The other day I had the luxury of speaking to one of my good friends from my college days at Barrington College in Barrington, Rhode Island. As with most good friends, you can go a long time without speaking to them and then pick up right where you left off. This is how it is with my friend, Ruth. She now lives in Canada and many, many miles separate us but we still connect on the phone as if no time nor distance has come between us since our days at Barrington College.
One of the things that Ruth and I have in common is that her parents were missionaries in India and my mother was a missionary in Chile. Both of our parents have had a profound influence on our lives and we both continue to draw strength from them even though both sets of parents have gone on to be with the Lord in heaven. They were examples to us of how to live a Christian life. They also showed us how to carry on during tough times. They showed us that living a Christian life was not always about having an easy life. They showed us that giving your life to Jesus required sacrifice and commitment. The main thing they showed us is that living a Christian life and giving your all to God was worth it!!!! They were joyful in their work and would not have traded it for anything!
My mother, Bessie Pate, was the oldest of six children growing up in Smithville, Texas. When she was about 17 years old she quit high school, left home and went to train to be a missionary in Mexico. She began this unusual journey for a young, single woman because she felt God's call to be a missionary and she answered "yes". She completed her training in Mexico and she was hoping to be assigned as a missionary in Mexico but the missionary board said that she was being sent to Chile instead. They needed her to be a church planter in Chile. As a young single woman in her early twenties she left North American and traveled by boat with another single missionary woman to begin their missionary work in Chile. On their way to Chile their boat was docked in Panama and my mother and her friend got off the boat to go do some exploring. While the boat was docked it caught fire and everything that my Mother and her friend had was gone. Nothing was left. The only thing they had were the clothes they were wearing. They were able to get some more clothes and secured plane tickets to fly the rest of the way to Chile. My mother and her friend were successful in their work as church planters in Chile and some of the churches now existing in Chile are the result of my mother and her friend being faithful to what God called them to do.
I often think about my Mother. She was definitely a mold breaker. A single young woman during the 1940's does not quit school to become a missionary. A single young woman in the 1940's does not travel by boat with another single woman to a foreign country. A single young woman in the 1940's does not get on a plane after loosing everything and continue on her journey. A single young woman in the 1940's does not tackle the job of establishing churches in South American. My mother has inspired me all through my life and she continues to inspire me. I am 100 percent committed to what God has called us to do here in Colorado. I know that Ed and I both broke the mold when it comes to what couples typically do when they retire. Couples in their 60's are suppose to relax, travel, walk the beach or go golfing. I know that we broke the mold when we left our lives on the east coast and moved out west to Colorado. I know that we broke the mold when we began the task of starting up a ministry for the homeless when we are in our 60's. I am hear to tell you that God may call you to be a mold breaker. When God calls you to do something it may go against the grain of what the world typically says is acceptable. I am also going to tell you do it anyways. It is an exciting journey. It is not even one tiny bit boring and there is no better place to be than exactly where God wants you.
So BE BOLD!!!!! Be a mold breaker!!!!!! Say "yes" to what God is asking you to do. You won't be disappointed and God will go with you on the journey. It won't always be easy but you will begin the story that will be passed down for generations to follow as they look for examples of what it means to live a Christian life.
His servant in Colorado,
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries