“Maggie.” Her real name could not be used nor could her face be shown during the ceremony. Only a few individuals know which Level 3 security area she will be serving. Yet, she stood with determination before the commissioning service crowd and accepted her “official” appointment as an ambassador for Christ. Many of you would probably recognize “Maggie” if you saw her. During her college years, she was a very active at Temple Baptist Church; and she even has family connections here. And while she has ministered in various settings over the years, “Maggie” was commissioned last week through the International Mission Board (IMB) to take the Good News to a specific unreached people group.
“Junior.” Again, we must refrain from using his real name because of where he has been deployed for the Gospel’s sake. He is an engineering grad from Louisiana Tech, and he has constantly felt the Spirit’s prompting toward international missions. Recently, he submitted to the fulltime call of foreign work and was sent by the IMB to a place of immense Kingdom darkness. “Junior’s” life now is far removed from the days when he wandered the halls at Temple and engaged in ministry here.
“Maggie” and “Junior” are only a small part of the great story God is writing! There are so many more that He is calling forth globally and locally. I heard through the grapevine that Ruston was mentioned at the recent IMB trustee meeting as a “small town” that was having “big impact” for the Kingdom. No doubt! And we are just one church that gets to be a part!
“Susie.” (I chose a fictitious name here to protect her identity, too.) She just began her studies at Tech; and thankfully she has chosen to worship and serve with us at Temple. This week, Casey and I received a note from her dad that read in part: “Thank you . . . for your outstanding ministry to college students. My daughter . . . went on the beach trip, has been coming to your church for various events, and loves the experience God is granting her through your ministry. You raise a kid in church and guide them at home, hoping they’ll pursue God when they are on their own, and there are no words to describe how much it means to “Susie’s”mother and I for her to have a place like your church to make her feel at home. Thanks very much!” What an encouragement! And who knows what God has in store for “Susie” as she goes on to serve the Lord locally, nationally, or globally.
Of course, I felt like I should tell this father that the appreciation should not just be shown to us as staff members. Gratitude must ultimately be given to the members of Temple! “Maggie,” “Junior,” and “Susie” are where they are because of people who taught them Sunday School, or because of those who hosted challenge groups or Sunday night suppers, or because of others who financially support our budget, etc. Thank you for all you do to make a big impact for the Kingdom!
One final note. Prayer is essential for the Gospel advancement. We must daily tap into that intercessory power! Would you specifically join me in praying for Pakistan over the next year? If you simply text PakistanPrayer to 555-888, you will get a daily prayer concern that will prompt you to pray with me. Hope you will be a part of this effort! See you Sunday!