It all began with a simple invitation.
A few years ago, our oldest son Daniel developed a friendship with a boy named Michael*. One day, Daniel invited Michael and his brother Gabriel to go to AWANA with him. Michael was excited, Gabriel less so, but both came and even brought their little sister.
At the same time, Karla was developing a relationship with the children’s mother, Mary. Karla planned to invite Mary to church, but Mary beat her to it, asking, “If I’m not being too forward, could I come to your church?”
After Mary attended church for a bit, Karla planned to invite her to a Women’s Bible study. Once again, Mary surprised her by asking first. Mary even brought her sister, Elizabeth, along.
Sometime later, both Michael and Gabriel put their trust in Christ during youth group. With most of the family involved in church, Joe invited James, the father, to join him for a Bible Study. After a time, he also professed faith in the Lord. That fall, he and his sons were all baptized!
The church offered a Love and Respect class to strengthen marriages. James and Mary took part; during the class, they tore up divorce papers they had previously prepared.
Still, this family’s story wasn’t over!
As this family experienced the Lord’s power changing their family, they began inviting others. Soon Mary’s mother and a close family friend, Priscilla, regularly attended the Women’s Bible study.
We must never underestimate the results that can come from a simple invitation. In this case, a simple invitation by a 12-year-old boy to a friend resulted in ten people, most of whom very faithfully attend McCleary Community Church. It led to several salvations and much spiritual growth, which blossomed into service to the Lord. We praise the Lord for using small things to bring about blessing and glory for Him.
Joe and Karla Beard have served with Village Missions since 2005 when they interned at Dalkena, WA. They are at their second church, McCleary Community Church, in McCleary, WA and have been there for ten years this past July. Joe and Karla have been married for 22 years and have three sons: Daniel, 14; Nathan, 12; and Timothy, 8.
*Names changed for privacy.