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How One College Student Went From Avoiding Missions to Full Surrender

Tyler Betz always felt a tug to ministry, but he knew missions wasn’t for him—until he served short-term.
Tyler Betz had only been dating his girlfriend, Kat, for two weeks when he announced he was moving to France to serve as a short-term missionary for a year—with the intention of eventually serving long-term.

But he hadn’t always been open to the idea. Though he had always felt called to ministry, he “just knew that God would never call me to missions.” And he actively disregarded any idea of serving overseas, until a letter from his father’s missionary friend changed his mind.

This friend had tried to recruit Tyler to ministry in France when Tyler was still in high school, but Tyler turned the offer down. Then he wrote to Tyler again his freshman year of college, this time with a check attached to the letter inviting Tyler to visit their field. Seeing the check prompted Tyler to think, and eventually he agreed to go.

It started with six weeks. But during those six weeks, Tyler felt a deep, rapidly growing desire to return. By the end of his visit, as he stood in the airport preparing to fly home, Tyler knew he would be back.

“And if you wouldn’t consider being a missionary to France for the rest of your life, we might as well not even date,” he told Kat the night he announced his plan to go back.

The prospect of serving full-time overseas didn’t scare Kat off as Tyler feared it might, and God used their time apart to grow and mature Kat as a believer. Saved when she was seven, she completely surrendered her life to God while working at a Christian summer camp during her freshman and sophomore years of college.

While Tyler was away in France, she got more involved in her church, and found an older woman to disciple her. Together, they studied David Platt’s Follow Me. Kat said the book opened her eyes to the importance of global missions.

Kat and Tyler were engaged by the end of his short-term tour, and married soon after. Every time they have been back since being married, their desire to minister in France has only deepened. Sent by Saylorville Church, now they are actively raising support to serve to serve as church planters in La Rochelle, France, partnering with l'Elglise Baptiste de La Rochelle.

About the Author

Naomi Harward is an alumna of Cedarville University and serves as a communication specialist with ABWE and managing editor for Message Magazine. She resides in Pennsylvania.

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