By Stephen Gotobed
When I first bought my jeep, I was going through a rough time in my life. I was recovering from a drug and alcohol addiction. I was struggling with depression and anxiety to the point of being ready to give up on life. After the purchase of the Jeep, God had led me to a friend, Cristian (Moose) Peterson. He was starting a Christian off-road group called CORA KC. This is just what I needed in my life. I had spent many years running away from God, but he never left me, instead he continued to run towards me. I quickly made new friends through the group and reunited with a lot of my family through the passion of off-roading. I had now turned my life around and was using my Jeep as a tool to tell others of the good news of Jesus Christ.

My Jeep has taking me all over the United States. I have ventured through the mountains of Colorado, explored the hot desert and red rocks of Utah, saw Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, experienced the wildlife of Wyoming, joined Crawl for Christ in Oklahoma, camped and trekked through the National Forests of Arkansas. As I loved to travel and as I used my Jeep to spread the good news of Jesus, I soon realized that I was losing focus on what was important. I was turning my Jeep into an idol and spending all my free time and expendable income on the Jeep.

I had been thinking of doing a mission trip for a couple of years but with limited vacation time at work I had always put my off-road trips first. This past year I had a trip planned to Moab when God quickly closed the door on the opportunity. I took this as a sign and asked my sister if she would like to do a mission trip with me this year. It was time to step out of my comfort zone, put down the tools, step away from the Jeep, and put my focus back on God.

Our church had a trip to Peru, teaming up with Compassion International (an organization to raise children out of poverty through Jesus Christ). My sister and I decided to team up and go. I had no idea what to expect or what impact this would have on my life. As we arrived at the center the children and families were all standing outside with American and Peruvian flags, smiling and greeting us with giant hugs. As I spent time with the children down there I realized that they were full of joy, full of love, and were full of the Holy Spirit. These children had nothing. No electricity, no water, dirt floors, no beds, and yet they were happy and full of smiles. As I started this mission, I thought God was using me to teach these children about Jesus Christ, but my real mission was to love my neighbor. These children showed me the true meaning of unconditional love for one another.

As I returned home, I was convicted. I had so much that I took for granted and my Jeep was one of those items. I spent my entire life working for every last dollar I could get so I could afford the luxuries in life. I'm not saying its wrong to spend time and money on your hobbies, just don't let them become your primary focus in life. Sometimes you just need to step away! Put the tools down, cancel a trip, and devote some time to God.

(Editor Note: Stephen has decided to become a missionary and will be moving to Maseru, Lesotho in South Africa.)
You can support Stephen HERE

"I have been called to serve as the operations manager of Beautiful Gate Orphanage I am ultimately looking for prayer as I set out on my journey to move to Maseru, Lesotho. At the same time, I am a firm believer that God places it on peoples hearts to give and I don't want to hinder him from speaking in any way. If he has laid on your heart to give please do so obiediently as it will greatly help in my mission. I will use the funds to cover travel expenses, food, and housing (I am self funded for this work and my position is 100% voluntary) or more likely I will use them to help out with many and various needs at Beautiful Gate. I can assure you that your contribution/gift will be used wisely and will be reported openly on my page.

As many of you know I went to Peru earlier this year on a mission trip. When I returned from that trip I was broken and convicted. I took so much for granted in my daily life. I saw poverty first hand but what hit me the most was seeing the joy that God provided in the children and family who had little. My heart poured out for the people in Peru. The children were full of so much love for Jesus Christ and their hearts poured out in praise for Him. When I came home I was changed. I felt God calling me for something else. My friend told me of Beautiful Gate. At the time I had no intensions of moving across the world but I told him I would pray about it and if God calls me to go then I will faithfully follow.

Through out the process I have seen Gods hand at work through the entire experience. I won't say I didn't fight the decision or the path at times. But I know through numerous signs that this is Gods Will. I ask for prayers as it is scary giving up everything, travel across the world, and a chance to return home with nothing, but I have faith in my Savior Jesus Christ that my needs will be provided and taken care of. Thank you so much for listening to your hearts and to God the Father. I love you all"