I wanted to flesh out “My Purpose” a little bit more, and now it’s turned into a mini-autobiography!
Growing up as a Missionary Kid
I grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) in Paraguay, South America. We moved there when I was 8, my sister Elizabeth was 12, and my brother Matthew was 10. After living there a couple of years my Mom announced she was pregnant! I was thrilled to finally be a big sister to my little brother, Nathan!
I loved being an MK! I loved the people and culture of Paraguay. It was such an example to us kids of actually seeing our parents follow God’s will, even when it meant moving far from close friends and family. I have a million stories I could tell. Most of the really crazy stories are from the year we lived in a tribal village. Like the time one of our pregnant tribal friends had preeclampsia so bad she was going blind and she couldn’t fly out to a hospital for 3 days because the airstrip was flooded (amazingly she and baby
both ended up ok). Or the lady who was having trouble passing her placenta so my parents had to take her up river in a tiny outboard motor boat during a storm hoping the doctor wouldn’t be drunk (she was ok in the end too). Or the time my grandparents were visiting and we had the worst storm we’d ever experienced. In fact it blew part of the roof off of our co-workers’ house. And when I say blew it off, I mean you’d stand in their house and look up and see the sky! Maybe sometime I’ll share those stories in more detail and others, but for now I’m trying to keep it kind of short.
What Christ Has Done for Me…And For You
Growing up in a Christian home, going to church every Sunday, and having family devotions every day I always knew about God and Jesus. I knew that God created everything and the moment Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and eat the fruit He had specifically told them not to sin entered the world. Everyone from then on has had
the sin nature ruling their lives. That is except for Jesus, God’s one and only perfect Son. Because He was the only perfect person, He was the only one who could satisfy God’s perfect righteousness. So Jesus died on the cross paying for every single sin of every single person. But if the story ended there, it’d be just that, a story. But it didn’t, God rose Jesus from the dead. Why? Because Jesus conquered sin and therefore conquered death, the ultimate consequence of sin. I heard all of that ever since I was a baby, but just hearing it and knowing it isn’t enough. You have to believe it, so as a kid I made a conscious decision to believe and accept those truths. Because of that I have 2 things:
- When I die I will go to heaven with God instead of hell, separated from Him forever.
- I have the Holy Spirit with me forever. Nothing I can ever do will change my standing before God…why? because Christ has taken care of all my sins, past, present and future. I still struggle with sin and will until the day I die, but praise God He has taken control of my outcome because I cannot. If doing something bad made me lose my salvation, that would mean that I wasn’t saved solely by God’s grace. It’d mean that I was saved by works.
A Love Story
While living in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, I met a missionary family who had 4 kids and one of them was a daughter named Autumn only a year older than me. We became friends and it wasn’t long and she asked me to help her with a kid’s club she did every Saturday. Her mom would teach a ladies’ Bible study while we did Bible stories, crafts, games and snacks with the kids. After a while she started talking about an older brother named Cameron who was going to be coming back to Paraguay to visit. He came down and I started getting to know him while over at his house helping with kids’ club and VBS. Autumn was quite the little match maker and always made sure Cameron and I were together working with the same group of kids.
He was 19 and I was 15 when we met. He stayed in Paraguay for a year helping his family. When he moved back to the States he asked my dad and me if he could write me and we started emailing each other. After about a year he came back to Paraguay for a month. When he went back to the States we started MSN chatting in addition to emailing! My family had dial up internet that was pretty pricey so I was limited to 30 minutes a week…but they were always 30 GREAT minutes! Sometimes I’d save up my allowance and use it to make the expensive international phone call to Cameron.
After after graduating in 2006, my parents brought me back to the States. I went and visited Cameron in Texas that summer and he came and visited me in New York. Things really changed that summer. Before I was just a girl, so we hadn’t gone on dates or anything, but now that I had finished up
school I was ready to start pursuing the relationship more seriously. In the fall we went to New Tribes Bible Institute together and were engaged in less than 2 months. We got married exactly 3 months after he proposed to me! Our wedding was on December 30, 2006 over our Christmas break and we went back to Bible School as Mr. and Mrs. Cameron Pryor.
