This August I celebrate 20 years of marriage. In those 20 years, I became a mother of two children (Rachel (17) & Jacob (almost 16) and I spent three years as a youth minister's wife, four years as a pastor's wife, eight years as a missionary (did you notice I didn't say a missionaries wife)?! and I have spent the last four years in Raleigh, where I am currently a PhD student/Director of the Center for Great Commission Studies'/Associate Pastor of New Covenant Fellowship Church's wife as well as a mentor for college/seminary student's as well as seminary wives, and guest lecturer for the course Preparing for Missions for the Biblical Women's Institute Program. Had someone approached me even 25 years ago with this picture for my life I would have not believed them.
For you see, I was raised in a divorced home and my mom and step father did not come to Christ until I was in college. As a young child I was only brought to church periodically; mostly for Easter and Christmas services. My grandmother was a committed member of her Catholic church but when I attended the services they were still taught in Latin so I didn't understand anything that was being said or done.
However, when I was nine years old a neighbor began to take me to church, and I accepted Christ as my Savior during a Vacation Bible School service. My mom was happy for me and bought me a Bible but didn't not feel comfortable allowing me to follow through with baptism, and was not prepared to help me grow in my new faith. Unfortunately, shortly after my decision my family moved to another city and I spent the next six to seven years without a church or someone to disciple me as well as making several other moves that had me attending three different middle schools and three different high schools.
Throughout those years I had a sense of the sin in my life and carried a lot of guilt with me simply because I didn't have an understanding of living in obedience to God's Word. During this time I made some poor choices and tough lessons of life were learned. While I was in my early years of college my younger sister was saved and invited my mom and step dad to church where they both accepted Christ. At this point I had filled all of my time with college and work and didn't make church a priority. As I finished up my Associates Degree at a Junior College I began to think about what college I would transfer to in order to finish my Bachelors Degree. At the time my mom was a secretary at a church and growing as a new believer and she knew many people associated with the University of Mobile (a small Baptist College in Mobile, Al.). I decided to attend this college and it was there that God began to do a tremendous work in my heart and life.
For the first time in my life I was able to see with my eyes the transformation that is made when one accepts Christ as their Savior and allows Him to truly change their life. I took courses where I was able to study the scriptures and learn about the life of Christ for the first time. Before this time I had only known that I was a filthy sinner in need of a Savior. After this time, I was aware of my responsibility to deny myself daily and follow after Him.
I began attending church with my family and that is where I met my husband. I knew when I married him that our life together would be spent in ministry but never imagined all the things and places that commitment has taken us. You see, we both learned that following Christ is a daily surrender to what He wants for our lives and not necessarily one particular job that you spend years preparing for. It has been a joy to serve Him together and to see all the opportunities He has given us to lead others to that same sweet salvation we call our own.
Lesley is married to Scott, and they have two children, Rachel and Jacob. Scott Hildreth is is currently serving as the Director of the Center for Great Commission Studies at Southeastern and working on his PhD in Theology. Lesley teaches Preparing for Missions each Fall for the Biblical Women's Institute. In her spare time she loves spend time with people, read and be outdoors. Lesley has a strong heart for the nations and desires to see people come to Christ.