Today, we are celebrating the homegoing of Billy Graham, and I can’t believe how many stories I’ve read and heard of people coming to Christ through the crusades, television casts, or writings of Reverend Billy Graham. We even watched “The Crown” on Netflix recently and remembered what I had read in Dr. Graham’s book, that he even counseled the Queen of England. I (Ben) don’t remember exactly when it was but at some point in Jr High or High School I perused my father’s bookshelf and read “Just As I Am.” Reverend Graham’s legacy in my life was left by his biography. I vividly remember being encouraged, challenged, and inspired to reach people for Christ by the life of Billy Graham.
One of my favorite quotes of Billy Graham, considering my missionary calling to reach kids for Christ is, “I am certain that the Gospel is just as real to the small child as to the educated adult. Christ seems to have a special affection for the children. I sincerely believe that child evangelism is one of the greatest mediums for reaching future generations for Christ that there is today.”
We will miss the voice of Billy Graham in our world. God has used him for the last 99 years in ways that most of us can only imagine, so God, I thank you for calling and sustaining your imperfect, but obedient servant, Billy Graham. I look forward to meeting him one day in Heaven and saying, “thank you for living the life God called you to. You made a profound impact on my life.”
I sit down to quickly write an update between things happening this Valentine's Day/Ash Wednesday. Happy Valentine's Day! It's been a whirlwind day and week for us. You may have noticed from our Facebook and letters that one of our family hobbies/sports has become Taekwondo. It's led by some dear Christians in Franklin Park, and we get to take and help teach classes alongside people from at least eight different countries, so we love the international/multicultural atmosphere.
Today (Wednesday) has turned into today (Saturday) as Wednesday ran away from us. This week we've been juggling construction at the HUB (Ben), recruiting and planning our weekend retreat that we call Ignite CYIA for next weekend, teaching club, homeschooling the boys (Karis), and strategic planning with some of our staff. In addition, we've of course been doing all of our day-to-day stuff of corespondence, helping churches plan future kids ministry, coordinate with current Good News Clubs we oversee, etc. Honorable mentions in our evening schedules are leading our small group, Taekwondo, leading AWANA Sparks, and mentoring. We share this on our blog, not to say, "see how busy we are, aren't we great?!" like it has become a Christian discipline to be busy(which could be a whole blog article by itself). Rather, we want to invite our ministry partners more intimately into our lives to show the daily ins and outs, blessings, struggles, monotony, joy, victory, exhaustion, and exhilaration of the life God has called us to live.
This has been a good, but hard month so far for us, and as I look at the calendar, it's only one week in! We have been hit by the plague, also known as influenza. Also, three weeks ago, Ben was laid flat on his back by what ended up being a twisted vertebrae. Now, we hope we are coming out of what has been three weeks of sickness and limited mobility. Ben went to a Chiropractor, three doctor's offices, and finally a physical therapist. The PT diagnosed the twisted vertebrae, and confidently said, "I can fix it," and she did. Ben is still on treatment for his back, but is getting much better.
On the "ministry front," things continue to move forward. Ignite CYIA is our annual recruitment/appreciation weekend for our teenage summer missionaries, and that is happening Feb 23-25. We've had some good conversations as a part of the national CEF "Urban Task Force" discussing best practices for ministering in and around the urban populations of our country. The HUB continues to move forward, and we are praying for more kids to join the Good News Club meeting within the ministry center. God was faithful to allow our account to end up in the black for the 2017 year, but we are still seeking new financial ministry partners for 2018. If you haven't joined our financial support team and you want to, you can give online here, and if you don't get our email and paper Jorden Journal newsletters, you can subscribe here.