Thanks to Alycelee of The Miracle of Mercy, convention commentary can take a back seat for a while.  We’re going to talk about metamorphosis.

10 years ago…

I was teaching in a Christian school.  That was the first year that I took a group of students from the school on a mission trip.  We hooked up with World Changers, a ministry of NAMB, and went to Savannah, Georgia.  I was still on a hiatus from vocational ministry, actually in my fourth year of that, and we belonged to a church we loved.

20 years ago…

I had just started my first semester at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and was anticipating being married on December 19th, the day after final exams were over.  In Texas, you must be together to get a marriage license.  I took my last exam, jumped in the car, drove to Love Field and caught a $29 flight to Houston.  The courthouse closed at 5 p.m.  We called in advance to make sure the clerk would stay around and walked through the door at 4:55.  We’re about six weeks away from celebrating our 20th.

30 years ago…

I was a student in college.  I believe, that would have been the summer that I met my wife, while serving as a summer missionary with the Home Mission Board, the old name for NAMB.  JoAnn had been a sojourner.  We’re a match, even though I am tall enough for her to walk under my extended arm without brushing it.  JoAnn loves to tell the story of how we met, and how long it was after that before we finally married–10 years. 

 I will never forget the night that we arrived in St. Louis to begin our mission service.  It was a hot, sweltering night, and there were six of us, three guys and three girls, staying in two dismal flats in a dilapidated house on the north side of the city, just a few blocks from the McKinley bridge across the Mississippi River.  We were in the ghetto, in a house with no air conditioning, on a street where a dozen African-American kids were playing in the spray of a turned-on fire hydrant.  My partner was a junior at Wayland Baptist University, an accomplished pianist who confessed to me that the largest city she had ever been to in her life at that point was Lubbock.  She grew up in Plainview, I grew up in a town even smaller than that.  And there we were.  And I loved every minute of it, and I cried when I had to go home.  God was so merciful and patient with us, we made so many mistakes.  I would not trade that experience for anything.  I went back the next summer. 

Thanks, Alycelee, for the tag. 


About LS

I'm 56, happily married for 25 years, B.A., M.A., career educator with experience in education as a teacher and administrator, native Arizonan living in Pennsylvania, working on a PhD and a big fan of the Arizona Wildcats, mainly in football and basketball.

2 responses

  1. alycelee says:

    Thank you Lee,
    Isn’t it interesting that while reflecting on our lives, we cannot escape the grace of God.
    I could hear your heart for missions in this post.
    I could also hear your love for your wife.
    Very encouraging

  2. JoAnn says:

    I never cease to be amazed how God brought one Midwest city girl and a tall Arizona boy into friendship and then to marriage! I knew NOTHING about Arizona at the time. We always say we owe our marriage to the Home Mission Board (aka: NAMB) God is the God of all the details.

    The bonus was I had always felt called to be a minister’s wife and I have a great love for missions that was rooted in GA’s and Acteeens.