When a publisher friend invited reflections on significant professional milestones, this came to mind. Perhaps it will encourage you.
February 1, 2021, marked a milestone – 50 years in vocational ministry spreading the Gospel. I am so grateful to God, my friends, spouses, employers, hosts, publishers, prayer partners, and ministry supporters for their important parts in this wonderful adventure that has taken me to six continents, the airwaves, and cyberspace to tell people the Good News that our Redeemer lives.
I’m also thankful for my critics – “the unpaid guardians of my soul,” as one missionary put it – who’ve been legion. They’ve challenged me to hone my thinking and sharpen my communication skills to best connect with skeptics, seekers and the disinterested to help them consider spiritual matters.
Some glimpses from the past half-century:
- February 1, 1971: Joined Cru staff at Duke University, to complete my senior (final undergraduate) year. Shared faith in dormitories, fraternity meetings, and more – on campuses in the Southeastern US, plus on television and radio.
- Lecture tours: God’s taken me around the globe communicating in classrooms, ballrooms, boardrooms, chapter rooms, locker rooms, embassies, military bases, and via TV/Radio/Web on relationships, sex, success, humor, anxiety, racism, poverty, faith, ethics, leadership, death, forgiveness, reconciliation, Freud, Marx, and Elvis. Always seeking to point audiences to Him.
- Lasting fruit: Gary met Jesus at a Sacramento State University speech. Now a career missionary, he’s served in the US and Ukraine. As a Georgia Tech first-year student, Bert rejected the Gospel when we spoke…but embraced it later that night. He’s served God for years in South Africa and the US. Patty came to faith when we talked in a Miami church parking lot. She’s ministered in church for decades.
- Opportunities to flex have been many: In Nigeria, the lights went out during an evening lecture. The room was pitch black; so was the audience. I said I’d keep speaking if they’d keep listening. I did, and they did. In the Philippines, a monsoon flooded part of the classroom. We moved the audience to a drier section while I kept speaking – barefoot, and with my trouser legs rolled up, standing in (not on!) the water. In El Salvador, nearby rebel gunfire emptied a lecture hall.
Many ministry partners who began in 1971 have graduated to heaven. I remain grateful for them and for all friends whose prayers and support help me continue on this exciting journey!
Still spreading His truth…. And praying that you’ll reach your 50th year in communications, and encourage others to follow.
By Rusty Wright, www.RustyWright.com
Copyright © 2021 Rusty Wright
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash