Saturday, April 25, 2015

Traveling On...

This morning's post is brought to you by the itinerant evangelist/gospel magician John.

The past few weeks have been busy from the ministerial standpoint. The weekend after Easter I was in Northwestern Missouri in the small community of Breckenridge. If you missed the relevant post, you can read it here.

The following weekend I filled in for a pastor at a church not far from home and this week finds me in the middle of South Dakota.

Wednesday I made the all day drive to be in Huron SD for their evening kids program. I am really encouraged by the work that Pastor Chet and his staff are doing there. The church has grown from being ready to close their doors when Pastor Chet arrived about 30 months ago to having around 50 kids on Wednesday nights and enough adult volunteers to work with them. Most of the kids that come for dinner and bible lessons come from families that do not attend church. The folks at Huron Baptist have made the kids of the community a priority and hold regular community events to draw the parents of the kids, as well. We had three kids make professions of faith in Jesus the night I was there.

After the program, a woman came to the front to tell me that her granddaughter accepted Jesus as Savior but didn't want to tell the pastor. She wanted to go home and tell her mom first! I assume that the mom was this woman's daughter. The daughter had been saved and baptized less than a year ago. I could tell that this woman's joy was more than she was letting on; that there was a lot of emotion that she was holding back. About that time, an older gentleman came up to thank me for coming. The woman told him about her granddaughter's decision. He smiled really big and said how happy he was for her and then did the one thing that the woman really needed (and I couldn't do for her) and he hugged her! That was when the emotion leaked from her eyes and tears of joy spilled down her cheeks.

Afterwards, I was thinking to myself about the day. I was up at 4:30 in the morning and on the road by 5. I had driven almost 700 miles to arrive (11 hours later) in time to take a walk, change and get to the church for the event. It was a long day...

...But I would do it again tomorrow if given the chance.
If God said to me, "John, I need you to get up early and drive all day to meet with people that you've never met. At the end of the day, all I can promise you is that you will get to see a grandmother weep for joy over her granddaughter's salvation. Will you go?"

What would you say?
What if He said you'll have to do that several times before you get to see that moment?
What if there were going to be many days and many long drives and no results before the one day when you get to see that grandmother weep those tears of joy?
Would it be worth it?

Trust me. It is worth it!

There were two other kids on that night and three more teens the following night in Blunt SD. It has been a long week and it is not yet over. Service tonight and tomorrow morning and then the long drive home tomorrow afternoon. I'm a little farther from home than the initial drive to Huron so it will be a 12-13 hour drive home. Even if there are no more professions of faith this weekend, the six that I've witnessed and the love of a grandmother will be enough to see me home and motivate me for the next journey.

Tell the story!
God loves you.
Jesus died for you.

John <><

1 comment:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

You're having a very active retirement, John!. God bless you! Have safe traveling,