(The following post was written by my wife, Mary.)
Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson invited Joel to speak for their seminary chapel and their mission conference. His chapel message was “Keep on Keeping On” from Hebrews 12. His mission conference addresses were on “The Age of the Spirit and Revival” and “How to Promote Genuine Church Growth.” He also lectured spontaneously for a preaching class on “The Golden Age of Puritan Preaching.”
Our dear friends, Dr. Elias (RTS’s mission professor) and Fokjelina Medieros, organized our itinerary and took us around. Elias had just returned from Brazil Tuesday morning and planned to go back Thursday to be with his ailing mother. He told how she was giving Gideon’s Bibles and evangelizing everyone from her bed in ICU, including the respiratory therapist as he was giving her a breathing treatment. Now we know from whom Elias gets his evangelistic zeal!
Fokjelina’s parents were also on campus, and were a delight to visit with. Her father served for many years as a president of a notable seminary in Brazil.
It was good to visit the RTS campus again, touching base with faculty and students. Joel also thoroughly enjoyed his serendipitous visit with Guy Richardson, the seminary’s personable president. Pray that God would richly bless RTS-Jackson and that the RTS students would go out and preach with passion.
After Joel was done speaking, we stopped at an antique store. The owner, Gary, had recently lost his wife. I asked him if he knew the Lord. He said he did and it was a great comfort to him. A customer, James, a bricklayer, chimed in that he had lost his wife four years before. He too was strengthened through his faith in Jesus. Joel pastored them and prayed with them. The joys and sorrows of the human condition—birth, growth, marriage, children, aging, death—were so poignantly felt. Seeking comfort and refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ created an instant bond between us. Pray for these two lonely men.