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The Great Gift of Easter is Hope


For their missions conference last month, I was asked to give the Sunday morning message for a wonderful church in Alabama. They have been a partner in ministry for over 30 remarkable years and I couldn’t help but notice that some of us looked a bit older than when I first visited three decades ago.

 

When speaking, one of my opening lines is often, “There comes a time in every man’s life when he wakes up early in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, ‘Dad?’” As I took one last look in the mirror before going into the sanctuary, I smiled as a hint of my father looked back at me.


I told an old, true story I had heard my dad tell many times. As I told the congregation, I’m certain the story has been “embroidered” just a little bit over time (as my grandma used to say), but it’s a powerful story of God at work through his church and his people to accomplish his purposes.

 

The story involves two people in a small town in the southernmost part of Argentina who are lost and without hope. Their choices and circumstances have led them down dark paths and society has cast them out as sad, wasted lives.

 

Into the mix comes a young, skinny preacher full of love, hope, joy… and energy. He’s too “green” in the ministry to know he’s not supposed to go to certain places or interact with certain people, and as a result finds himself face-to-face with these two lost and hopeless souls.

 

Jesus shows up!

He was always there; they just finally see him.

Jesus changes everything. He always does.

 

Two hopeless and desperate lives are changed into new creations and others are amazed. They want to know how this happened and could there be hope for them, too. Revival begins to happen in the small town as the light of Jesus shines bright. Lives are changed…forever!

 

The story is impactful and moving and it’s easy for the listeners to get caught up in the drama. But then the all-important “back story.”

 

Some 30 years ago my father, Les Thompson, first visited that little church in Alabama and asked if they would partner with him and the ministry of LOGOI. “Send us out to proclaim the Gospel throughout the Spanish world by helping train, equip, and encourage national pastors with little Bible training,” he asked. Like other churches and families, the church in Alabama said, “yes.”

 

My father and the ministry of LOGOI forged ahead in their mission. Like hundreds of others, a pastor in Argentina found his way to LOGOI and gratefully began his on-the-job Bible training.

 

Years go by.


The church in Alabama continues their partnership. My father and LOGOI continue their ministry. Then one day, a skinny young man in the congregation of this Argentine pastor says he thinks God is calling him to be a preacher. Enthusiastically, the pastor enrolls him in LOGOI’s on-the-job Bible training and a year or so later, the skinny new preacher is sent to a small town in the southernmost part of Argentina where he meets the two hopeless and desperate lives.


Then, Jesus redeems his children!

 

What a joy to stand in front of the congregation in Alabama and say, “On behalf of my father, LOGOI, the Argentine pastor, a skinny preacher, two lost souls redeemed by Jesus and countless others just like them…thank you!”

 

Do your little dollars invested in God’s work really make a difference? By God’s amazing grace and love, absolutely. So just like I said to that Alabama congregation, on behalf of countless lives redeemed by the Gospel, “thank you” and please, “keep it up!” We’re in this all the way — together.

 

And by the way, you look terrific… for your age!

 

Happy Easter!






Ed Thompson


P.S. Remember to download your copy of Carolyn Thompson's An Unexpected Love Story here. Add to cart and complete a brief form. You will then be able to download a PDF version of the book. Contact us for a printed version.

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