From the Pastor’s Desk,                                                                            February 2019

In 1953, a 39 year old singing preacher, Ira Stanphill, sat with anticipation of hearing the latest stories of long time missionaries Charles and Mary Greenaway at a missions conference in Texas.

The Greenaways had been young missionaries in Africa, and Ira Stanphill, as any minister committed to God’s work would do, anticipated hearing interesting and informative stories from them; however as they began to tell of what God had done, the accounts were not what Stanphill expected.

 

When the Greenaways began their work in Africa, they didn’t think it was for them. Mary was severely sick yet she and her husband Charles left all they had in the states to help the African people there through medical missionary effort. They were eager to use this as a springboard to introduce the gospel to the people. It seemed that the physical needs of the locals were so great, however, that no room was left for the deeper spiritual food they wanted to dispense too.

 

Mary became so sick should cold not help Charles and one day when in great despair and not seeing any results of their efforts, he cried out ‘Lord, send us somewhere else!’

 

He sensed God’s answer, a gentle but firm reminder that Jesus had likewise felt the sting of apathy and rejection. “Do as He did” Charles felt the Lord say, and leave the rest to me. Not seeing the logic or tangible effects of their efforts, they continued in faith to where they were called. Eventually, the Greenaways saw the spiritual fruit they longed to harvest.

 

Charles Greenaway’s story washed over Ira Stanphill. Stanphill went home that night with this burning in his heart and the next day wrote the words to an all but forgotten old hymn of the faith. The title of the hymn is two words that were spoken by the Lord Jesus and recorded in all four gospels

Follow Me.”

 

Because of Jesus,

Pastor Ken Stanley

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