Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
Last night was the first Friday of February. As usual we gathered in the evening for a time of extended prayer. I was not particularly excited to be there, but I had decided I would go. I came into the chapel and took a seat by myself in the last row. The meeting started off pretty normal. We had a time of worship, then various staff members started took turns leading us in prayer for various areas of the ministry.
Sometime during the meeting one of the staff got up and shared about training centers in Asia. They shared a PowerPoint presentation of various aspects of life in the centers then a slide or two of prayer requests. We broke up into small groups and started praying. I joined a group of two others and that is when the story I want to share with you came into mind. I had totally forgotten about the incident until we started praying.
My story isn’t really exciting or filled with action. But it turned my time at that particular training center on it’s head. My story starts with trip to Asia I made in 2002. There were about 8 or so of us on the tour and at one of our stops we were taken to a training center. It was a pretty large center and the leader said there were 365 students. “One for everyday of the year, ” the leader said. We were greeted by two long lines of students and we walked down the middle of the lines while the students sang and threw flower petals at us. This was a typical greeting for this area. After having tea, we were taking on a tour of the campus. At one point, we were taken into the boys dormitory. It was a large two story building and we went upstairs to see the sleeping quarters. It was just a big room with several bunk beds. At one end of the building was a balcony. I walked out on it and looked down and noticed there was a patio underneath us on the bottom floor. There were several young men on the patio. When they saw me they looked up and smiled at me. I thought that was cool.
We came down from the second floor and walked on the patio. The guys were still there gathered together on one end, and we were on the other end where the leader was explaining things to us. I was half listening and half watching the guy on the other side. They were dressed in their very best, black slacks and a white shirt. I kept looking at them and as I did that a thought suddenly came into my mind. it was this: “these guys are going to graduate before long and then be sent out as sheep among wolves. They were going to face danger and hostility that i (I was going to correct the lower case i that I just typed but I thought I would leave it, in honor of Pastor Mark’s recent post) had no clue what it would be like.” Suddenly, these guys were no longer just a bunch of excited young students. They brothers and missionaries whom my wife and I had given up our lives in Colorado for, to come down to Texas and serve these brothers in any way we could. It became a poignant and moving moment for me. I kept looking at them and started praying for them under my breath.
Then one of the young men noticed I was looking at them. I caught his eye and he looked back at me. Suddenly, I couldn’t help my self, I walked across the patio, threw my arms around the young man and said, “praise the Lord! That’s about the only English the young men knew and the only way we could connect. The young man I hugged had a big smile on his face and returned my greeting with, “praise the Lord!” Suddenly, I was surrounded by about 20 young men all smiling,laughing with me and shouting, “praise the Lord!” I shook hands and hugged each one and then our group started to leave, and I had to get going. The rest of the afternoon and evening is a bit of a blur. I couldn’t get the moment out of my head for several days.
Over 13 years have passed since that day. The memory and the poignancy of the moment had long since disappeared from my memory. I don’t really brought it up last night. I do know that after nearly 20 years here, a lot of the excitement and enthusiasm I had has waned. Maybe the Lord gave me these thoughts just to renew my heart a little and remind me about the call He gave me so long ago. I don’t know. What I do know is that it changed my attitude in the prayer meeting and gave me some excitement about praying and being here. Whatever the reason, I was glad it happened and for a few moments at least it brought back some of the excitement I originally had when I came down here so long ago.
Well, that’s my little story. I hope you enjoyed it and found it somewhat meaningful in some small way. You know, we can be missionaries to those around us. Stonepoint is a missions minded church. For both in and around Wills Point and around the world. May we be Jesus’ hands and feet until He returns. Blessings!