Once There Was A People


In my experience among African peoples I have observed heroic lives being spent so that their particular people could hear the message of God’s Perfect Love expressed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, as well as in His teachings. I have prayed with admiration as I have watched lives literally being poured out on the altar of obedience to God’s calling them to take His Gospel to their people. I have observed families caught up in the joy of serving Jesus together. I have observed individuals alone witnessing to their families and their people at the risk of their lives. I have been blessed and challenged to continue growing in my understanding of my own calling among my people whether I am in Nigeria, Niger or the United States. Everywhere, every people are perishing without the Saving Grace of Jesus . . .

Once there was a people
Long held in bondage
To fear, debt and sin
And for thousands of years
They had tried everything;
Beauty, wisdom, brotherhood,
Art, war, cruelty, passion–
They had searched desperately
For some pathway to freedom,
But fear and doubt and sin
Were killing them–they
Knew it all too well, but
Tragically they could find
No escape–while all this
Time their Good Master
Had been calmly, quietly
Leading a few, one here,
Two there, maybe three
To freedom, as many
As would listen, who
Could hear His whisper
Speaking love amid the
Cacophony of noise
Crashing all around them,
But more and more of
These fearful, doubting,
Sinful people heard and
Found their freedom
As the whispering
Became louder, first a
Humming, then a quiet,
Worshipful chorus until
One day the angels,
Themselves sang with joy
Because the Master had
Come to live among
His people, to sing for
Them Himself, a song
So filled with loveliness
A universe sat hushed
To hear such a psalm
And in their singing
Was a promise so thrilling
Even Heaven scarcely could
Believe–if doubting had been
An option–for there would
One day begin an eternal
Bursting forth of exultant
Praise for Him who made
The singers, for Him
Who made the song.

May 13, 1986
2 Corinthians 2:15

5 thoughts on “Once There Was A People

  1. You know, I still remember a poem you read the first time I heard you speak, something like, “Somebody needs a someone . . .” That really spoke to my heart. Thank God for your influence on my life.


  2. It was a great blessing to see this and a great honor to our family to be part of this godly parent family. You have been a roll model to us in many ways. Thank you for your determined christian influence upon our lives. We promise to pass this baton of faith on to the next generation. God’s riches blessings be upon you and the entire family. We love you and we are praying for you. Mikarol-(Mike and Carol)


  3. It is a great privilege, blessing and a geat honor for us to be connected and raised by such godly parents like you. Thank you for your determined christian influence on our lives. We promise to pass on the baton of faith to the next generation, God helping us. We love you so much and we are praying for you. May the Lord bless and keep you in His love


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