Three years ago, my friend Dan Brown (LIFT Student Ministries) and I partnered to bring LIFT to Great Britain, calling it simply LIFT-UK. It was a tough, but rewarding start. I’ve forgotten the statistics, but the number of campers matriculated was less than we had planned, but we were committed to seeing God do something—and that He did!
Fast forward to 23 March 2011, when I spoke to a youth group in Hednesford, comprised almost completely of young people who had attended one or more LIFT-UK camps and who had been saved during their first or second year of camp. Seeing their enthusiasm, new levels of discipline, and attentiveness was an indescribable reward by itself.
However, there were two other rewards during our brief evening together.
First, was the conversation with a young woman who, as a teen in 2008, had placed her faith in Jesus Christ as Savior during camp. She reminded me that she would never forget that day when, with guidance from yours truly, she had made that eternal decision. She has not only followed through with attendance at and discipleship through Hope Baptist Church, but is taking her Christian experience to another level this summer. She has made application to and plans to work in the US on the LIFT staff.
That kind of fruit is rewarding.
Second, my heart was stirred once again by the burden and vision for young people that my British friend Marie Hutchings exhibits tirelessly. Marie’s husband Ian, “Hutch,” is the founding pastor of the very young Hope Baptist Church in the Cannock area. Marie could be a stand-up comic anywhere, and I love her sense of humor … but most of all I appreciate her love for God and for young people! This kind of fruit is rewarding!
And the whole family shares this determination and joy to impact youth for Christ! Daughter Kerry has been an awesome support in logistics again and again, as have sons Kevin and Richard. I am so thankful for the opportunity to make contact and develop friendships with the family from my earliest days in the UK. This kind of fruit is rewarding!
And yet, as I type these words, my mind races back over the last several hectic days to both British and American partners in ministry. The hours that my friend Leonard James, pastor of the Woodhill Church in Colwyn Bay, and I spent together—dreaming, planning, and daring to believe that God is about to break out all over the UK—were priceless! This kind of fruit is rewarding!
Listening to the renewed strategy for the Baptist Bible College of Great Britain as Gail and Tom Gritts and I met over lunch causes me to take renewed hope that we are on the leading edge of what could be another great revival in these parts of the world … and the pieces are coming together as we work and await a great movement from God once again! This kind of fruit is rewarding!
BTW, do you pray? If so, would you pray to that end—that once again, in these last days, that God would pour out His Spirit on a land that once lit the world with the Gospel light? I’ve had the notion in my head and burning in my heart for four years now that these things could happen. We’re seeing the beginning of it, too! This kind of fruit is rewarding!
Several months ago a dear pastor friend in Michigan introduced me to his congregation. During the introduction, he made a statement to this effect: “The seeds that Dale is sowing in Great Britain, he may never live to see the full fruit.” Pastor Greg Burdine may be correct in his assessment. However, I am already seeing some of the fruit, but cannot take credit. It’s a team effort on the part of many—including you, if you will pray! Yep, and this kind of fruit will be rewarding!
Okay—another airline flight beckons and I must go! Cheers!