Russell Porterfield grew up in the church but it wasn’t until recently he took a leap of faith and stepped out of his comfort zone in the name of Christ.
For the first time in his life, he traveled outside the U.S. during spring break to do missionary work in Guatemala with Grace Bible Church in Killeen, said the Copperas Cove high school associate principal.
Growing up, religion was a set of rules he negotiated but recently “God did some work on me and I decided to go.” It was an opportunity to serve him in a whole new way and now there’s a deeper love and passion for the creator, he said.
They built houses, stoves and outhouses in San Juan Sacatepequez, but the point of the mission was a change to share the gospel with people and build relationships with local families and members of the church.
“Before I’d wait for people to ask about Christ but now I’m more vocal and I tell people about him instead of waiting to be asked,” he said. “I’m bolder now and I have more joy as a person.”
Born and raised in Central Texas, Porterfield met his wife in eighth grade and they have two sons, ages 9 and 7. She too has seen the change in him, he said.
“I used to take pride in what I did but now all I do is for Christ. God gave me these skills,” he said.
“It’s nothing to boast about except for him and what he’s done. (I’m the pot and God’s the potter, and what I’m able to do as a post is God’s creation).”
The Bible says every tongue, every tribe, every nation will praise God and being part of this missionary was a way of doing God’s work, Porterfield said. “The only reason I wanted to share this experience is because of Christ. This trip was a blessing in many ways and we partnered and shared the gospel with others and that is what’s important, not me.”