ArticleMissionary Life

How One Phone Call Sparked a Journey to Ministry

After his cancer diagnosis, Dale was put on the path of serving God directly.
Clay received the call at work from his wife, Meg.

His worst fears were confirmed. He had cancer.

Clay rushed home to find Meg curled up on the floor.

The couple were new believers, and, according to Clay, this trial put them on the fast track of strengthening their faith.

They packed their things and moved to Charleston, S.C., to start his treatment.

“I had a whole lot of time on my hands,” said Clay. “So, a friend advised me to take Bible classes online.”

With no prior theological education, Clay enrolled in an online seminary, motivated by a deep hunger for God’s word. Through the grace of God, 13 months later, Clay left the treatment center cancer free and became a pastor.

Noticing his church’s lack of interest in missions, he began preaching Great Commission-oriented sermons, encouraging the congregation to support an overseas ministry and send missionaries.

Later, Clay went on a short-term trip to Nepal. He returned home on fire for overseas missions. Little by little, God was preparing his heart for life on the mission field.

At the beginning of 2020, Clay, Meg, and their children traveled to Ireland to visit Meg’s dying father. The country’s spiritual lostness moved their hearts as they shared the gospel with her father and other locals. These evangelistic moments weighed on Clay’s conscience.

“I struggled to get back into the pulpit,” said Clay. “God wanted us on the field, but I was holding back.”

Finally, the burden of conviction drove Clay to his knees in prayer. He surrendered his life and family to God.

A mutual friend connected them to ABWE through Ryan and Gretchen Rought, missionaries to Costa Rica.

Now, God has provided a way for Clay and Meg to open the field of Uruguay, answering a 30-year prayer of the ABWE South America team.


Support the Dales’ ministry here.

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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