I’ve been attending Evergreen since I graduated college in ’86. A lot has happened since then; got married and had 4 kids. In 2010, Pastor Cory approached me about going on a vision trip to Thailand. This was totally unexpected and in a matter of weeks. Up until that point, my involvement in missions had been non-existent. I remember Evergreen had always sent missionaries somewhere, but it wasn’t really for me. This time, however, I found myself in a situation where work/life wasn’t that busy and I had plenty of vacation days. More importantly, I had an active passport! Bottom-line - I had no reason for NOT going. I kept thinking to myself “I don’t want to be a Jonah – I better just be obedient and GO”. I’m not going to lie - at the airport, prior to departure, I did have an overwhelming sense of anxiety. But I just prayed and gave the trip and all that was to happen over to the Lord. The trip was a wonderful opportunity to see how various missionaries were doing a unique work in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and fighting against human trafficking.
Ever since that trip, my outlook on life hasn’t been the same. Serving the Lord, in whatever capacity, has become very important to me. I was also constantly reminded how short our lives are. I don’t know if it was because I was approaching the half century mark, but there was a new sense of urgency in my life. Our lives go by so fast. James 4:14 says …. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Our lives are a collection of various seasons – each with its own unique set of joys and struggles. Each season, with the exception of retirement, carries with it significant time constraints. Retirement is a season where we have time to do other things but it’s also when our health tends to fail us.
As I approach retirement, I’m left wondering what I can do for the Lord with the rest of my life. I started off by joining the Outreach Council (OC). Within the OC, we seek the Lord for wisdom and oversee the general direction of our local and global outreach efforts. Since the 2010 vision trip, Evergreen has been back to Thailand twice;
· once for a short term ZOE missions trip in 2011 and
· a second time to conduct a Kids camp for ZOE children in 2013.
Currently, we are in the planning stages of another trip - hopefully in early 2015.
What is God prompting you to do with the remainder of your life? I encourage you to pray about this without ceasing. If He reveals something to you, remember - be obedient and don’t be a Jonah!
For His Sake,