Unpredictable God, Unlikely Missionaries

October 24, 2011 | 31 comments

Honestly, who in their wildest dreams can predict what God has up his holy sleeve?

God could have come to Earth as a corporate exec, carrying a Coach leather briefcase and wearing Armani. Instead, He chose to come as a baby, in need of diapers and someone to kiss skinned knees. 

Jesus could have convened a worldwide audience on CNN. Instead, he spent time with guys you’d find on bar stools, instead of pews or corporate board rooms. 

This is a God who turns drug addicts into preachers,
who turns a boy-shepherd with a sling into a war hero,
who turns a young woman into the Savior’s mother.

This is a God who transforms pew warmers into missionaries. You know this God, yes?

God is in the habit of taking regular people like you, like me, like Dan King — aka the The Bible Dude — and sending them out into the world to do his work.

And here’s our typical response:

“I’m not qualified for this.”
— Dan King,
author of The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew Warmer to Poverty-Fighter

This month, my friend Dan released an e-book about the way God took an “unqualified dude” from Florida and sent him out to do overseas mission work.

Last week, I read some of Dan’s remarkable story out loud to my husband as we sat on opposite ends of the couch. Dan wrote: “I tried to remember that this trip was about planting seeds and preparing the soil, not fixing everything.”

Dan was speaking my husband’s language. My favorite farmer prepares soil and plants seeds every spring on this fertile Iowa soil. On Friday, he wrapped up the 2011 harvest. God’s timing was perfect, giving my favorite farmer plenty of margin before he heads out the door to plant Gospel-seeds in his first mission trip ever. My favorite farmer is headed to Haiti in November!

How has God called you out of your predictable pattern into something unlikely? What crazy thing is God doing in your life? Any advice for my Haiti-bound husband and his home-bound wife? 🙂


To purchase Dan’s e-book, click here.

To read an excerpt of Dan’s book over at The High Calling, click here.

Below, you’ll find an inspiring video clip from Dan King. (Email subscribers, click here to view the  video.

 Also today, I’m sharing a few photos of a “Festival of Tables” event where a friend, Kathy, and I served as hostesses of a table on Saturday. The event was a fundraiser for Mission-Haiti, in the small village of Ti-Rivier.

Our chocolate-themed table:


Betty hosted a John Deere table. Cute! She filled the toy combine and wagons with candy corn:

Here’s the Mission-Haiti table. Serving rice and beans on tin plates and mugs. One plate was empty…  

by | October 24, 2011 | 31 comments


  1. Eileen

    God can do amazing things with a willing heart. We rarely feel qualified. But God gets his hands on us and does his thing! Love it.

    • dukeslee

      Amen, Eileen.

      On Sunday, our pastor used the illustration of an “excuse bag,” because when God calls us to certain tasks that seem beyond our skill-set, we often pull one-liners out of our excuse bag in an attempt to avoid what we’re really being called to do. You’re right: In God’s hands, it is possible. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      • Dan King

        Ooohhh… the ‘excuse bag’… that’s good!

  2. Chris

    Like Dan, I would claim to be the most unworthy, most unlikely to be called into ministry! I Timothy 1:12-16 are Paul’s words, but could just as well be mine.

    As for advice for Scott – I have none, other than it is going to be my great joy to sit back and watch the Spirit use him to be blessing!

    • dukeslee


      I am so thrilled that you and Scott will be entering into this journey together. What a cool thing to experience with a Jesus-brother. Scott is very pumped. And we are THRILLED that the corn is out of the fields. God was very gracious with his timing.

  3. Denise

    I have downloaded Dan’s book to my Kindle…will soon begin reading. I can’t wait.

    As for your favorite farmer man, I will be praying that he will feel the heartbeat of Haiti within his own. May God intertwine the two rhythms until they become one.

    Bondye bon!
    (God is good in Haitian Kreyol)

    • dukeslee

      Bondye bon!

      Thank you, Denise. You have such a heart for mission, so I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to much of what Dan King writes. Blessings to you …

    • Dan King

      I’d love to hear what you think about the book Denise!

      I had someone tell me before I left on the trip to Africa that I wrote about that they prayed that my heart would be ‘knit together’ with their’s. The result was this book…

      I’ll join you in that prayer for the farmer while he’s in Haiti!

  4. Megan Willome

    Oh, I love how you connected Dan’s story with Scott’s. I will pray for his trip and for you and the girls at home.

    And those tables are wonderful, especially the empty plate. That’s what it’s all about.

    • dukeslee

      Thanks Megan. I told Scott that if he ever came to a THC gathering, I’m guessing he and Dan King would make fast friends. So the connection seems natural. 🙂

      We really appreciate those prayers. Scott will need them, of course, but we will here at home, too.

      • Dan King

        I think Scott is already my ‘bestie’… I’ve been praying for him about his Haiti trip, and really feel like God will use it to break him… in the best possible way.

  5. Nancy

    How exciting, for your farmer and for you, to be a part of this. Love those tables! Guess which one was my favorite–mmmm…chocolate! Looking forward to hearing more about Haiti.

