The sun had just set. I was staring emotionless, frozen in time. As I sat alone in the lobby of the restaurant, my mind recounted all the events that had brought me to that point. I was without hope. As a college-age young person, I was overwhelmed with a plethora of personal problems. I attempted to find hope for my aching heart, but without success. I pursued the world, which promised escape through drugs and alcohol. I pursued money which promised satisfaction. I pursued religion which promised peace. But none of these pursuits met the deepest need of my heart. I was hopeless. The only thing left was the pursuit of death; the taking of my own life. I was sitting in the pit of self-absorbed pain and despair.
Soon a woman passed by and dropped her purse at my feet. Papers fell out. I helped. She thanked me, gave me a white piece of paper, and left. I then decided that I would leave, get drunk, and take my life. But wait. What was that piece of paper? Big red letters grabbed my attention. I began to read -- "Christ is the Answer!" My heart beat fast as I read Scripture after Scripture explaining God's plan of salvation. The answer was not the world, money, or religion. It was a relationship that I could have by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ. What was it that gave me hope when I was in such great despair? What was it that caused me, who was spiritually dead, to be made alive? It was the Word of God!
My journey continued as I was led to Bible college, where I met my lovely wife, Sandy. Following our wedding, we began our ministry in the pastorate. After 13 years of pastoral ministry, the Lord led us to join Baptist Mid-Missions (BMM) so that we could follow Him to Romania to plant churches among the poor and despised Roma (Gypsy) people. For 15 years we witnessed God gripping the hearts of hopeless people, and infusing life-giving faith into their souls. We saw the evidence of lives being changed. What was it that caused such a powerful transformation? It was the Word of God!
My journey would continue as the Lord led us to the PEP (Pastoral Enrichment Program) ministry of BMM. National pastors needed to be trained, encouraged, and equipped so that they could shepherd their own people. What would give them strength and guidance? How would they learn to "feed God’s sheep"? Where would hope come from? It was the Word of God!
The fingerprints of the Lord of the Harvest have been branded upon our hearts. For 32 years my wife and I have had a passion for church-planting, evangelism, discipleship, and pastoral training. But none of that is possible if a copy of the Scriptures in the hand of every soul is not met. As we join Bibles International, this has not changed. That passion has been ignited afresh. Missions is about people needing to be reconciled to their Creator. The thread that tied each stage of my spiritual journey together was the Word of God. So why direct a Bible Society? Because Bibles International goes into fields and "plows the ground" so that the Word can accomplish what the Lord of the Harvest designed it to do: save souls, plant churches, and glorify God. Our hearts bleed church planting. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17). What is the entry point to missions? What will provide hope? It is the translated Word of God!