the call: we told him yes!
by Allen Hall
Learn more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist Home Missions at www.homemissions.net.
ONCE UPON A TIME...
there was an ordinary family that was a very blessed family indeed. They were part of a church where each of them felt important, needed, and loved. To say they were content in their church and ministry would be an understatement. God had placed wonderful people in their lives that not only were friends but dear friends. In fact, they were more like family…
Then the call came. I cannot pinpoint an exact time; the call came over an extended period. Jenny and I heard God’s urgings. Sometimes He spoke very softly during our morning devotions; during missionary services He spoke a little louder. The loudest call, however, came while attending youth conferences with our youth groups. Ironically, as prayed for our young people to surrender their lives to God, God would simply inquire, “How about you?”
As time passed, the call became more urgent and personal than ever. After much prayer (and many confirmations from the Lord) we told Him yes. We knew the time had arrived for our family to lay aside personal desires, place our fears in His hands, and simply do what God had been preparing us to do our entire lives—go to the mission field!
As a family, we agreed that the call was not just to one individual. We determined that wherever God would lead us, we would minister, work, laugh, cry, pray, and share our ups and downs—together. God’s call was a family call!
Our determination was immediately put to the test by long months of fund raising. Our family agrees unanimously that nothing we have ever done is more tense than being crammed into a car for hours upon end as we traveled to each new service, especially when we were tired, hungry, or lost! Yet by God’s grace we persevered. As the miles, meals, and messages flew by, we watched in amazement as our family grew stronger and closer to one another!
As we conducted each service, it was our goal to demonstrate how every member of the family wanted to find and do God’s will. Jenny and I shared testimonies of how the Lord dealt with our hearts as children. Jenny would tell a children’s story, I would preach, and Allison and I would end the service by singing, “Is There Anything I Can Do for You?” Our eyes would fill with tears each time we encountered a boy, girl, mom, dad, grandma or grandpa who heard God’s call on his or her life for the first time. What a blessing to witness firsthand!
Another blessing came when God answered our prayer for another couple to go with us. We had prayed earnestly and specifically that the couple would love the Lord and the souls of others, but also for certain talents that would be assets to the mission work.
God called a precious couple that possessed all of the above. Stephen and Lauren Kimbrell were both approaching graduation from college. They had already been praying about going to the mission field to help a missionary. We were thrilled when God called them to minister beside us! They have been a blessing to our new church and even a greater blessing to our family!
THE NEW CHURCH
We decided the theme for Good News Church would be “Where the Family Worships God Together.” Every week, persons of all ages are encouraged to become active participants in the service. I cannot describe the beautiful voices of this new congregation as they sing old hymns, choruses, and even children’s songs to praise the Lord.
Because our current location does not have a place for Children’s Church to meet, Stephen started “Kid’s Time” during each servie. Although the kids love the lessons, the adults enjoy them just as much. Each week every child receives a bulletin called “Good News Kids” along with a Bible verse to memorize that week for a special prize on the following Sunday.
Through the singing, preaching, and even the announcements, our goal is to make the church, the Bible, and (most important) Jesus relevant to every member of the family. We hope God will use our church to send other missionaries to the field. We also pray that God will send people from our own church to be missionaries as well!
How awesome to see the hand of God at work! How wonderful to watch a new church being born. How exciting to witness the lives of people being changed. How humbling to be the family God called to this mission field! How glad we are that He did and that we said yes!
THE END . . . NO . . . THE BEGINNING!
Allen and Jenny Hall are home missionaries to York, PA.