During our second year there (it’s a 2 year program) I got pregnant and had our dear little Gracia Ruth 2 weeks after we graduated from Bible School. She was the cutest little newborn I have ever seen! I can’t imagine life without her!
After Bible school (which, by the way, were 2 amazing years that I learned so much, I would recommend that school to anyone), we moved to Fort Stockton, a small town out in the middle of West Texas. We spent about 2 years there growing closer to our loving sending church and living in a hangar. Yup, an airplane hangar. It was a World War 2 era hangar that had an apartment in part of it. The place hadn’t been lived in for decades, so Cameron and our brother-in-law gutted and re-did it. I have to say I thought it turned out really nice!
We lived in the hangar which was at the small airport in town that Cameron worked at. I loved having him right there, I could go visit him
anytime I wanted and he was always able to come home for lunch, although sometimes a late lunch if the airport was busy.
One of the reasons we decided to move to Fort Stockton in the first place was because we were pursuing mission aviation. Cameron needed to have a private pilot’s license, instrument rating, commercial rating and Airframe and Power plant license (to work on planes). He had his private license before we were even married but still needed everything else. There had been an A & P class in Fort Stockton and it was supposed to start back up again, so we thought this would be a good place for Cameron to get his A & P. Plus working at an airport might bring up other opportunities while getting to spend time with our sending church as well. During this time we were able to purchase a 172 Cessna airplane at a very affordable price.
Where We’re At Now
Well, like things usually do in life, it didn’t go as planned. After 2 years of the A&P school still not getting back up and running, we decided we needed to get it somewhere else. That’s when we moved to Midland, the town
Cameron grew up in (before moving to Paraguay).
We started looking into apartments to live in for the 2 years Cameron would be going to school. We noticed that the FEMA travel trailers that had been made for Katrina victims were being sold. We did the math and saw that buying a trailer and paying for lot rent at a nice trailer park would end up being about the same cost as renting a very small apartment for 2 years. With a trailer we could hopefully resell it when done, and you don’t get anything out of an apartment. So now we live in an 8’ by 32’ travel trailer! I’m not sure what’s stranger our “hangar home” or our “tin can” as Cameron so lovingly calls our current home!
Right after moving to Midland Cameron completed his instrument training, taking us one step closer to the mission field! It was lots of hard work for him, but he did well and I’m proud of him!
About a year after living in Midland I got pregnant and we were so excited! Gracia told everybody that she was a big sister and there was a baby in Mommy’s belly (and she told people there were some babies in her belly too!). I was super excited about having this baby with midwives as Gracia had been born with a doctor at a hospital, but at 10 weeks I miscarried.It was hard to say the least, and still is hard at times. Even though I never felt it move inside me, saw a sonogram or even heard it’s heart beat I still loved it.
We all did! But God has been our comfort.
Well that brings us up to the present! Cameron goes to school Monday through Thursday from 8-3. He works at a family alarm company after school everyday and all day Friday. We’re so thankful for a job that works with him on his weird schedule.
The first summer we were here I worked part time at a daycare. It was the first time I’d worked since having Gracia. After the summer we decided we didn’t want to continue taking Gracia there and were just going to have to trust God for enough money to pay for Cameron’s schooling and all. I was cleaning the office Cameron works at, but that was just 1 1/2 -2 hours a week.
Shortly after quitting at the daycare some of Cameron’s family asked me to babysit their 2 boys every afternoon 5 days a week. And I’ve been doing that ever since. It’s perfect, only part time, and I get to take Gracia with me. Plus she gets to have some playmates!
So now the rest of the story is waiting to happen. What we’re planning is for Cameron to finish his A & P in the Spring of 2012, and also to finish
his Commercial license. Then, hopefully, we will move on to mission training. We would love for Cameron to be able to be a missionary pilot in a foreign country flying missionaries in and out of tribal locations. However our biggest desire is to be in missions, whether or not that means aviation. So that’s our plan…we’ll see what God has in store!
All that to say…we’re trying to be frugal with our finances so we can afford all of Cameron’s training. And that’s what my blog is about, being frugal with a purpose. Being frugal is just the means to a bigger purpose.