Tim and Barbara-Lee Glessner
I was raised in a Christian home by parents who were saved just after I was born. When I was four years old, I asked the Lord to save me, forgive me of my sins and come into my life. I grew up with a desire to please the Lord and my parents; however, I do not think that I was really challenged in my faith until I was a teen and my family joined an independent, Bible-believing church with a good youth group. It was there that I was challenged to start acting on my faith. After attending that church for several months I recommitted my life to the Lord and was baptized. Throughout high school I really wanted to live a life that pleased the Lord and I wanted to choose the college that would be the Lord’s will for my life. I first attended Word of Life Bible Institute for one year. That year was an incredible encouragement to my faith. I began to see the value of a daily quiet time, solid Christian friends, and being held accountable. My desire to serve the Lord grew and grew. I then attended Liberty University where I continued to grow in my relationship with the Lord. I trusted Him completely as He led me to study abroad in Sevilla, Spain for five months.
As I finished my schooling at Liberty, the Lord gave me a desire to return to Spain and reach out to the lost. This is where my heart for missions began. While I was planning on going to Spain, I was teaching Spanish (my major in college) and watching for opportunities to open up for my return. It was at that time that I met Tim and learned of his desire to go to Mexico. In searching for God’s direction I began to pray about serving in Mexico. After a period of time I realized that my love for Spain was based on its culture, history and architecture. Tim’s love for Mexico centered around the people. Through the course of many mission trips I too have come to love the Mexican people and desire to serve there as the Lord leads. I am so thankful that the Lord was faithful to answer my prayers and, Lord willing, Mexico is where we will serve Him one day soon.
I count it a gift from God that I was born into a Christian home, to parents who believe and live out God’s Word. From the start of my childhood, Bible stories were part of my life. When I was four, one January morning at the breakfast table I asked Jesus to be my Savior. God’s grace is evident as I look back. He gave me a heart to know him, and from a young age I read my Bible and witnessed to friends. In the times as a boy that I doubted my salvation, my mom shared with me from 1 John. Her ministry helped me through times of doubt. By God’s grace, and through the influence of my parents and youth leaders, in my years as a teenager I made good choices and grew in the Lord. God’s grace, I think, is just as amazing for preservation as it is for reclamation!
In high school, through the influence of a youth pastor, I began considering full-time Christian service as an option for my life. A missions trip to Mexico before my senior year of high school motivated me to go to college with a view towards being a missionary. In college, the Lord used a church missions trip and a summer working with missionaries for a summer in Puebla, Mexico to direct me to service in Mexico.
After graduating from the University of Puget Sound I spent the next year working with missionaries in Mexico City. It was a thrill to be involved with a church there, learning Spanish, teaching Sunday School and a Bible study, and becoming acquainted with Mexico. Afterwards, I returned to Tacoma to attend Northwest Baptist Seminary. God wasn’t finished with my preparation in Mexico, however. In 1998, my employer sent me to work for five months at the Volkswagen plant in Puebla. I gained Spanish proficiency, experienced real life in a Mexican office, and also had opportunities to witness and preach. I have since married, and graduated from seminary. Now Barbara-Lee and I are excited to serve God in Mexico! Ephesians 2:8-10 was my favorite verse as a child and remains so today. It is indeed by grace that I am saved and I look forward to the works God has for me in Mexico in the future.