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Longs Called to Serve Because They Were Served

By Marge Long     Hi! My name is Marge Long. Looking back on when and why we decided to become full-time missionaries has become very clear as I have prayed about writing this article. What we have decided to do is follow God and His leading. We never really decided to become missionaries, that was God’s decision. However, we have agreed with God that He is right!! Getting to this point, that’s another story.     Mark and I both grew up in very dysfunctional situations. Mark’s young life was surrounded by the fragrance of alcohol. His teen life revolved around drinking, sex and drugs.  He was an addict by his late teens.  He married and divorced twice within the next few years.      My childhood was surrounded by perversion. I was sexually abused at a very young age and became voluntarily sexually active when I was 13, and pregnant at 15.       I used alcohol and drugs to numb the pain locked inside of me and continued living a dysfunctional, promiscuous lifestyle. In my late teens I experienced another pregnancy and chose abortion as my way out.  I began to use cocaine on a regular basis and became an addict. In July 1992 I overdosed and, because of the love of my Savior shown through my mother, I ended up at a rehabilitation center. The lab reports baffled the doctors who said, “There is no human explanation as to why she woke up.” I began recovery after they detoxified by body, 

and God began to slowly woo me.

     In October of 1992 I walked into a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and saw a massive man sitting on the couch holding a stuffed polar bear. His name was Mark. We began to see each other despite the advice of the program director.  Three months later we were married.     Imagine with me for one minute...two recovering drug addicts who are not supposed to be in a relationship, now married and soon after pregnant!! We were miserable.     In June of 1993 we were losing our house due to bankruptcy. We were bankrupt in every possible way… spiritually, emotionally, financially. We decided to have a garage sale to raise the $700 we needed to move into a rental house. At this time our daughter was a baby, but we had to sell her baby things for money.      Our neighbor stopped by and asked me why I was selling the baby’s things. I verbally vomited over this poor woman and told her my entire life story including that we needed $700 to put a roof over our heads and that was really why we were selling the baby’s needed items. She said okay and left!!     Well, she came back five minutes later and handed me $700. That was the first time I ever saw Jesus, He was looking at me through this woman’s eyes, saying here I am, right here!! Mark and I were both blown away that someone who basically didn’t know us would extend a gift like that.     They took us to church with them the next day, came over for lunch after church and shared the plan of salvation with us. We both prayed to receive Christ that day.     That was really the beginning of our story. God has completely changed our lives, our hearts, our minds, everything about us over the past 15 years, and continues to change us. He has healed the wounds of the heart left from childhood.      Mark and I both knew that the Lord had rescued us for work in His kingdom. We are the ones to whom much has been given and God requires much of us. He has called us to join the incredible work that Christ For the City International is doing on the streets of San Jose, Cost Rica.www.cfci.orginfo@cfci.org  

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