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Josh & Esme Haver | Faithful Youth Pastor Becomes Missionary

Josh Haver was a youth pastor in Austin, Texas and God spoke to him about becoming a missionary. He moved to Mexico and now he is married to Esme. Together they help run a Bible school and do soul winning invasions across Mexico.

Website: https://www.vcharvesters.org/

Check out The Evangelism Podcast with Evangelism Coach Daniel King.


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Josh Haver was a youth pastor in Austin, Texas, and God spoke to him about becoming a missionary. He moved to Mexico and now he is married to Esme. Together, they help run a Bible school and do soul winning invasions across Mexico.

Evangelism Podcast Host (00:16):
Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host, missionary and evangelist Daniel King. Welcome to the evangelism podcast.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:54):
I’m Daniel King. And today I have some special guests, Josh and Esmerelda Haver our missionaries in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, right across the border from Laredo, Texas, and they are with Victorious Christian Harvesters, the ministry of David and Donna Blanchard. Thank you so much for being with me today.

Josh Haver (01:19):
Thank you, Daniel. It’s a honor, a pleasure for us to be here with you and getting to know you a little bit and, and we just know that God is good.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:27):
Amen. I really want to hear some about your journey about how you became a missionary, because I remember that you used to be one of the youth leaders at victory Christian Church in Austin, Texas under Lee and Sue boss there. And now you’ve made your way to the mission field. How did that happen?

Josh Haver (01:49):
It really started in prayer. I just remember one time I was in prayer and I was in prayer for the youth group going back farther, even than that, I had always enjoyed missions. And so when pastor Lee boss in probably 2002, 2003 sat down with me and, and mentioned that he felt that it was time for me to come and be a part of the staff at the church there, his youth pastor. He also knew that one of my passions was missions. And so part of the deal was, yes, I’ll be a youth pastor, but I get to take the church on mission trips at least once a year. And so one of the very first mission trips I ever took, actually, the first I took as the youth pastor was in November of 2003. And we went down to the Bible school and, and just served in Nuevo Laredo, doing evangelism and the plazas there, painting P whole lot of painting, painting churches, painting benches, painting stairs.

Josh Haver (02:46):
And and that was my first, actually the first time that I was down in Nueva Laredo, fast forwarding a few years I was in prayer one evening just covering the youth in prayer as a youth pastor. There’s a whole lot of prayer that needs to take place. And in the middle of prayer, I just felt the holy spirit. I literally just felt him. It was so strong. It wasn’t an audible voice, but it’s so strong inside of me that I say the Lord spoke to me. And he said, it is time for you now to go and missions and I will supply all of your needs. And so as a, as a good, good pastor and a good believer, I was like, yeah, whatever, you know, I’m a youth pastor high have a focus here. And so I tried to ignore that and it probably went through about six months of just in worship and in prayer every time I was, you know, trying to seek the Lord, that just came back to me.

Josh Haver (03:34):
And so finally I just said, okay, Lord, here’s the deal. I will go and tell my pastor that this is what I feel. And when he tells me no, because I’m so involved in so many different things, he’s going to tell me no. So when he tells me no, then I will say, Lord, I’m sorry. I have to be my pastor. And so I went in, I remember I spoke with pastor Lee and I said, you know, pastor, this is, which is what I feeling. But I would really like you and pastor Sue to pray about it. And he was just like, wow, well, we’ll pray about that. And we’ll, we’ll get back with you. And, and then about two days later, he called me into his office. He said, yeah, John, yep. Josh, you’re going to the missions field. Where are you going?

Josh Haver (04:12):
And my response honestly, was pastor, I thought you were going to say no. So I haven’t even thought about where I’m going. He said, well, what about David down in Nuevo Laredo? You know them, okay. He said, let me give him a call. And, and, and that was probably around March of 2007 and April, 2007. I drove down with a couple of people to go to the graduation of the Bible school to try to feel it out a little bit. And then in may I moved down to Nueva Laredo. I moved down there for, for a couple of years and 15 years later with, for those couple of years, they’re just keeping on rolling. And so when I was down there then is when I began to work with the youth and the Colonia, the neighborhood that we were in, my wife Esmerelda at the time, wasn’t my wife, but she had found that a mission for the youth there. And so since I was just trying to learn Spanish and she spoke a little bit of English, we started working together and, and lo and behold, God opened up my eyes. And I saw that she was the one that he had prepared for me. And then just little by little, just trying to serve where, where God opened up the doors and, you know, and he’s opened up the doors

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:23):
And now you have three beautiful children. And it’s so important that to know that God doesn’t just call individuals, he calls families. Right. And so you are ministering alongside your husband and also raising the children. Talk to me about your romance and how God has put you together and how you work together in ministry. And so now you are directing the Bible school with a victorious Christian harvesters, and you have students that come from across Mexico to be trained. Tell me about the Bible school and what you are trying to impart into the students.

Josh Haver (08:08):
It’s okay. If I can go back to one thing that she said real quick, and then, and then I’ll jump right into the Bible school. I believe it’s so important, you know, God, God calls people, but yet when he looks at a couple, he says that’s one flesh. And so one of the things this summer we’ve had the opportunity to travel quite a bit and minister together. And one of the things I’ve realized is in ministry and in, in, in the service of the Lord, when you put yourself along somebody, the grace that they carry overflows onto you. And so working as a couple, it’s one of the things that I’ve realized, you know, my wife has an amazing grace to flow in the prophetic, and yet as I’m ministering alongside of her, that grace of the prophetic begins to flow through me as well.

