When I was a relatively young Christian, my family was in a time of turmoil. My parents had gone through a divorce, and we stopped going to church. As a college student and a staff member for Youth for Christ, I was asked to serve on the evangelism committee of my church. And at my first meeting I met Howard and Alice Thomas, a dear elderly couple. At the end of the night we prayed together, and they mentioned a dozen people or more. They prayed with a sense of passion and care for these people, none of whom were their own children. Afterward I went up to them and told them, "I'm so deeply touched by the way you pray for these people. It's like the way I picture parents praying for their children." I had never
met Howard and Alice Thomas before that night. But Howard looked at me and said, "We will pray for you every day. What is your name, son?" They put my picture on their refrigerator. When I got married, Beth's picture was added and when my children came along, theirs too. Until first Howard and then Alice died, they prayed for me every day. Today, in no small part because of those prayers, all of the members of my family confess Christ and my mother and stepfather are both elders in the Presbyterian church. That is the kind of relationship that we have to offer the world--prayerful interdependence lived out because of Christ by the Spirit.
Monday, February 19, 2007
How the church can help
From Tod E. Bolsinger in It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian: