It all started in the church nursery. I was scheduled to work in the infant room with Mindy Bush, a busy mom I had not had the pleasure of meeting. In addition to cuddling adorable babies and changing a lot of diapers, we had the chance to get to know one another. Today I have the opportunity to give you a glimpse into the servant's heart of my new friend, Mindy Bush!
Maria: Welcome to Life Lessons, Mindy! Tell us a bit about yourself:
Mindy: I was born on a pig farm in Indiana. I happened to be born with a “built-in best friend," my twin sister, Jacky. As little girls we talked about being missionaries one day, and pretty much did everything in life together even having a double wedding and having our first babies within two weeks of each other!
I met my husband, Jeff, at college, and we were married two weeks after graduating. We began deputation pretty much on our honeymoon, and 18 months later we arrived in Peru for language school with our first daughter, Lydia, who was six weeks old at the time. Our two years of language and ministry training with Bro. Austin Gardner (who is now our pastor at Vision Baptist Church) laid the foundation for our future ministry in Argentina. In Peru, God blessed us with our second daughter, Adriana.
Maria: Sounds a little like the stuff stories are made of! Love the part about you and your sister's double wedding! And having your first babies only two weeks apart...I know you and your husband served as missionaries in Argentina, South America for several years. Describe your ministry there:
Mindy: Wow! It’s hard to fit eight years into a short paragraph but I will try. We arrived in Argentina in January 2004, and lived in a hotel for three weeks while we looked for a house. It was our desire to start a ministry from zero and not be close to other missionaries so as not to hinder their ministries. It was a little formidable to figure out how to do everything, but jumping right into the culture and just asking the people, helped us to learn more about them!
We found a house and then started looking for a building to rent for the church. The first church was started two months after we arrived. It felt like our ministry was on “high speed” the entire eight years we were there. There were always things going on and we kept very busy: Jeff, training leaders and me, being wife and mom to three little ones (I found out I was expecting two months after arriving to Argentina, so we had our third daughter, Johanna, before our oldest turned three years old, so you can understand my “busyness”).
My ministry was mainly to my family, but I was also involved in discipling and teaching ladies, teaching piano, and English classes! Our ministry focus was on training leaders and starting churches. Today there are four churches going strong for the Lord with leaders who studied in our Bible institute, which is in it’s seventh year and currently has 32 students! We are excited that the ministry continues even without us there and love hearing from the pastors about how people are being saved and the churches are growing! That’s what it’s all about – seeing souls come to the Savior and seeing those people win others to Him!
Maria: I can see how those eight years flew by! It sounds like you made quite an impact in a short amount of time too. Tell us about your transition back to the states and what your ministry looks like today:
Mindy: When we left Argentina for our furlough last year, we didn't know we would not be returning. We love Argentina and were planning on dying there! But God started working in my husband’s heart when he went back to Argentina on a visit during our furlough. He was both saddened but happy to find that all the churches were doing exceptionally well….without him. It made him wonder if going back would just hinder the work.
As he prayed about the next step that God would have us to take, he started asking counsel from many Godly preachers. When Bro. Gardner presented the need for a Director for Vision Baptist Missions (VBM), Jeff knew right away that this was where God was leading us.
My husband has always had a burden to see more missionaries around the world and train young people to be missionaries so this is where we are today. We have only been in this position for about four months or so, but it is exciting to see how God is calling out people for His service! We feel very privileged to help these young missionary families as they prepare for the field, and we are praying for more young people to give their lives to God on the mission field.
Maria: It's wonderful to hear how God guided and directed you! Describe a typical day in the Bush household:
Mindy: With five kids and a rather busy schedule, I’m not sure what a “typical” day looks like yet. When we are not on the road, visiting churches and presenting the VBM ministry, I love just staying home with my kids! I homeschool so our mornings are pretty much taken up with that. We are involved in the ministries of Vision Baptist Church so when there is an activity going on there, that is where you will find us!
Maria: I can understand how homeschooling five kids would keep you VERY busy! Have your kids adjusted to American cuisine? What are their favorite foods?
Mindy: Well, not being able to get a lot of processed foods in Argentina, my girls naturally didn't develop a taste for that kind of “cuisine” so we are still working on getting them to like Macaroni & Cheese, Pizza Rolls, and processed American cheese,etc. Give them a ham and Swiss croissant, an empanada (meat pie) and fresh fruit and they act like it’s Christmas! They ask me to make Argentine food at least once a week. They will eat anything because they have a strict mama, but if you ask them their favorite foods, they will still say, “Milanesa de Pollo” which is Argentine. J
Maria: All this talk of food is making me hungry! What is the funniest thing that happened on the mission field?
Mindy: Well, we have made many cultural and language mistakes but probably the funniest one was when I was having really bad morning sickness, and my husband had to get the girls ready for school. Well, Adriana was in K4 and had to wear a smock over her clothes. Jeff just thought she wore the smock so he sent her off to school wearing only the smock. When she came back that afternoon, the teacher had sent a note home telling us she had to wear clothes under the smock.
Maria: That's hilarious - I'm sure you must have been mortified! On a more serious note, what is the most important lesson God taught you when you were in Argentina?
Mindy: That He is enough! I missed my family; I missed American traditions; I missed American food; but I could deal with all those issues as long as He was with me! I had to learn that I couldn't lean on my husband’s walk with God. I had to personally have my own daily spiritual walk with Him or I would be headed fast down the road of depression and “pity parties."
Another important lesson that He taught me was that when you are in His will and something doesn't go as we would have thought, that He is in control! Every time our plans went “off script” so to speak, the trials only led us in a closer relationship with God.
The night a gun was held to my head and we faced the real threat of being shot to death in our own home, we honestly could not explain the peace in our hearts! Even our youngest daughter, Alexa, who was about 14 months old at the time, sat quietly still during the whole experience. I don’t believe that God speaks in an audible voice, but I heard Him speak to me in my heart, telling me that it was all going to be okay and that He had allowed it to happen! That is what kept me from panicking as the men ransacked our house, threatened to kill us and then threatened to come back for our youngest baby and kidnap her if we called the police. God’s grace was enough in that moment of difficulty!
Maria: What a terrifying experience! God certainly is the only One who can give us that peace that passes understanding.What goals do you have for the future?
Mindy: My goals for the future are my present goals really – to be the best helpmeet I can to my husband, to see all of our children accept the Lord as Savior and serve Him with their lives!
Maria: Beautiful! What words of wisdom would you like to share with our readers?
Mindy: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths,” (Proverbs 3:5-6; KJV). If God calls you to full-time service – Trust Him! If your life is suddenly “off script” – Trust Him!
At the end of my life, I’m sure I will wish that I would have just trusted Him more! Worry and fear are emotions from the devil. When we worry, we are not trusting. Faith cancels out all Fear, but Fear cancels out all Faith!
Maria: Thanks for those encouraging words Mindy! I appreciate your willingness to share what the Lord is doing in your life - God bless!
Stay up-to-date with Mindy and her husband Jeff's work at Vision Baptist Missions: