Pastor's wife: 'The Lord is leading and we are following'


We were on our knees in the aisle and surrounded.  I could hear some whisper, “Jesus,” and “Yes,” as they prayed.  These were our people, our church family, and they were sending us out.  What a wonderful thing to be supported by our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Tears flowed down my face. 

In Acts 13, Luke, told of the very first missionary journey.  The Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them,” and they did. 

The journey would take them all over the known world, with many exciting and terrifying experiences.  They had no clue what was ahead, but that day, they had the warm prayers of the church at Antioch breathed on them.

Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 28:20 to go and make disciples of all nations.  In Acts 1:8, He said, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” He was serious.  Following His leading can take you all over the world, all over town, or all over your holler if you live in the mountains.  We don’t really want to keep the good news of Jesus to ourselves, do we? 

In the 1990’s our pastor led our church on our very first mission trip to the foreign land of Lorain, Ohio.  A caravan worthy of a football state tournament headed up north to hold Vacation Bible School and do construction work.  It was life changing.  We made trips to Lorain four summers in a row.  That lit a fire for missions and serving that still burns brightly.  Many of the men, women, and youth who served there went on to become preachers, teachers, and missionaries. 

It was on that first trip that my beloved felt the Lord calling him into ministry.  Now he is the pastor with a heart for missions leading others to follow God’s call.  Now he is the one encouraging us to serve God near and far.  Hearing his strong and loving voice explain the importance of missions melts my heart. 

Over the years, he and I have been privileged to serve in faraway places, and the not so far.  I heard a long time ago that the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.  It can be scary but still the best place to be.

And so it is that this team, kneeling in the church aisle and surrounded by pray-ers, is headed off to minister to a prison in the Bahamas in the next few days.  The Lord is leading and we are following. 

It will be the prison’s first team from the US. 

Through SportsReach, the men on the team will prepare a softball field and organize a sports program to be built upon for years to come.  But their main goal is to share the gospel with the male inmates.

The women on our team will be sharing with the female inmates Bible lessons, painting, Bible activities and games, with each one pointing to God’s love and the gift of His Son.  We have a Plan A and Plan B, knowing the first commandment of mission trips: Blessed are the flexible.  Prayers are appreciated!  For wisdom, safety, and above all for inmates to give their hearts and lives to Jesus.

It’s only the first sending out from our church this year.  We have a young lady going to Honduras soon and a medical group going to Kenya this summer. 

Back to Acts 1:8, we don’t have to be His witnesses.  We get to be His witnesses.