Thursday, September 17, 2015

6 Month Olds and Ministry

David, our oldest, was born in February, perfect timing for those summer and fall stroller rides through the neighborhood.

(In those days, Bill's and my Navigator ministry assignment was the University of Illinois. As we look back on our career, those were some of our highlight years.)

David's birth ushered in a new chapter in my personal ministry life. I no longer drove to campus to lead a bible study, our neighborhood became my campus, my field -- and I found it white for harvest.

With David tucked securely in my hand-me-down stroller, we'd head out for our walks; David taking
in this new big world around him, me praying for our neighbors who lived behind all those closed doors.

I met Thayne that way. Before her divorce she lived around the corner and a friendship was born. After the divorce she moved into a duplex just a few blocks away. We started reading the bible together.

The snow storm was furious that night, but it didn't deter me from setting out for our scheduled study. I shared the gospel with her that snowy night and she responded.

The walk home is etched in my memory; my joy held at bay by the snow swirling all around me. (Remind me to tell you the rest of the story.)

Then there was Linda. As David and I strolled by her home, I noticed a baby swing through her front picture window. A connection. Boldly I walked to her front door and rang the bell. When she answered I blurted, I have a baby too! My David and her Eric were close to the same age and a friendship was born.

Linda and I also started reading the book of John together. And she too responded to the good news of the gospel. To this day, many years later, Linda's heart for ministry in her local church shines.

Liz and I met when we were both in our last trimesters with our second sons. Our connection was natural -- both because of our twin families and because both she and her husband had cousins on Navigator staff. Liz and I started a neighborhood bible study together.
Dinner with Don and Liz on their vacation this summer.

Our 4 sons (between us) are all married now and have children of their own. Our friendship continues and grows even though now 1000 miles separate us.

An ah-ha moment was growing in me during those years with young children. The gospel is not only good news for college students, it is good news for neighbors too. My field changed over the years; the gospel never changes.

"'Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies
you have prepared praise.'"
Matthew 21:16

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