The Pastor concluded his sermon with a question:
“So, who’s ready to follow Jesus onto the mission field today?”
He was only half-serious. He knew his congregation well enough—a smallish group of young families and retired couples. These were good folks who loved Jesus, but to imagine any of them even receiving a call to the foreign mission field, much less answering it, could probably put a strain on even his faith. He was just trying to make a point.
And, his congregation responded just as he expected. They laughed and looked at each other, nodding their heads at one another as if to say, “Our pastor’s so funny!”
Then, at the rear of the sanctuary there was a sudden movement. A voice rang out: “Me! I’m ready to go!”
The congregation turned their heads. Her husband was standing in the aisle. She looked up at him in stunned silence, as both of his hands were raised high above his head. What is he doing? He was dead serious.
She felt herself sinking lower into the pew, as the entire congregation looked their way. There were a few Amens, and some good-hearted laughter. They might not be taking him seriously, but they did admire his zeal. The Pastor acknowledged his enthusiasm and issued an appropriately affirming statement, but then pressed on with the service.
She quickly forgot about her husband’s impetuous response to the Pastor’s appeal that day. Why, between his health issues and mine, we wouldn’t last a week on a foreign mission field!
It was the summer of 2002, and just the beginning.