One of my church friends died this week. The former pastor of our congregation, he and his wife settled comfortably into a pew and allowed future pastors to minister to him. Such arrangements often don’t work, but this one did. In 1998, he encouraged me to teach in a small Bible college in Ukraine. For the next four years I made a trip to a neighboring country to continue my ministry of teaching counseling to future pastors. Those two-week experiences represent a highlight of my life’s ministry.
I heard from one of my former students this week. We’ve become friends on Facebook. Because of translate.Google.com, we can communicate in Russian. The program translates from English to many other languages and vice versa. This young pastor told me he’s using the principles of counseling I shared in class in his ministry. That encouraged me greatly – my influence for the Gospel lives on
Death is a crisis. Everything we’ve lived for, we must give up. Everything we’ve worked for, we will to others. The longer I live, the more the reality of death confronts me. “That’s what we’re all working so hard for, isn’t it,” said a neighbor who works in Hospice, “to die?” True, but our influence lives on.
Little did my pastor friend know of the impact of that little connection he helped make between me and my student. Although in death we give up our individual life, we’ve made thousands of connections, so that our legacy for Christ lives on.