I'm here in a small North Carolina town, speaking at a pair of CMA churches along with colleague, Mike Farho from Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa. While every church has its treasures, these two churches have more than their fair share.
I was invited to dinner last night by two old saints, former missionaries, also from Cote d'Ivoire. I had met the man before, but not spoken with him very much; his wife was unknown to me. In public they are quiet, though not withdrawn. They sit in meetings seemingly eager to hear what God is doing in places other than their beloved Africa. They are both small in stature, but great in spirit.
Last night my dinner time with them was all too short, as we had to hurry to a meeting at church. Short, but precious. I am constantly amazed at how God seems to speak through people when they least expect it. These two dear saints, in casual conversation about their own experiences on the mission field, really spoke to my own heart. They weren't trying to teach, they weren't trying to impress, they were just reaching out to me in the common language we both share: a love for the lost.
These two, along with their colleagues, worked among a tribal group that today number 300,000 Christians. They remember vividly when that number was only 3,000 and shared with me about how God had brought the increase.
We shared about our experiences in spiritual warfare, that often misunderstood, appropriately least-glamorous of ministries. We had both seen the enemy, up close and personal, actively bent on destroying the lives of people we knew, only to be foiled, not by us, but by the power of the Jesus Christ.
They're retired now and their ministry is primarily one of prayer. Each morning husband and wife sit together in prayer for the missionaries of the Christian & Missionary Alliance throughout the world. These two have seen more, suffered more, and have experienced more of God than I may ever...and they pray for me.
What a privilege to sit at the table of giants.