”

It wasn’t just the youth group that lacked sound theology—the pulpit did too. So, with great sadness, Nick and Jill left the church and found Landmark Baptist Church. They befriended pastor Ron Davis and his wife Riki, former ABWE missionaries to Slovakia.

Around this time, the Lord moved in Nick’s heart, making him consider missions while reading David Platt’s Radical. Nick and Jill discovered ABWE online and attended a 24-Hour Demo event to learn more about who ABWE is.

Jill worked at the cancer treatment center and asked the Davises questions about ABWE during one of Riki’s breast cancer checkups.

“Their jaws hit the floor,” said Jill.

The Davises had no idea Nick and Jill were interested in missions, let alone partnering with their former sending agency.

Immediately, the Davises began pouring into the younger couple, fanning their passion for missions.

Then, Riki passed away, and God used her death to call Ron back to the mission field, this time in Poland. He encouraged Nick and Jill to join him, and they eagerly accepted.

“God used Riki’s sickness and death for his glory,” said Jill. “Through it, he called three people into missions.”


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About the Author

Loren Skinker served as a communications specialist with ABWE and managing editor for Message Magazine. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communications and English.

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