Josh Haver (08:58):
And then vice versa, you know, the pastoral or the teacher, you know, annointing that, that I believe God’s placed on my life as she’s administering alongside of me. She begins to operate in a little bit of that grace as well. And so it’s, it’s, it’s so important as a, as a husband and wife, especially, but then as the family, cause the children participate to understand the graces that each one have and allow them to flow in that grace, that grace, but then being willing to receive from that grace as well and say, okay, Lord, I can honor, and I can respect the grace that you’ve put in her life, but I also want to flow in that as well because I’m ministering alongside of her. So that’s just been a blessing to work with, as you mentioned we are now the directors of a Bible school that was founded 20 years ago.

Josh Haver (09:45):
Actually, this September was the very first, the doors were opened on September 11th, 2001. David and Donna Blanchard and, and through Victorious Christian Harvesters, they planted the Institute international. They call such a daughter’s international harvesters Institute. And it, it was founded from a vision that God gave David of, of raising up leaders and ministers to destroy the works of the devil. Jesus said, I’m here to destroy the works of the devil. So therefore we are here to destroy the works of the devil. And so we have ministers, future ministers from all over Mexico that come to receive training. And, and, and what we believe is it’s not enough to receive head knowledge. We want you to take that head knowledge and put it into practice because then it becomes real knowledge and wisdom and understanding. And so our students now like come and they have classes throughout the day, but then they have practice in the afternoons and the evenings this last year, the Lord has opened up the ability for us to, well, because they closed all the other doors through the co the Corona virus pandemic.

Josh Haver (10:52):
We know that God doesn’t close doors. And then, and then leave you shut in. He opens doors. So the doors were opened up in our community to go door to door, like never before. And so our students started participating with several of our staff members, going door to door, knocking on the doors, evangelizing and witnessing, but then saying, would you like us to come and start at a Seipel ship in your house with your family? Would you like us to come and start church with you? And so our students were a part of evangelizing, but then discipling and raising up churches within the community. And that started last September when October opened up and, and with there began to be a few less restrictions. We were able to code to those same people and say, Hey, now come be a part of a larger community.

Josh Haver (11:37):
What we’ve seen God do this last year over 80 homes have opened up in the community around us, where our students are participating with the staff. They’re going to class in the morning, but in the afternoon, they’re putting into practice. We have children’s missions where we send children’s ministry to the homes. We have discipleship families where the cycle, where the church they’re having church in the homes. And so the heartbeat of what we’re seeing now is, is that our students will raise, be raised up with a mindset. We have to win the lost, but not just have to win the loss, but now we have to take care of the lost. And so this summer, as I was traveling and ministering with, with pastors and leaders in several different regions of Mexico, one of my encouragements to them was as a pastor, look for the gifts that God has placed in the people in your congregation.

Josh Haver (12:29):
And if you say that person is called to be a pastor, send them to us because we want to raise them up to be a pastor that has a passion for winning the lost, but also has a passion for caring and edifying and equipping the believers so that they can now go and win the lost. And so in our Bible school, it’s we’re online. We’re in zoom where we have students that come and take classes with us. But really, I would say that the nucleus, the nucleus of, of, of our students are the ones that are the interns that live there. And they have a schedule from five 30 in the morning, till 10 30 or 11 o’clock at night, but it’s a schedule of learning and being trained, putting it into practice. We have pastors in the dorms that then help them walk through the situations that rise up. And so it’s a, it’s an interesting, it’s a, it’s a humbling ministry, but it’s great as well because you’re seeing people being trained to be who God called them to be.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:28):
I’m so impressed with your story of how you went from being a youth pastor to being a successful missionary. What advice would you give to someone who thinks maybe they’re called to missions, but don’t quite know what to do or how to make that come to pass?

Josh Haver (13:46):
What advice would you give him? The biggest thing I would say is get on your face and just listen. One of the things that probably has carried me the most is when I go back to, when I first heard the holy spirit speak, he said, Josh, it is time for you to go into missions and I will supply your needs. And so, you know, the, I started out, I’d joke around. I said, my, my support base has grown kingdom style since I started. And I started with this amount of supporters, and now I have this amount of supporters, but also in that time, I’ve gotten married and had three children, but God said I will supply all your needs. So honestly, that, that has never been a worry, there’s been times where I’ve questioned, but I always go back to that. I said, but God, you said, so you know what? I’m not going to worry about it. So I would have to say that the key is make sure that you know, that the holy spirit said do this and then trust him because if he said it, then he will do it. So on your face before God not looking for your looking for his ideas.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:54):
Amen. Well, let’s finish by praying for Mexico to be saved Esmerelda would you lead us in a prayer for the people of Mexico to come to Jesus?

Esme Haver (15:09):
Praying in Spanish

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:32):
Oh, man. Well, thank you so much for being on the evangelism Podcast…

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:41):
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Evangelism Podcast Host (17:44):
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