One of my favorite things on deputation started at a missions emphasis day at a church we were in. After the service a man came up to me and we started talking. This sort of things happens almost every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Meeting people, hearing their stories, learning how God has worked in their lives, it is one of the greatest things about Deputation. This specific encounter however, was different from any of the rest. This small conversation sparked a friendship. I didn’t know I was meeting the man who would be one of the greatest encouragements in my deputation (and I trust on the mission field as well). His name is Bill. Bill and his wife Betty have continued our friendship. I don’t know why, but this couple loves us. I am not deserving of these two! Bill emails me on a regular basis. He reads the blogs I put out as well as any other email updates and he will often comment on them. He has encouraged me along our way. He has even tried to work it out where he and Mrs. Betty could meet us at another church in Pennsylvania (we both live in Georgia) to support us at a church we were presenting in (it didn’t work out, but they tried). They have been incredibly encouraging. Our oldest daughter’s Lily’s birthday was in February. They sent Lily a birthday present to her through the mail. Lily was ecstatic, Leslie and I were both humbled and felt very loved. Over and over they have encouraged us on.
Why is this one of my favorite things? It is not about the attention or the gifts they send our children. It is really about the love and encouragement they give us. We are underserving of this love. They are examples of “senders”. Our hearts are overwhelmed with love at the very thought of them. We suspect that this relationship will continue into our ministry in Argentina. They pray for us and encourage us on. They are really co-laborers with us in the Gospel. Paul talks about how some plant and others water, but God gives the increase in 1 Corinthians 3. In 1 Corinthians 3:9, Paul says, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” Paul concludes this subject by saying that he and Apollos were laborers together. One planted, one watered, both worked together. Brother Bill and Mrs. Betty are not missionaries to Argentina, but in how they encourage us, they labor together with us. The relationship we have with Bill and Betty is one of my favorite things we have found through our deputation.