Friday, August 01, 2008

Becoming a Fan

If you are into Facebook then you know about Fan pages. Basically you can join an internet page that makes you a fan of almost anything or anyone. Starbucks has a fan page that is really popular, and there is Hannah Montana, Switchfoot, and Elvis. Of course, all of your sports teams have a fan page. I joined the Tampa Bay Rays. You can be a fan of a church or an organization. Joel Osteen has a fan page and so does the Batman movie. My sixteen year old son just joined the C.S. Lewis fan page. (My kid is so cool!)

As we come to the end of our itineration, (itineration: a missionaries one year in their home country to visit people and places, raise money and say thank you) I have been thinking about all the places and people that we’ve met. We have met so many unknown amazing people. Their stories may never be told in any magazine and they may never have a fan page on Facebook but if they did; I would want to join.

Mark and Jan Hall-- They began their missionary career in Mozambique. They both speak three languages and now as they reach retirement age you would think that they would be slowing down, but instead they have begun a whole new ministry here in the states. They work in San Antonio with the foreign military that have come to the united states to study language. They are reaching the whole WORLD right there in San Antonio. Muslims and Arabs have come to faith through their ministry and the ministry of local church that they partner with. I was especially blessed to meet a Dominican marine officer that they have been bringing to church. He absolutely loves the church and God is doing a work in his life. Mark and Jan say all that they really do is love these men and women into the Kingdom. That is why I am a fan of Mark and Jan Hall.

Judy Clark -- Judy is a Pastors wife and has been serving Jesus alongside her husband for years but just a couple of years ago she felt the spirit of God tugging at her heart and preparing her for a new phase of ministry. She wasn’t sure and she wrestled with it trying to find direction for awhile. Then the Lord opened up a door for her to work as a chaplain. She works in the area of Family services and has the privilege to pray and counsel with women involved in domestic violence, children victimized by abuse and couples going through divorce. She told me that in a years time she had met with over 200 individuals and had led 138 of those people to the Lord. I admire her so much, I would join her fan page as well.

The Hodums-- This is a pastoral family that have been our friends for years, but this time I was able to see how God uses this family in a small rural community in such a significant way. Their kids go to public school and they take being a campus missionary very seriously. Their teenage son, Andrew made friends with a guy that was kind of an outsider at school without any friends. Andrew invited him to church and got him involved with music at church and band at school. It turns out that he was from a broken home, a very sad situation. This boy gave his life to Jesus and is a totally different kid. The Hodums love him as if he were one of their own. He practically lives at their house. This is just one story, there are other kids as well but it would take too long to tell every story. Because of all these stories, I am a fan of the Hodums.

Woody Woodruff-- Woody is a great friend & partner in ministry. He has been helping us with MAPS building teams that are doing work on our project. But before he became a missionary associate, he was a successful businessman with his own welding business. He’s a hard worker and his business kept him away from his family and away from God. All that changed one day when his little girl sat on his lap and asked him to spend just three hours a week with her. He knew that he needed to spend time with his kids so he agreed and then she asked that those three hours be spent with her at church on Wednesdays and Sundays. Well, God got a hold of his heart, and as a result, his business and money and worldly success didn’t seem so important anymore. He sold his business, his custom built home and downsized so that he could do full time missions work. Now he travels the world using his welding skills to build a children’s home in Jamaica, churches in Africa and a children’s ministry center in the Dominican Republic. We are BIG TIME fans of Woody Woodruff.

Mary Jane Neville-- If you know us you have heard Nelson talk about Mary Jane. Mary Jane was the lady who led Nelson to the Lord at the age of nine. She did this through a Good News Club in his neighborhood. A Good News club is basically a Sunday school lesson held in someone’s home once a week after school. Mary Jane prepared memory verse games, stories and songs and the God used her to sow the seeds of God’s worn on my husbands heart. One day she gave Nelson a Bible and she wrote a date inside the cover; November 9th, 1974. That was the day that Nelson gave his heart to Jesus. Today Mary Jane lives in an assisted care facility and she still sends us offerings for our ministry. If Mary Jane had Facebook fan page, Nelson would be the first to join. I would be second.

These are just a few of my fan pages. I could write so many more stories. Just like me, you could probably write stories about unknown amazing people. So here’s my challenge to my blogging buddies. Tell their stories!! Don’t you think that Hannah Montana and Starbucks have enough fans? Let’s be fans of the unknown amazing people in this world.

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