At the risk of the ridicule I might get I still have to ask. Does anybody remember that Ray Boltz song, "Thank You?" I know, I know he sang so many, and the videos are kind of sappy now. That was a long time ago, etc., etc., etc.
I had an experience today that reminded me of the song - actually that the song is more than a song. For the next several days I have the privilege of being in Medellin, Colombia, serving alongside two other members of our church, some members of First Baptist Church, Euless, Texas, and several representatives from the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. What an amazing organization the International Mission Board is!! God continues to do great work through the faithful service of missionaries who have committed their lives to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.
While we were walking today I was in a group with the team leader from FBC, Euless, and one of the missionaries from another city in Colombia. This missionary told this story. Some people he had introduced to Jesus were growing in their faith. They heard that the missionary would be seeing the Pastor who had been influential in his life (previous trip). These new Christ followers told him to tell his Pastor thank you for the investment. Then, he turned to this team leader from FBC, Euless, and looked over at me. It seems that this team leader had been the missionary's tenth grade Sunday School teacher. So he looked at his former teacher and said, "So really I want to tell you thank you from the people I am working with because without you I wouldn't be here, and they might not know Jesus."
Now, friends, let me just tell you, that got my attention. Here was a man who was leading a team of short term missionaries in an experience with a young man he had taught in the 10th grade. Have you ever felt like your efforts at ministry weren't worth it? Think again. You never know what God might be up to.
There are people in my life who I am thankful to God for for the impact they have had on me. This story makes me realize the importance of making sure my children know that there are a long line of investors who have played a part in where we are today. Of course, there have been some investors who had impure motives. Others may wonder if they made a good investment after all. For those who made solid investment in my life, however, I am thankful. The next two steps are to let others know who they are and then to make investment in the lives of others so the door will be open for continued work throughout the days to come.