Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Missionaries Visit

Their little legs dangled over the edge of the pew, little black shoes hanging above the floor unable to reach. I sat between their little boy bodies, Luke snuggling in, resting his dark curly head against my arm. Caleb sitting a bit straighter was more attentive to his friend sitting across the isle than he was to the missionary. 

Immature legs that fail to reach the floor often become restless with a wiggle that seems to rise all the way up the boy. Oh, my! Let the show begin! I am between a lot of bottled energy. My prayer, "Please let this be good so that it will grab their attention." 

The missionary begins to speak, soft and low he tells stories about the African country filled with families he adores. I am not sure when their little boyness settled down and the missionary captured their attention for he had caught mine as well. 

We were caught up in the testimonies about building churches filled with brand new believers, training them, blessing them, feasting with them (with their delicacies, unappealing to us), traveling over the countryside of Eritrea, Africa spreading the gospel while encountering every kind of adventure imaginable. 

The missionary, a fisher of men, caught my son that morning, casting his line into the audience, taking up a net he pulled Caleb into a vision for his future. The missionary was unaware of his catch, oblivious to the mesmerized look on the little boy's face sitting on the second pew from the front. Caleb, at the age of ten, now knew exactly what he would do with his life. He would be a missionary like Mr. Falley.

Lunchtime, Pizza Hut,  reflections of the service were passed all around. It was Caleb's enthusiasm that kept the conversation about the missionary going.

"Did you hear him say ...?"

"I want to go there! I want to help him!" 

"I want to be a missionary someday!"

"Can we write Mr. Falley a letter and send him a picture of me so he'll know what I look like when I get there?" 

Evening shadows fall on our house on the corner of South Plummer Avenue and little man of ten pulls me away from the kitchen sink where dish suds are spilling onto my apron. 

"Momma, lets write to him now! Who, Caleb, who are you talking about?" 

(Five children and a spouse can cause you to forget your own name sometimes.) 

"Mr. Falley, mom! I have to tell him that I want to help him someday. I want to tell him that we will pray for him and his wife. Tell him that I will pray for many to know Jesus!"

I dry my hands, embrace my little man of vision and lead him to the card drawer. He thumbs through all the cards, his little tongue perched at the side of his lips as he carefully considers his choice. He finds the card that suits him. Together we sit fashioning a letter that would encourage the heart of anyone called to spread the gospel.

The letter would be the first of many we would send to Mr. Falley. Our hearts are knit as we continue to lift one another's families in prayer to this day. Caleb has found a very tender spot in the heart of Mr. Falley, the missionary who shared his faith, his testimony, his vision and calling at our church over thirteen years ago. 

Mr. Falley did not know, when he spotted the two little boys sitting on the second pew with their momma that one of them would find his calling through the message he would share. He was only being faithful to bring a word of testimony to the body of Christ. However, it was that day a torch was passed to the next generation and is being carried around the world in the hands of a little man grown tall, my son, Caleb, still to this day!

How great is our God!


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