Friday, June 22, 2012


Once upon a Sunday, it was sometime leading up to Easter back in the 70's, a home missionary to the Choctaws here in Mississippi came and spoke at my church. I remember sitting in that big, stain-glassed sanctuary and weeping as I said "yes" to the Lord and His call to missions.

Elysa in elementary school resized and framed

I was only about 9 or 10 years old. Though I was a Christian, I was also a pretty typical Tomboy growing up in a small town. I got in trouble for talking too much in school, I laughed when the boys pretended their cheeks full of mashed potatoes were pimples being popped, and I fought with my brother when he touched my side of the back seat.

I don't remember going up after the service and talking to the missionary afterwards. I don't even remember her name. I just remember that as we sang a song that said "Here is my life, I want to give it serving my fellow man", I said "yes". That woman had no way of knowing the impact her presence and what she said and what God did through her would have on my life. Sure, I was exposed to lots of missionary stories growing up and was active in our church's missions education programs, but there was something about that day that was special. For some reason, God used that day to bring me, even as an elementary aged kid, to the point of seeing the great need for missionaries. He made it real for me that day. His spirit moved my spirit and my will became His will.

I really ought to try and find that missionary, and if she is still alive, tell her the impact that she had on my life. I'm sure she's made a difference in the lives of many over the years because she was willing to go and do for God. But I wish I could let her know that there was this chubby, freckle-faced, awkward Tomboy sitting near the front of the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs one Spring Sunday who was never the same again and because of that decisive moment, and many times of saying "yes" down the road, is now living the life of a missionary.

I'm trying to follow my Lord as He leads me to clothe the naked, set free the captives, feed the hungry, comfort the mourning, visit the sick, and tell them of God's great love for them and His plans to bring them into a saving relationship with Him both here in Jackson and far, far away --- in Israel, Thailand, Swaziland, and wherever He tells me to go.

This summer at We Will Go, we've been having a lot of elementary kids and teenagers coming to serve. They are there only for a sprinkling of hours. We try to cram a lot into those few hours. We share them why we do what we do and what God wants to do through them. We try to help them see that they can be a minister for His kingdom both now, where they live, and in the future, wherever God calls them.

Centri-Kids at We Will Go framed and resized

Some days we wonder if anything we said sunk in. Some days we get a lot of deer-in-the-headlights expressions. Other days we don't have enough time to answer all their questions and pray all the prayers they want to lift up to the Lord. But whether they plunge right in with zeal or hold back with timidity, who knows for sure what is going on in their spirits and in their minds.

I just remind myself about that little girl who heard His call and said "yes" long time ago and know that maybe one of the little ones He is sending our way to prayer walk, sort paper goods, pack food bags, and weed gardens, is going to say "yes" to Him, and passionately sell out for the call to go unto all the earth taking the good news of Jesus Christ.

What an honor to be a part of their journey.

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