Craig Campbell, who is helping us plant a church in Beaver Falls, PA, just sent us this story of something that happened last evening during and after our NMB planters webinar. Check it out…
You never know how your ministry will effect others!
This morning (29th) during my devotionals I was reading Psalm 29. In verse 3 it says "the voice of the Lord is upon the waters, The God of glory thunders, The Lord is over many waters." I told Barb about this and we talked of the irony of the rain and flooding we experienced the day before.
I work for the railroad and today I was called to work at 3 pm to run a train from Conway, Pa. to Harrisburg, Pa. I was bummed because at 8:30 pm I was supposed to attend an online webinar with the National Mission Board (NMB) for church planters (Beaver Falls). I called John Stange, Director. of the NMB and said I would be working and could not attend.
Well, with all of the flooding we've had, the train is stopped near Columbiana due to a tree toppled over on the tracks due to all the rain (Psalm 29:3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters!!) because of the rain . So we sat in Conway waiting for the train. Finally at 6pm, the bosses tell us they are going to send us by cab to Harrisburg. I called John Stange to let him know that I could attend the meeting at 8:30 and that I would be on my cell phone in a cab! Thank you Lord.
We get in the cab at 8pm and at 8:25pm I logged into Zoom to attend the webinar. My co-worker was sitting next to me in the cab, and I introduced him to John and the other 2 webinar participants. We were listening, and participating in the discussion. The main topic of the webinar was “how to handle discouragement in ministry,” especially in church planting. I was answering questions about Beaver Falls and participating throughout the webinar. John asked me to pray for the other 2 planters + my co-worker who was now participating in the webinar.
The webinar closed at 9:30pm and I turned my phone off. I had noticed our driver had an accent and I asked him where he was from? Nigeria, Africa and he has been in the USA for 18 years. So we started asking him about Nigeria and we were having a great discussion.
I asked him about religion in Nigeria. He said they were very religious, half Christian & half Islam, but all hypocrites. He said the religion I talked of on the phone did not exist in Nigeria. I asked him again about religion and he said very sternly “you are not listening to me, I will tell you again, very religious but all hypocrites.”
We changed the topic and we talked about the rampant corruption in Nigeria and the abject poverty of the people & he then brought up religion and compared the poverty of the populace and how many of the Nigerian churches act, he said “they pray all day and do nothing, the leaders are all in the 1 %, they watch the poor and sick die on the streets and do nothing to help. You speak up against them and you come up missing, its all power and greed.” What he said about most of the churches was heartbreaking.
Then we talked about the USA and I have never heard a more emphatic and deep love for America. He would put to shame most American born people. I almost felt compelled to say the Pledge of Allegiance due to his patriotism. This man loves America and all that it stands for; and is disgusted at all that Nigeria has embraced and the blame that America takes around the globe.
As we were getting close to the motel I asked him his name, he said I go by Will.
I said “Will, “The values of America that you love can only come from God, I said Jesus loves you and I will probably never see you again, but God will.”
He asked “if it comes from God why have so many Americans quit your churches?” I said “Will, its the same lie that has corrupted us all since we rejected God. Before that rejection, we weren’t even aware of ourselves, we were only aware of others, self awareness is the cause of all of our problems.”
This has been a long story and I am sorry, but it needed full context to see how God orchestrated this meeting with Will and how He opened the doors for him to hear one hour of ministry through the NMB.