Friday, April 7, 2017

Dear Gabby Revisited

When I was in junior high, I got a gig answering a “Dear Gabby” column for the school newspaper. It was great except no one ever wrote in. I didn’t let that stop me, though. My friends and I used to stuff the confidential Dear Gabby box with some humdingers of questions. This week, Trish mentioned she and Allen were thinking about having people send them questions to answer, which could possibly be made into future blog posts. Trish emphasized that the questions didn’t have to be of a spiritual nature or about the ministry; they could be fun and lighthearted. She then suggested that I could come up with the first question. Feeling a bit like Dear Gabby, I came up with a question, which I hope will prime the pump. My question was a two-parter: What did you want to be when you were 9-yrs-old? And how did you get here from there?


Allen’s answer was that of a stereotypical boy. When he was nine, he wanted to be a police officer or a firefighter. Yes, before he was a man’s man, he was a real boy’s boy! By eleven or twelve, however, his vision changed and he thought it would be cool to become a pilot for MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) like Jim Elliot's pilot, Nate Saint. When he graduated college, that was still his goal.

Allen said, “That’s why I went into the Marines. I was going to be a pilot with them, and then I was going to be a bush pilot, and do ministry work. That didn’t work out, though. The next thing I knew, I was building houses.”

He continued to build houses and he and Trish prayed for God’s direction. It was when Allen was drawing up the blueprints for their dream home that they realized “this wasn’t what we needed to be doing with our lives.”


When Trish was nine, she wanted to write books. That’s not a huge shock. She’s a gifted writer (Trish, don’t you dare edit this out! It’s true. You are!) who has always loved to read.

She was raised in an environment where being a missionary was a “very big deal”.  There was a lot of respect for missionaries and a sort of admiration for the adventure of it. While Allen was drawing up those dream home blueprints, Trish was starting to feel the suburbs were too predictable for her. She wanted something more exciting and less predictable. She was definitely open to going to the mission field.

Trish said, “I’ve heard other missionaries explain that ‘the call to missions’ is often just wanting to go. I thought it sounded like an exciting and cool way to live.” She continued by saying, “Ultimately, I am on the mission field because Allen is on the mission field. If he had done something different, I would have been by his side.”

As for her childhood dream of writing a book, Trish said, “Be careful what you ask for. I always thought I couldn't be a writer because I don’t have anything new or interesting to say. Now, I can’t say that anymore.”

Yeah, that whole kidnapping thing definitely upped her interesting story factor!

Your Turn

So, what questions do you have for Allen, Trish, or Russell? Come on! I’ve already primed the pump for you. Don’t make me come up with all of the questions! - posted by Christi

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