“Do we want to know Who God is and what He wants us to do?” Evangelist Adrian Burden (’06, M.A. ’08) asked students during a Friday chapel in late September. He walked back and forth across the stage then paused behind the lectern.
“As I draw closer, He shows Himself more,” Adrian explained then shared some of the ways God had shown Himself since 2008, when Adrian first started out in full-time ministry.
After graduating from college and beginning ministry as a full-time evangelist, Adrian found himself with little money to his name on multiple occasions. Yet, whether through meals and gas money or through a trailer and a truck to pull it with, God faithfully provided as the Burdens traveled thousands of miles to serve at churches and camps across the United States.
Although his main focus at first was speaking to teens, Adrian would drive hundreds of miles to share the gospel, no matter if it was at a children’s church service or a church-wide revival. Through all the traveling and tight scheduling, God made Himself known as Jehovah-Jireh for Adrian and his family, and they saw hundreds of people trust Christ as Savior during those beginning years.
“God showed Himself, which meant I loved Him more, which meant I wanted to keep his commandments more,” Adrian said. “What steps are you taking to have God show Himself to you?”
One of these life-changing steps for Adrian began six years ago when he and his wife Tabitha (’03, M.A. ’05) were once again challenged to obey in faith and watch God provide.
“I was on the mission field literally just to visit, mixing concrete, helping building,” Adrian recalled. While he was busy working, a national pastor asked if Adrian could preach. “He had me preach that one night. Before I left, he asked me to come back and preach for a week at his church. That’s where overseas ministry began to get ignited in my heart.”
That passion for overseas ministry kept growing, and the Burdens soon knew that God wanted them to serve overseas on a more regular basis. So they went back—again and again. Each time the Burdens left Central America, they made plans to return.
At first, Adrian used a translator as he preached. But he and Tabitha knew that in order to minister more effectively to the people there, they would need to learn Spanish. “To have longer-term ministry, [we needed to] learn the language and learn it well,” Adrian said.
So they took a step of faith: almost three years ago, Adrian and Tabitha, along with their two daughters, Jasmine and Janae, took six months off traveling to churches to attend language school in Texas. For an evangelist, not preaching meant not having a regular income, but once again, God provided and took care of the Burdens’ needs.
Following language school, the Burdens began adjusting to what is now their normal routine: a year divided into fourths. From January to March, they serve in Central America, mostly in Honduras. In the summer, Adrian preaches at youth camps. In the spring and fall, they travel to churches for revivals, conferences, and special emphasis days.
Though the Burdens do not consider themselves fluent in Spanish yet, they are still actively working toward this goal. “If I learn the language, I can be way more effective,” Adrian explained. Unlike their last trip in Honduras, which was spent ministering in multiple churches, the Burdens plan to serve at one main church next year so Adrian can get experience preaching without a translator in a Sunday school class.
“My goal is to be a truly bilingual evangelist,” Adrian said. Other goals include continually sharing the gospel, being a voice for missionaries on the field, and encouraging believers.
The Burdens are thankful for the many ways in which they have seen God working lately. “Recently, the meetings have been an encouragement to pastors,” Tabitha said, thinking about specific ways they have seen God’s hand on their ministry. “That’s been really neat to see.”
“I love seeing people saved,” Adrian added. “Last week, [we saw] kids, adults, teens—all spectrums getting saved.” And even if he isn’t the one who gets to lead a person to this decision, he is happy to have just one small part in the process.
While visiting PCC, Adrian encouraged students to both know and share the gospel with others as well as to know and follow God’s commandments. “God entrusts me with more if I walk out of these doors and keep His commandments,” he explained, challenging students to do the same. “Let God show Himself.”