Tonight was a first for me. It will make this day special, but this day is special to me for another reason. 20 years ago tonight I sat in a room with a group of people I did not know. My sister tricked me into going on a “Christian retreat”. I had no desire to be there, didn’t know anyone, and wanted to go home. That being said, on April 04, 1997, I was sitting there waiting for the night to be over when a young man spoke about Luke 15, the prodigal son. I did not know it was Luke 15, nor did I know what the “prodigal son” was. I didn’t know what was going on. The young man (perhaps 3-4 years older than I was) gave his testimony on how he was saved. I don’t remember much about it. I remember he was a Muslim from a Muslim family who heard the Gospel and believed on Jesus some time later. His family believed on Jesus as well at a later date. I was bothered over my sins. I believed on Jesus that night. That was 20 years ago tonight.
20 years later I stood up in a former car repair shop turned Baptist Church (or soon to be new Baptist Church), teaching a group of 21 people English. This is an attempt to invite them to the church. We all enjoyed our time together. The group was diverse, with the youngest being 11 (he was there with his mother) and the oldest being over 60. Both men and women were present. We talked through the lesson, laughing all throughout. Everybody seem to enjoy the time and seemed to be open with the idea of coming to our first service.
20 years ago, I did not understand what a Baptist was (I was not saved in a Baptist Church nor was I raised Baptist), nor did I know what a missionary was. If someone would have told me that 20 years from the night I was saved that I would spend the evening teaching English to Argentines in a church building in which we will be starting a church in less than two weeks, I would have ran the other way! I would have been totally against this. 20 years later, there is literally nothing else I would rather do with my life. My salvation is complete in Christ and I have the privilege of serving Him each day. Sanctification is a process in which I am still growing. I am grateful to Jesus for how He has molded me through these 20 years. I guess the best way to conclude this post is to sum up these past 20 years with this thought, “It is all about Jesus!”