If I’ve got this right (and I’m never sure when it comes to Math, not even with simple addition and subtraction), we have reached the halfway point of our year-long, every-member mission trip. Today is Day 183, and if you double that you get 366. That’s more than a year, and if you haven’t found a way to “get off the bus” and onto the mission field by now you’re probably not going to, right?
For six months now I’ve been nagging the members of Richmond’s First Baptist Church, saying things like, “When the youth group goes on a mission trip nobody gets to stay on the bus and read comic books, and on this year-long, every-member mission trip it’s the same. I want everybody to participate.” Because I really do; that’s my vision. If we were giving out trophies for participation at the end of the year I would want everybody to get one. So, imagine how much this letter from Sandra Harris meant to me:
On December 29th some members of my family and I traveled to Mesa, Arizona, to attend the Buffalo Wild Wings game. My great nephew, Darius Harris, plays for Michigan State. Yes, we won—17-16! After the game I went to Tucson to spend New Year’s with my brother. Therefore I missed your December 30th sermon. However, I returned home on Sunday, January 7, just in time to hear the last part of that sermon on television (our broadcast is delayed by a week).
I have heard you say numerous times, “Everyone needs to join the year-long mission to help bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia.” You have reminded us each Sunday and every Wednesday night. But I guess like many others it went in one ear and out the other. I have always participated in the ministries of First Baptist. I’ve given money, food for the food pantry, filled shoe boxes at Christmas, purchased socks, T-shirts, and underwear for the shower ministry, and much more. But I have not given of myself and my talents. I have always been an active church member. [At my former church] I sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, was director of VBS, was the church treasurer, and secretary.
On Sunday, January 7, when I was home alone, you had my undivided attention. I heard, I understood, and I made a commitment!!!! I have already written Mr. Blanchard and volunteered to help at Glen Lea Elementary School. At Bainbridge Baptist Church I worked with at-risk children from Hillside Court with Margaret Allen.
I have written all this to say: “Keep on saying, reminding, and encouraging the church to be willing to take that first step to use our God-given talents. You may think you sound like a broken record, but keep it up!! One by one we will hear and obey.”
May God continue to bless you and your staff as you lead, guide, and direct our church to do all that we can to help bring the KOH2RVA!!!
Sandra E. M. Harris
Thank you, Sandra, for this eloquent testimony. May it inspire every other hesitant soul at First Baptist to “get off the bus” until God’s kingdom comes, and God’s will is done, in Richmond as it is in heaven.