In life, there are few decisions that will shape your entire future.

Marriage is one of them and I never wanted to make that decision. I had a lot of false, preconceived ideas about marriage—so God had to get creative if He wanted me to have a wife.

A few years ago I was living in Australia working for a Christian, volunteer organization. God was speaking to me about India. I told no one about it. One day, a friend suggested to re-read ‘Is That Really You God’ by Loren Cunningham. I read it before and had no desire to read it again. But, for some reason I felt a nudge from Holy Spirit. I listened and picked it up. I forgot that Loren traveled to India. He said it was a pivotal time in his life, eventually leading him to his destiny: birthing YWAM.

India was chasing me down and God had my attention

I had a random friend from across the world visit me. She brought a video about missionaries who did ministry in India. Another hint towards India? At the same time, I just happened to be listening to IHOP’s prophetic history. Mike Bickle traveled to India and said it was a time in his life that would lead him to his future ministry: starting IHOP. Again, someone randomly gave me the book Irresistible Revolution, where Shane Claiborne went to India, breaking him for the poor and teaching him about community. India was chasing me down and God had my attention. He had my attention.

Also, during that time I was getting into the great missionaries of the faith, getting stirred to want more of God. I wanted prophetic dreams, the gift of healing, and angelic encounters. I was hungry. I knew there was more and I wanted it. I started praying and fasting; yearning for whatever God wanted to give me. One night He answered me and I had a dream.

It was Monday night. I went to bed in a bad mood. I was tired and not wanting to get up for worship the next morning. I was intent on sleeping in late. That night I dreamed. In my dream, instead of having worship the next morning, there was a community breakfast time. Everyone was sitting around eating pastries and drinking coffee. I saw details like the size of the tables and the colors and design of the table cloth. It was strange.

I woke up that morning at 7:45. Worship started at 8. I had enough time to get ready and prove my dream wrong. I decided to get up, clean up, and head out door. On my way, I actually forgot about the dream. I went to work and continued my daily routine of making coffee before worship. I grabbed my warm, beautiful black coffee and headed in for worship. I walked in the room and stopped. There in front of me everything was in place. It was exactly like my dream, even down to the small details of the table clothes and types of pastries. I was in shocked.

I walked in, sat down, and didn’t say anything. Why would God give me a weird dream like this? It didn’t make sense. As soon as I had that thought someone took the stage and started speaking. She talked about her ministry and how God lead her to the importance of intercession. She said she traveled through India and it formed her, changed her, and shaped her entire future. “That’s it,” I thought. God wants me to go to India. For what? I don’t know. But I’m trusting in him. I had a lot of expectation.

Almost a year later I was in India, working with street kids and with the poor of Calcutta. I was with YWAM. The ministry was started by a Brazilian couple that learned how to work with street kids. They took all they learned from a ministry in Brazil and brought it to India and started working with the children of Calcutta. Altogether, I spent 18 months in India. I did a lot of different ministries but that was the main ministry I worked with.

The whole time in India God was speaking to me about marriage.

Photo graciously provided by Samuel John

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Samuel John
and his wife are missionaries to Asia with Iris Ministries. Their heart is for the poor, the orphan, and those bound in human trafficking. They recently set up a website that provides guidance and wisdom to missionaries and future missionaries: www.missionsmanual.com