In the 1970’s, I stood on the unfinished roof of Sister Bustamante’s church, in Monterey, Mexico. Hundreds of people would come to the meeting that night. People would go back to their homes and bring the sick to be prayed for. Eventually, they would take me through the dark unlit streets of that part of the city from house to house to pray for those who were just too sick to come or be carried to the church. It was so hot in the building, and believe me when I say I know what a hot building is like to preach in. When I started out, very few churches had air conditioning, and that was Texas in the 60’s. I have jokingly said, “I have seen jack rabbits standing in the shade of barbed wire fence post”. That night the air was so dry, there was no moisture in the packed church except for the sweat that was pouring from my drenched body. I even said, “I would pay 50 dollars for a Seven Up,” and I meant it! I felt a burden, but a burden and a call are two different things. Seeing God move like He did that night led to a second night. I went up on the roof by myself before the meeting and had a little talk with Jesus. I told him that I would move to Mexico, if giving our life to South America was the thing He wanted GayNell and I to do. As fast as that came out of my mouth, I knew the answer was emphatically “No”! I can remember it like yesterday.
I was prepared to give my life away for the Hispanic people. I had worked among the Mexican youth of Houston for years and knew the culture; but, if this was the next step in the journey for my family, I was ready to take it. Immediately I spoke (as I remember) out loud, “Lord, if you ever need me in Mexico, just let me know. I am available.” Kentucky was a long way from Mexico, but little did I know that God would put people around me who would follow their God Given Passion to build many churches and orphanages, as well as pour their lives out for Mexican people. They are sitting among you this morning. One more time the Lord has called me to be in Mexico this week. You see, I am following my God Given Passion this week; but I am not alone. Pastor Renee and his family, Pastor Sean and Jayna and their family, as well as several others have chosen to go and serve the old vision that is ever new in the mind of the Father.
I believe in you!
Cleddie and GayNell