For who has despised the day of small beginnings? Zechariah 4:10
Several years ago the Lord told us to sell what we had and move to my wife's home town in South Texas. We had a 3500 sq. ft. 5 bedroom home, a 2000 sq. ft. ministry building, all on 2 acres in West Ft. Worth. It took multiple garage sales, an auction and a weekly ad in the local newspaper, but we sold nearly all we had. We loaded all we possessed on a 16 foot trailer and went south where we moved into a one bedroom apartment under 1000 sq. ft.
Talk about culture shock, leaving a beautiful home, a residential ministry to drug addicts, a church we pastored, and ministry center to move into a dingy little apartment on the back side of the desert! Once there we opened a little store on the main street and began to sell what little we had left and I began to seek the Lord for what we were supposed to do, and He led me to our computer sitting on a desk in the kitchen, and directed me to write. Sounds great and I had already done quite a bit of writing being in ministry but hand written, because I didn't know how to type or operate this one-eyed monster of a computer!
I obeyed and the Lord blessed my hunting and pecking, giving me inspiration to write what He gave me and things were going pretty good as the Lord was also providing for us supernaturally, sometimes even by my mother in law's cooking and other Hispanic friends she had who dropped by to chat. This seemed to be my desert experience as I had been in full-time residential ministry, counseling, discipleship and the oversight of our little fellowship and now, nothing, only a barber I met named Doug. Doug was one of the only barbers in town and everyone knew him so he and I began to go to the local sports bar and play pool while he drank his beer and I my diet coke.
I didn't share much about the Lord at first just wanting to get to know him and I began to pray for God to send a Holy Spirit conviction upon him and save his soul. One night I noticed Doug wasn't drinking beer, he was having a coke and I asked him why he wasn't drinking and he said, " I am convicted," I said, of drinking, he said no, of not spending time with his family. I knew at that point he had surrendered to the Lord and was saved. For the next year or so I spent a lot of time with Doug sharing and we became really close and my pool game also got better as we played every week.
You might think this was just a waste of time to spend a year and a half with one man, but that man happens to see almost every man in the town in his barbershop sharing the Lord and becoming a light in a predominately dark place! God is not concerned with nickles, noses and numbers as most are today because He is looking for quality, men and women who will give their hearts solely to Him as Doug did in obedience to the leading of His Spirit. I just returned from down South and met a man who is spending time with Doug and he was also called to this rural little mission field and has become a mentor to Doug as he helps him grow into a New Man in the kingdom of our Father!
"And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. "For this saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors." John 4:36-38
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin