Yesterday (Feb 10), we had good attendance despite the bitter cold (temps not much above zero and wind chills well below) both in the morning and in the afternoon.
Missionaries Nathan and Carrie Radford (Missionaries to Kitale, Kenya) were with us in the afternoon service. We have been supporting Nathan for several years now (before he got married) and they are home while she is expecting their first child, due in April.
While we focus on preaching in our services, when missionaries come, I tell them just to present their work, update us on what is happening where they are, and show us their heart for the work God has given them. Nathan shared a Scripture, showed us a video of his work, and then spelled out some things they have accomplished and hope to accomplish by God’s grace. Then he took questions. I told him to allow five minutes for questions, but the people were so interested that the Q&A went on for 25 minutes! People were asking what they could do to help with the work, what they could pray about, etc. It was enough to warm a pastor’s heart! But wait! (as the TV huckster says) I’m not done yet!
We have been preparing for their visit for weeks now. We took up an offering in our children’s church and got everyone involved by holding a contest between the younger class and the older class. The whole church got involved, giving money to either side (or both sides in most cases) and we also put together a gift basket for their new baby.
They ended up with five big gift bags full of baby stuff for their little girl (due in April) and several hundred dollars as a gift from the children’s church. Then, as I was up front with the children and teens presenting the money gift, one man raised his hand and suggested the church match it! I called for a show of hands and we ended up doubling their gift. Everyone must have been on board with it because hands shot up all across the auditorium before I could even get the words out of my mouth!
I praise the Lord for faithful servants like the Radfords and I also praise the Lord for faithful servants like our folks at Zion who are willing to show such generosity toward Christ’s servants.
It is an honor to serve with both in the service of our Savior.