A lovely evening of faith talk with old friends meant a lot last week.
The friends were in from Kenya where they work. Several times they had hosted Molly and me in their home in Nairobi. The man is an under the radar missionary, winning friends for Jesus through friendship-evangelism - being a friend to people - especially men in government and business. Being interested in them as people. His wife worked alongside as hostess extraordinaire, feeding wonderfully the guests whom Sam brought home. A number of times, I was in their home. She remembers that one Thanksgiving, I held forth of the meaning of Thanksgiving as in the story of the Pilgrims and their safe voyage to America.
We shared various memories and the names of friends back in Kenya. It's been four years since we were there. It was an "old-times" kind of conversation.
Their hosts in Minnesota are eager supporters of their ministry, over a number of decades.
It was a quaint corner in a gracious setting. A young waitress named Georgia served us graciously and effectively. It was a wonderful gathering of old friends.
Then Sam said, "And Arthur, tell us how it was when you came to Christ." It wasn't a challenge. It was a sincere invitation. I told him Gil Dodds, new great indoor miler of the 1940's came to our town, and in the Jr. High auditorium, he preached Jesus and called us to come to Him and I walked "the sawdust trail." Carl Unger, the trombonist, led me to Jesus. I went in tears. I was 12 years old.
Of course, I knew Jesus. My parents were devout. My father was a minister. We had devotions at table every night after dinner. But I had actually never made a conscious decision to follow Him. It was a deeply moving, wonderful experience. Jesus would speak to me many times after that. All through my life.
From that point on, in our quiet corner, we friends of Jesus - old and new - talked of Him and our lives.
What a good thing to do, I thought, for friends to talk about their greatest friend. We should do it more often. We should open the door in conversation. We should tell others how much He means to us.
The conversation strengthened our tie to each other. We left, each with a new heart for the others. As friends. As Christians. Sharing a bond.
I've been remiss in not doing it more. I'm going to try to do better. Shouldn't we all? I urge us all to tell our story of faith daily, with love, to our friends. And theirs.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES