Recently, I have heard some thrilling and encouraging testimonies. One of those was shared by North Carolina pastor when I contacted him about participation in the My Hope with Billy Graham 2014 Continuation Project.
A TERRIFIC TESTIMONY…
Pastor Tim told me about his new “church start” in a 250 seat building - vacated by another denomination - and located right in the middle of hundreds of homes. He has been in the “paid in full” building for three weeks, already seeing Sunday morning attendance grow from thirty to seventy. He is growing the church by “reaching people & teaching people”. So, the new pastor is thrilled to receive all the FREE resource materials and DVDs from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to jump start his new ministry.
Then, Pastor Tim told me “…the rest of the story…” asking, “Are you the same Jim Wilson who preached in Lexington, North Carolina, at Coggins Memorial Baptist Church about thirty years ago?”
I replied, “Yes, I preached two evangelistic crusades there many years ago”.
Excitedly, Pastor Tim, said, “Wow, Jim, I was one of seven young men in college who responded to your public ‘invitation” to totally commit our lives to Jesus Christ. The seven of us all surrendered to the work of the ministry during your meeting THIRTY YEARS AGO. Pastor Bunce discipled all of us and I have been in pastoral ministry ever since. I am here today because you were faithful to proclaim the Gospel those many years ago”.
What an encouragement to my heart! Pastor Tim told me that he had been responsible for starting several thriving churches during these thirty years. Then, he asked if I would come on a Sunday to preach in his new pulpit. Of course, my response was positive!
AVAILABILITY & DEPENDABILITY…
My dad used to exhort, ”Son, the two greatest abilities are Availability and Dependability”. The above story reminded me of why we do what we do. Of course, there is no sense in which I could claim any merit for myself… I did not even know for 30 years that SEVEN young men had been called to the ministry. That calling and their response was all about The Spirit of God!
However, it continues to challenge me to be Available and Dependable. That is what JWEA has been and continues to be about. It is just such an encouragement to have a reminder like this one to keep me going. Thanks, dear partner and friend, for your consistent prayers and faithful financial support. In a literal way, it keeps us going with the message of The Gospel.