Elder Bill Lorenz introduced Bonnie and Levys Hernandez as our first missionaries to speak this month of missions. He also shared how deep the roots of friendship go with Bonnie since she carpooled with Bill and Judy’s three children when they attended Christian High School.
In the old FC on Echo Drive, the Lord called Bonnie into missions when she was fourteen years old. She giggled that she made a two-year commitment and then acknowledged that FC has been supporting first her and then her family for thirty years. Serving in Nicaragua is a privilege for Bonnie as she and Levys work with twenty-two schools, pastors and directors. Bonnie reminded us that “God is not finished with FC. FC is in God’s hand.” What an encouragement!
Levys then spoke. At 3:30 A.M., he asked the Lord what He wanted Levys to say to FC. The word Levys received was “I need them to release their hard hearts. I want to heal them.” Doesn’t that sound like the same message the Lord gave to the Israelites? The Lord wants us to soften our hearts towards Him and others. He does not want any bitterness to root in our hearts. The Lord wants to restore us and that can only happen if we humble ourselves and repent. If we surrender to the Lord, He will restore us. Praise God.
After giving the congregation that word, he called the FC Elders up, Richard Dinnen, Ed Jarrell, and Bill Lorenz. Levys prayed for them, blessed them, and asked the Lord to let them feel His presence like never before. He prayed for the church to be established in His time. May we as a congregation pray for and with our elders and board members. Just as in Exodus 17 during a battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites, Aaron and Hur upheld Moses’ arms. If his arms grew heavy and lowered down, the Amalekites would start to win. However, when Moses’ arms remained up, the Israelites won. We are Aaron and Hur who need to intercede for our elders, board members, staff, leaders, and each other in that same way.
Finally, Levys reminded us of Acts 9 when Saul was on the road to Damascus. He was on a mission to persecute Christ followers, and he had the high priest’s backing. However, Saul did not have the Lord’s support to persecute His children, and the Lord stopped Saul in his steps and blinded him.
“In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called
to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!”
‘Yes, Lord,’ he answered.
The Lord told him,’Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask
for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he
has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hand on him to
restore his sight.’
‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man
and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.’”
What a relationship Ananias had with the Lord that he felt free enough to mention Saul’s history, which implied his own fear of persecution and possibly death, but God…. In His omniscient wisdom, the Lord told Ananias, ”Go!” and Ananias went.
If Ananias had argued with God or sought “wise counsel” from many different people, he would have missed the divine appointment the Lord had for him with Saul. It is so easy to stall, make excuses or pull a “Jonah” and go the opposite direction. However, Ananias heard, believed, and obeyed. What a good lesson for each of us today. When the Lord speaks to you to talk to your neighbor or to help someone who needs you, do it.
The song “Trust and Obey” comes to mind. That is what Ananias did. That is what Bonnie did when she heard the call as a fourteen-year-old. That is what Levys did Sunday morning at 3:30. Now it is each of our turns to trust and obey. Since the Lord wants that “none should perish,” may we be salt and light in this dark and sin-filled world.
Written by Larry and Annette Linthicum