By Rachel Leigh
Live Action News
The last thing on Mitchell Tillman’s mind 15 years ago was the idea of becoming a missionary to Mongolia. Although he was raised in a Christian home in Birmingham, Ala., Tillman rebelled against his roots and moved out at the age of 17.
After the death of his first wife, and a following marriage that ended in divorce, Tillman spiraled into a lifestyle of drinking and crack cocaine addiction.
“I was a car painter living in the body shop,” Tillman said. “I was making $1,000 a week and spending all that on drugs. When some friends of mine overdosed, I started thinking about where you go when you die.”
After being caught and arrested for drug use, Tillman cried out to God from a cell in the Birmingham City Jail, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous open letter to Southern church leaders on April 16, 1963.
“I got thinking about what I had done, and called on a God I didn’t even believe in, and asked Him to forgive me,” Tillman said. “God got me out of the trouble I was in.”
Tillman was sentenced as a first-time offender to a rehabilitation program where he got clean from drugs. Shortly after his initial conversion, Tillman’s life would abruptly change when he answered the call to go into missions.
“When I got saved, I fell in love with the Lord and wanted to do something for him,” Tillman said. “For about two or three months I was looking for a church in Alabama, but I just couldn’t get involved there. I told my dad I wanted to be a missionary. I visited Mongolia and I fell in love.”
Tillman and his father decided to begin a ministry in the vast, unconquerable Gobi Desert.