Last night I experienced one of the greater privileges I have tasted in a long, long time. Our friend June Kauffman paved the way for us to visit Landis Homes (A Mennonite Retirement Community in Lancaster County, PA) where many retired saints live. We held an evening of missions sharing in their West Bethany Chapel and shared about our work and ministry in South Africa and other parts of Africa. Picture this chapel-- where there would have been saints ranging from ages 70-100+. Now, check this out...a large handful of the elderly friends in that room last night prepared the way for what we get to do today a continent away!! I met people who served in very the places we are serving (mainly East Africa) in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s...and there parents and family served in the 1930s and 1940s! They paved the way. They laid foundations in missions. They built trust. And they did it when it was even harder than it is now.
As the evening progressed, my eyes opened more and more to the privilege I was living out last night. That room was thick with honor. The cumulative total of the sacrifice, the generosity, the suffering for the gospel, the faith, the prayer power, the stories, the love for Jesus, the legacies....WOW!!! As the evening ended, I looked at Tricia and said, I consider speaking to these 40-50 people as more meaningful than speaking to 1,000 people.
I just feel grateful for the sacrifices of those that have gone before us in missions. Our open doors and fruit has very little to do with us, and much more to do with the road that has been paved by faithful servants of the past and the precious Holy Spirit preparing and germinating the soil.