Ira: Twelve years ago I was a regular church-going deacon with an amazing family. But, my marriage of 25 years was in shambles. On the way to a men’s Bible study, I prayed for God to show me how to live in His Love. I knew how to say the right thing, I knew scripture, I was on the praise team at church, I was in church leadership, I knew what to say – BUT I was incomplete. I prayed for God to be real, to me to teach me how to rely on Him.
Since that prayer, my marriage ended, both of my parents passed away, and I moved away from my home – the process of learning how to rely on God was definitely beginning! I was 52 and all 4 of my children had been on mission trips, but not me. Our church had a trip to Uganda and my oldest daughter wanted to go so I said I would go. I thought, “Okay, I’ll go on a mission trip, mark it off my list, and get to spend time with my daughter.” Well, God had different plans for me. He showed me what relying on Him truly is. People there truly rely on God every day. The poverty is truly hard to describe to us here, but there is a joy there just as amazing. That joy is based on the freedom of trusting God for every moment of every day. I learned firsthand that saying the right thing, knowing the right scripture, praying the right prayer is not what God is after. He’s after our hearts, relying on Him every moment of every day.
By God’s grace, I met a wonderful woman and we started a ministry in Uganda called PLOW 127 where we work with pastors, helping them support themselves and feed their families so they will be good shepherds of their flocks. I learned that God will use each of us according to His timetable, not ours. Now, when I speak to churches, I try to remind people that it’s never too late to hear God and act on His calling for us.