Last night I was able to go to our church for the evening services, even though I have difficulties seeing to drive at night. I have decided that when I can, even though it is too cool for Gramps to get out, I will go on Sunday evenings. It is possible, so I will do so.
Since I am a Baptist, and this is December, it is the month when we give money to support foreign missions to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. Missions have always been very dear to my heart. The speaker last night, Dr. Danny Hinson, along with his wife, Jan, was a foreign missionary for eighteen years to Japan and other countries in Asia. Dr. Hinson is the director of International Studies at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City. He told of their difficulties in learning languages, and of how many people who have never heard of Jesus, not even having heard His name. He also told of how very hungry the people are to hear the word of God, and to know His promises and the truth of them. To see the possibilities of life, they are so hungry.
I was reminded of the time when I was eighteen years old, just graduated from high school, and had the opportunity to go to YWA (Young Women's Auxiliary) camp at Ridgecrest, in North Carolina. YWA is a branch of Women's Missionary Union, and a Baptist function. My way was paid by the ladies of our church at New Market. I know there were not a lot of them, but it was so wonderful of them. Some of them were: Mrs. Ruth Rader, Mrs. Nettie Ivy, Mrs. Lynne French, Mrs. Evelyn Roach, Mrs. Imogene Berry. They have all gone on to their reward, but they saw the possibilities it would provide for me.
The week at Ridgecrest was wonderful and an unforgettable experience for me. It was the first time I had ever been away from home overnight for more than a day, and also the first time I had ever been out of state. Needless to say, I got a little homesick, but not terribly so. It was there that I first had any positive attention from a boy, and I guess you could say I had my first date there. One of the boys who worked at the camp took a shine to me and we walked to the camp store and he bought ice cream for the two of us. The flavor of mine was banana, and I discovered that I did not like banana ice cream. I tried to surreptitiously dispose of mine, but I think maybe he saw me toss it aside. We were supposed to meet the next day to go on a hike at around 3 in the afternoon. It would have provided great possibilities for me to get to know him better and to have a lot of fun.
However, the next day, the girls met Kathleen Manley, who had been a missionary nurse to darkest Africa and had written a book about her mission work called, "The Back Side of Nowhere". She spoke to us, and we were enthralled with her story. She chose several of us to perhaps take part in a program later that evening. We went with her while she talked about what would be done. Unfortunately, while we were meeting with her, the time passed that I was supposed to have gone to meet for the hike with Dusty (the young man's nickname), and when I saw him again later that day, he was so mad at me. Well, that was the end of that romance. ha. But I was not heartbroken for too long. I was still thinking about Kathleen Manley and the possibilities that she presented.
After the week was over and I headed back home, I was filled with all kinds of great memories. When I did get home and had time to think about it, I knew that I had had a life-changing experience. One night I dreamed about being a missionary, and when I woke up, I believed that God had been calling me to become a missionary. The next Sunday morning, I went down to the altar at the end of the service and stated that I had felt the call to become a missionary. I saw endless possibilities to serve God.
My mom did not agree with me (I know she was worried for me) and said I would have to go to college before I could even apply to be a missionary. I knew we didn't have the money for me to go to college, so I put it on hold. Later that summer I went to Knoxville and got a job through the sister of one of my aunts (my Aunt Lil). The work was at the credit bureau, and it only lasted for about 6 months (until I met my first husband, Charlie). I had thought I would be working there for a long time, and saw all kinds of possibilities.
You may wonder where this is going...I found out during my life that I could serve the Lord in many ways. I've worked in Bible schools at church, I have also led GA's and RA's, taught Sunday School, sung in the choir, led choirs, and many other things. I also had the opportunity in my 60's to go on two mission trips to Brazil. It was wonderful. I have discovered that the possibilities to serve our Lord are endless. The Great Commission applies to all Christians. Serve wherever you are and never stop telling about Jesus. If you but look, you can see the possibilities for serving Him wherever you are.
UPDATE on Richard:
Pam called me to let me know that Richard is at home and continuing to improve. He had to go back once, after he was having some tightness in his chest. They cleared out the blockage in the artery that they were delaying doing, and he once again was at home, and I am sure they are all happy to have him there. Praise God that he is doing so well now. Thank you for all your prayers in their behalf.
Well, this is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you. Bye for now. More later.