ArticleMissionary Life

There and Back Again

Leaving the mission field is tough—being called back can be even harder.
High school sweethearts from Chattanooga, Tenn., Brian and Ariel have known each other since their kindergarten days.

Brian, the older brother of another ABWE missionary candidate Grant Dicks, grew up in a Christian family. Through Awana, the Lord convicted him of his sin, and so at the age of five, Brian knelt at his bedside and committed himself to Christ. Ever since, he has strived to challenge and strengthen his faith, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies at Bryan College.

Ariel became a Christian as a young girl after her older sister shared the gospel with her. Ariel still remembers holding her sister’s hand in excitement while praying in the back of their car. However, years later, she rededicated her life to the Lord at a middle school summer camp.

During college, the pair often discussed and prayed about God’s plan for their future marriage. They were leaning toward missions since Brian had spent nine months in Hungary, serving missionary kids and Hungarian internationals at the International Christian School of Budapest (ICSB).

Once married, they decided to return to ICSB. Brian taught a variety of subjects, from Bible to technology, while Ariel stuck with her passion for science.

After three years, they felt compelled to return to the US in the summer of 2017. It was a time of deep pain and confusion, as both were unsure why the Lord had pulled them away from their beloved mission field.

Just as Brian and Ariel were growing comfortable in America, God called them back to Budapest. Although weary and discouraged from the constant transitions, they knew the Lord had used this furlough to prepare and reorient their hearts for long-term vocational ministry.

When relating the news to others, they received godly affirmation from a dear friend.

“Of course you are going back. You belong there. That’s your home.”

The Lord wiped away their tears and dried their eyes, and a wave of joy overtook Brian and Ariel. They plan to return to Budapest by 2020 to continue their service at ICSB with ABWE.


Editor’s Note: Learn more about the Dicks’ ministry here.

About the Author

Loren Skinker serves as a communication specialist with ABWE and managing editor for Message Magazine. He graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and English.

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