Six months after his parents moved from California to Uruguay as missionaries in 1990, Steven Kunkel stopped speaking. His parents first thought their 1-year-old had culture shock, but he did not speak for nearly three years. Doctors said Steven was severely autistic, would never be able to live on his own, learn to speak or make any friends. They recommended that the Kunkels leave the mission field and put Steve in a school for autistic children. But the Kunkels knew God had other plans.
“My parents decided to trust the Lord and take me back to the mission field, knowing that their children belong to God,” said Steve, now a 26-year-old student at Boyce College, the undergraduate school at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. “The Lord began working in me and I started speaking at the age of 5” At age 15, Steve sensed a call from the Lord to be a missionary to Japan.
He went to work with a Japanese church in Paraguay for 7 years. Now he speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese fluently and is learning more than a dozen other languages.”My autism is one of the greatest gifts the Lord has given me. The Lord healed me, but not 100 percent, because He wants me to rely on Him,” Steve said.
Source: Baptist Press
Bible Study: 1 Samuel 1:10-20
PRAISE God that He does the impossible for those who trust Him. Pray for Steve’s life as a missionary.