by Walter Selke, NCEM General Director

John had phoned and told me to come over. I had spent time with him over the previous few years, and we would measure our visits by the number of pots of coffee we drank. We also set nets together, and together got the truck good and stuck.

I had prayed for him many times as he grew to understand about God, and about God’s love for him. His story was tragic. He told of being raised in foster care, being used more as a slave than as a son. His only visit with his mom was so that he could say good-bye as they buried her. John told me of all the times he had cried out to God, but felt abandoned.

So I went over to John’s house that day, wondering if there was a particular reason he had asked me to come. “Walter, I think I need Jesus,” he declared to me. I led him in prayer, and welcomed him into the family of God!

John still had his struggles and, unfortunately, I’ve since lost contact with him. I believe I will see him again in heaven.

The 2019 Christmas season is over, yet I choose to continue to celebrate God’s gift of love – His Son, Jesus. It is because of His Son that we have a message of hope and of deliverance. It is this free gift of God’s love and grace through Jesus that gives me hope to keep retelling God’s story. It is why I became a missionary, and why we as a Mission exist.

The old Gospel song, “Victory in Jesus,” really sums up our ministry:

I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory
How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning
Then I repented of my sins and won the victory …

Just as my friend, John’s – and Venus’s story in this issue – tell of God’s incredible grace, remember to keep praying for us and the ones who have yet to respond to God’s call.