My Missionary Calling

Paul Closius

For nearly all my life, I had known the Gospel, but had never been fully aware that it required my decision to follow Jesus. It was in January of my first lonely college year in the midst of an anything but righteous dormitory life that it became clear to me that Christ wanted me to be His by merely accepting the gift of His salvation.

It was the summer of 1966 that I attended and worked at a Navigator training program in Nebraska.

One evening we were invited to a session of a missionary conference being held by the North America Branch of Wycliffe Bible Translators. At the close, I pondered what the future would hold, and if Wycliffe might be the mission I could serve with.

One of the first Scripture verses I memorized after this time was 2 Corinthians 5:7, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” The truth of this verse was constantly applied to my character and activities.

During my junior year at Southern Colorado State College, our class went on several field trips to some of the larger electronics firms in the area. I envisioned myself working at these places, highly paid, but only benefitting the company. I began to see that this was not the kind of life I wanted, but a life of service to God in my vocation became more attractive. I wrote Wycliffe and JAARS. Well, to meet their requirements, I had to graduate from college, study for a year of Bible college, and submit to a technical evaluation.

I did not do well on the evaluation. They told me that I needed to work for two years and then write back. That was difficult for me to accept. I drove out to a lake about 15 miles away to be alone with the Lord. The light reflecting off my Bible attracted mosquitoes, so I read a little, then shut off the light; thought some more, read some more. During one of those thinking times, I walked into a small gully and sprained my ankle. The sections of scriptures I read told me that I should serve the Lord, but not as a beginner. I needed to follow the requirement. So, I had my guidance, and a physical reminder of that calling.