I was standing at the front of the room when an old man walked up to me. We were on a break at a Pastor’s Conference that CLC was hosting in Liberia and it seemed that everyone wanted to talk with me. I had just given the devotional message that morning and presented the CLC work and a little of our history in Liberia and our gratitude to God for being able to return to this war torn nation. The man waited patiently until I had finished speaking with those around me and stood there with an almost angelic smile on his face. As we began to talk, he introduced himself as Edward Dennis.
Edward was excited to meet me at told me that he had worked in CLC as far back as 1965 and he remembered many of the CLC missionaries that had served so faithfully in Liberia over the years. He went on to tell me that he remembered my grandfather who had made a trip to Monrovia many years before. His face shone brightly the whole time he was talking and as he told me his story, I knew I was standing in the presence of one of God’s special saints.
That night I sent a Facebook message to one of the missionaries he mentioned and she responded quickly telling me that she remembered him fondly and really appreciated working with him. The next morning, Edward showed up again before the day’s activities got started while I was busy at the book table. He came right over to me and mentioned that he had someone with him that he wanted me to meet. Immediately this tall younger man came right over and he had the same big smile on his face. This was Edward’s son Trokon.
Trokon was also really excited to meet me and had something in particular that he wanted to share with me. Looking me straight in the eye he said, “When my dad was working for CLC many years ago, he used his wages to pay my school fees. I praise God for CLC.” He went on to tell me that he had done well in school and was now in full time ministry. The ministry he works for is located in Minnesota and is doing great mercy ministry in Liberia. What a testimony of God’s faithfulness through the generations.
My chat with Trokon took place on a veranda outside the church where a huge inscription was etched into the wall of the church. I could not help but notice the name of the senior pastor located at the top of the list of people who had been there the day this new part of the church was dedicated in the 1970s. His last name was Reeves, the same as the current senior pastor. God was reminding me of something very special.
I had not realized it until that moment, but the Pastor of the church where we were holding the conference, Samuel Reeves; the person providing the training all week long, Dr. Tony Hart, and I all shared one thing in common. We were third generation recipients of God’s blessing and had fathers and grandfathers before us that had served in full time ministry in some capacity.
In a time when it seems that the nuclear family is under such great attack and children are rejecting the faith of their parents left and right, this was a remarkable reality. The three leaders of this conference were just like Trokon and indebted to the saints who have gone on before us. I was also reminded that “to whom much is given, much is required”.
As the week of training came to a close and pastor after pastor shared about what the event meant to them and how it would change the way they pastored in the future, I wondered how many of these men and women would be passing a legacy of blessing on to their children. Some of them were probably the children of full time ministers themselves. The Lord may work in mysterious ways, but one thing is certain, He is faithful.