We've been on the road for the past two weeks "deputating" as one friend calls it. :) So much to write and yet not enough free time to write, between taking care of a newborn and living in the moment.
We're currently in Fort Worth, Texas at a missions conference that has been very uplifting and convicting. One thing stood out to me that wasn't during a preaching time or even a teaching session and yet it was so impacting. During one of the "comments time" a pastor from Louisiana asked a veteran missionary about the man who led him to the Lord. Now this veteran missionary, Milton Martin, is over 80 years old and has been a missionary to Mexico since somewhere around 1960. Bro. Martin said the man who led him to the Lord was praying some 28 years before Bro. Martin's salvation and put his finger on a map of Texas and asked the Lord for a soul in that state. Bro. Martin then said these words: "I was that soul."
I don't know if anyone else in the room got chills like I did when he said that, but I was thinking about the impact Bro. Martin has had on countless people around this world. Literally. But I thought about that man who came before Bro. Martin and was faithful in praying for lost souls and then witnessing to those souls. What if that man hadn't prayed? What if that man hadn't been specific in praying for a soul in Texas? What if he hadn't opened his mouth to speak of Jesus? What if he was intent on doing his own thing rather than God's plan? What if?
While I understand God will use someone else if they're more willing than you, I also know that Bro. Martin's impact on the people of Mexico can't be denied. In addition to the people of Mexico, there are plenty of pastors, missionaries, evangelists, Bible Institute students, etc. that have been impacted by Bro. Martin's ministry.
Nat and I personally have been impacted by his ministry. In fact, Bro. Martin's the one who challenged Nat with the principles of missions and is the human instrument God used to put Nat into the ministry. My heart was stirred when Bro. Martin preached a conference in 2006 and that set in motion the idea of me going to Thailand to help with missionaries.
But I think of the man who came before Bro. Martin and realize that his reward in heaven will be great because of being faithful. What a legacy! What a challenge to me.
It's funny what the Lord will use to teach me. In this instance, it was just an old preacher from Louisiana asking an old missionary to Mexico what an even older man did for the Lord.