The following article is written by Kanon Bloom, a current student of the Our Generation Training Center:
Hello, My name is Kanon Bloom and I would like to share with you an article I wrote telling a little bit about my story. It is the story of how I came from being a young man that wanted to do something for God, to a student at the training center finishing up my studies and preparing to take my six month internship to China. I am so thankful for the training center and how God has used it in my life.
God`s Direction In My Life
As I think back to three weeks ago and to my time in China, I am amazed to see where life has taken me. I would have never thought growing up that I would have just gotten back from visiting China, that I would be preparing to go back for an internship, and that after that plan to raise support to go back full time.
I grew up as the oldest of now twelve children in the small town of Gainesville, GA. Growing up life was very full and exciting. I, of course, had school and chores that kept me busy, but outside of that I had many opportunities to do fun and exciting things. Among other things, I remember the 5 on 5 roller hockey league that my family played. I remember winning $500 for a hole in one in golf. I remember going with my three brothers in a tube down a flooded river. I remember enjoying and learning many things, but when I got into my last years of high school I began to think a lot about what I wanted to do when “I grew up”.
I thought about many things. I thought about my childhood dream of being a golf course architect. I thought about starting my own landscaping business. I thought about doing an internet business. I had many ideas, but nothing seemed to be exactly right. I also wanted to serve God with my life, but had no idea of how. In addition to this, I had an open opportunity. My dad`s business was growing and I could learn how to manage his business and possibly work there my whole life making good money. At this point in my life I didn`t know where I was headed, but if I had to guess I would say that I was probably headed towards working in some business, getting involved in a small church, marrying some girl that just wanted a husband with a stable job, and living my whole life in Georgia. However, that was not the plan God had for me. Instead, he has me preparing to do a crazy, awesome, and exciting thing, to be a church planting missionary to China. So what happened? I can think back to three specific turning points in my life.
17 Years Old: I have just finished having a normal day of school. I am at the house expecting my dad to get home from work, for us to have dinner, and then just have a regular evening as a family. All of a sudden, my dad gets home early and asks me to go with him to visit a Baptist Missions Agency that is about a 15 min drive from our house. He knows that I want to serve God with my life and that I am interested in missions and thinks that it would be a good idea to visit this mission’s agency. We walk in and surprisingly a person on staff is still there. We go in, chat with him, and have a good conversation. My dad exchanges email addresses and tells him that my family can come help out with any maintenance work that they need done to the building or the property. It was a good visit, but I didn`t expect anything to come from it. To my surprise, a few weeks later my dad gets an email inviting my family to come help at a workday they were having. We went and helped at the workday along with a missionary family that was in on furlough. They were missionaries in Brazil. The missionary asks me that day, “When are you going to come and visit me in Brazil?” I told him that I would like to go, and sure enough within a couple months I have my plane tickets bought and am ready to leave for Brazil. I go for two weeks and just have a blast. Through the trip, I decided that missions is what I wanted to do with my life. I ended up going back the next year for eight months. However, think if my dad hadn`t of come home early that day. I probably wouldn`t have ended up going on a missions trip to Brazil. I may have never decided that I wanted to be involved in missions with my life. I may still be going nowhere and working a job in Gainesville, GA. It was a major turning point in my life.
20 Years Old: I am back from Brazil, working full-time at my dad`s business. I have fallen in love with missions and I want to do some type of missions work full time, but I have no idea how to take the next step. I have just been working the past year and I haven`t been able to get involved in any type of ministry and just feel like I am spinning my wheels and going nowhere. I know I need training, but I do not know where to get it. One weekend in early January my family has a get together with some friends. I see a friend there that I haven`t seen in a few months. I used to attend church with him, but because my church at the time was going through many problems, he and his family left and began attending Vision Baptist Church. That night he told me about his church. He told me about a mission’s school that was a ministry of his church. He told me that I ought to come by and check it out sometime. I was interested! A couple of weeks later, I get an email from missionary Jeff Bush from Vision Baptist Church. He tells me that my friend gave him my number and that he would like to get together for breakfast sometime. I have breakfast with him and he tells me about the school, The Our Generation Training Center. I decided to try it out and I began classes a couple of weeks later. I have been training there now for over a year and a half. It has helped me so much. When I started, I was confused in many areas and had no idea on how to do ministry, but the Training Center has helped me so much. I have been learning so much and am still learning every day. Getting involved in the Training Center and Vision Baptist Church was one of the best things that happened in my life. Through classes and the mentorship of Pastor Austin Gardner and the staff, I have grown so much and feel that if I ever accomplish anything on the mission field it will be owed to all that they have invested in me.
22 Years Old: It is the Saturday before Easter. I am having a blast hanging out with friends playing volleyball and enjoying a great time. Unknown to me, in China where it is already Sunday morning the police are raiding the churches started by missionary Jake Taube. This leads to Jake and a co-laborer John Walz being deported from the country. I find out about it the next morning at church. Throughout the next weeks, I get to hear all the stories of what happened. Much prayer is made for them and the story is constantly brought up at church services and events. Throughout all of this the question is posed, “They were made to leave, so who will go and take their place?” I began thinking about this and decided that I would like to go and take their place. That summer another missionary to China, Mark Tolson, was in for a short furlough. I got to know him better and decided to take a trip to visit him with my pastor in November. I just got back from this trip and had a great time! God used the missionaries being kicked out of China to lead me to choose China as the country where I want to spend my life as a missionary.
That is the story of how God led me from just a regular teenager that wanted to serve God to where I am at today. It is amazing how he did it. He has been working in some awesome ways. I know he has something special he wants me to do with my life. I say all this to say that he has a big plan for you too. If you serve him and seek his face every day, He will direct your paths. He can do big things in your life, not because you are anything, but because he is such a big God. My story is just a testimony of how God can work in a person`s life and direct them in an amazing way. I look forward to seeing what more he will do in my life and I hope you will look forward to what he will do in yours. Remember: Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: But the LORD directeth his steps.