    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Nancy! We had great fun with our chocolate table. Even found a verse to put on the back side of our chocolate bars:

      ” … eat too much chocolate and you’ll make yourself sick … ” Proverbs 25: 16

      (Gotta love The Message.) 🙂

  6. Dawn @ Dawnings

    The Haiti table made me cry. The suffering around the world from poverty is excrutiating, yes?

    Send a journal with Scott. Although he may not be the writer you are, he will capture his thoughts that will help him remember and process it all when he’s home again and it all seems like it was a surreal dream.

    You girls at home? Get used to Skype and enjoy the modern age of technology that will keep you close while he’s gone.

    • dukeslee

      The Haiti table deeply touched us as well. That one empty plate …

      Thank you for your idea to send a journal with Scott. I don’t know if we would have thought of that honestly, which may seem strange as a writer.

      I would love to Skype, but apparently he won’t be afforded that type of computer access where he’ll be located, about a six-hour drive from the airport. I’ll have to blow kisses into the wind … 🙂

      Thanks, Dawn.

      • Dan King

        I loved the Haiti table too, by the way… I mean I really LOVED it!

  7. Krista

    It’s refreshing to know that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things, and that we don’t have to have it all together or have our plan in life plotted point to point before we go. I love how your “favorite farmer” can relate Dan’s story first hand.

    As far as your Hiait bound husband, I say, “Go! And let God reveal himself to you in ways you could never imagine. Go with great expectation, but not your expectation.”

    And for you, Miss Jennifer, as you stay home pray for him daily. You are just as much a part of this trip as he is. You can enable him in more ways than any other person here on earth. Pray for God’s heart to be revealed to him. I know it’s easy as a wife to have our agenda in our prayers before the Lord as to what we want God to do in our husbands. I recommend putting all that aside and simply pray God’s will, whatever it may be. As Dan always tells me, “put on your God goggles”. Pray he sees the world through a pair of God goggles, and that he grows intimately close to him during his time in Haiti. I hope he has a wonderful trip and comes home feeling refreshed and blessed as he pours out his time and love into a hurting nation and people.

    …so that’s my comment. I hope it’s not too much of a soapbox, I just have had lots of experience as the stay home wife/mom when Dan travels. I probably could ramble on for days.

    • Dan King

      Great message babe! Thank you for being such an amazingly supportive wife! I can’t wait until the time when we can go on some of these trips together… and with one or more of the kids.

  8. Heather Sunseri

    Hi, Jennifer. I’m thrilled that your husband gets to exerience Haiti. Such a beautiful country with extraordinary people. My advice? Drink plenty of water and plant seeds for beautiful relationships. This is definitely a place where baby steps have to count.

  9. Carolyn

    You are a better woman than I am, Jennifer. I didn’t write a review. I made Dan answer questions for my blog. He did all the heavy lifting by writing the book and my review. 🙂

  10. Carolyn

    Oops. I forgot to tell you that my series on my missionary trip to Uruguay in 1998 will kick off on Sunday. It will go on for as many Sundays as it takes. So be looking for “Desde el Monte…” (from the mountain)

    • Dan King

      I’m looking forward to this!

  11. Jennifer@Adam's Rib

    If we were qualified for His ministry, we’d be even more prone to take credit for the harvest when we can’t even run a hoe properly. So glad your husband is getting to go on mission!

  12. Ruthie

    I enjoyed this post and look forward to reading Dan’s book. I definitely fit the title of “not qualified” as a missi toonary. In fact, I never dreamt of becoming a missionary to Uganda. I rather enjoyed being close to home, to the comforts and security there, to my family and friends. However, God broke through my fears and “ideas” for my life, and now I can’t imagine my life apart from Uganda.
    How very exciting for your husband to be able to go to Haiti! It is likely this experience will change his life and give him a bigger vision of God’s love and what He is doing around the world. He will likely receive more than he will give.

    • Dan King

      I’d love to hear what you think about the book! I’d also love to hear more about your experience in Uganda… I was there for half of the trip that I talked about in the book! I’m also interested in hearing the stories of other ‘unlikely missionaries’ like myself…

  13. Ruthie

    Oops, spotted a typo. I meant to say, “I definitely fit the title of ‘not qualified’ as a missionary.”

  14. Sheila

    While he is away, one of my prayers will be that every one of those kisses you blow into the wind will reach him in Haiti.

    God bless you all.

  15. Rob Still

    Hi Jen,

    I downloaded Dan’s book and got an e-mail with your review. You have a beautiful website!

    I became an unlikely missionary myself.

    My advice for your favorite farmer is:
    1) Have a very flexible attitude
    2) Take a small camcorder and document his experiences.

    Rob Still

    • Dan King

      I’m looking forward to your review too Rob! Can’t wait to hear what you think, and I’d also love to hear more about how you are an ‘unlikely missionary’ too!

  16. Joan

    That was an extremely moving video from your friend, Dan! You are right…God sure is surprising! He chooses those most unlikely to serve and enables them to do great things for Him. We just need to be willing to be used by Him!

    Blessings to you and your favorite farmer!



  1. A Review by Jennifer Lee [of Getting Down with Jesus] : The Unlikely Missionary: - [...] Read the rest of Jennifer’s review at Getting Down with Jesus. [...]

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