A band of believers
By A. Ray Lee
I had taken our grandchildren to McDonald’s for a happy meal. We were seated in a booth near the door where people were passing in and out. When the third person stopped to greet me by name, eight-year-old Josh asked in amazement, “Podder, do you know everybody around here?”
A number of years later Lynsey, one of our granddaughters who was now in her teens, had accompanied Effie and me on the last of our ten mission trips to Sabadell, a city with a population of over two hundred thousand near Barcelona, Spain. We had spent many hours meeting with church leaders, visiting in homes, leading worship services, and encouraging the people in their ministry.
Knowing that in all probability this would be our last visit to the city, we walked down a broad sidewalk doing some last-minute shopping. We passed a small sandwich shop with outdoor tables. A man was seated at a table near the street. I had not noticed him until suddenly I heard his voice calling, “Mr. Ray, Mr. Ray.” As I turned I recognized him as one who had been in the services the night before. Inadvertently I glanced at Lynsey as she rolled her eyes upward clearly expressing the thought “here we go again.”
After retiring from my last full-time pastorate twenty years ago I have continued to serve in a reduced capacity in other churches and ministries as strength has allowed. In my declining years I have given time and effort to writing, a long-time interest that I had not found time for in a schedule that always seemed full. It too has led to many new acquaintances and co-labors in faith.
As I look back over sixty years of ministry in North Alabama, with brief trips to England and Scotland, and the extended mission to Spain, I have been blessed by meeting and serving with countless individuals whose faith and values match mine. My life has been greatly enriched by those relationships. Thank you for your interest in my columns and for encouraging me to continue.
Together we form a band of believers much like the scattered individuals the Apostle Peter addressed when he wrote: “Simon Peter, a servant of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.” (II Peter 1:1,2)