The scene was our National Conference in Southern Mexico. Breakfast was over, and I joined the crowds of people headed for the auditorium. That morning a veteran Mexican missionary spoke straight from his heart: “My family met the Lord through American missionaries. We are all fruit of the efforts of American missionaries who left their country and people to come to us. Now it is our turn to leave Mexico and go to the nations. We have a debt to pay.” His passion was contagious. I whispered, “Yes, Lord, you are here; the Lord of the Harvest is calling for workers”…and I remembered.
God was there when John and I were married that snowy Sunday night in Karlstad, Minnesota. God was there in our first little house and our small church. God was there when I couldn’t understand one word of Spanish. He was there as I desperately tried to fit in surrounded by a foreign culture with my hugs and smiles! He was there as I taught my first Sunday school class (in English). He was there when I knelt and asked God for a lesson plan, too. And God was there to help me become proficient in Spanish in only 6 months.
God was there to protect us on our travels by bus and car throughout Mexico. God was there in each church service saving souls and touching lives. God was there as the work in Mexico grew and He always provided the funds and workers, too. God was there in baptismal services and fellowship cookouts on the Rio Grande River. God was there every time I had to host meals and provide lodging on a tiny budget and in a small house. God was there when I delivered a baby by myself. I tried to tell the mother to wait, using my limited Spanish, but giving birth to her 12th child made that an impossible choice.
God was there when I stayed “with the stuff” and prayed for John’s evangelistic meetings while he was away. God was there with creative ideas and fun plans to keep the children happy and occupied while Daddy was gone. God was there when we raised our family and saw them choose Christ as children. And God was there when we traveled as a family, almost every summer, raising money for CFU throughout the Midwest.
God was there when I wrote “Coffee with Clara” letters to encourage pastor’s wives in Mexico. God was there when I was asked to speak, helping me to always share from my heart. And God was there each time I prayed for hurting people, mingling my tears with theirs.
Now at the conference, I wept as I joined others who were responding to God at the altar. The Lord of the Harvest was calling. God was here.
We are throwing a celebration to mark my Mom’s 50 years in full-time ministry at 6:30 pm, the evening of Sunday, November 22 at Iglesia Bíblica, McAllen, Texas. If you will be in the area, come and enjoy special music, tributes, great food, a multimedia presentation and lots of fun and laughter!