Monday, November 06, 2006

She lives in Chicago, and attends a University there. She did not grow up as a believer, but surrendered her heart to the Lord a few years back. In this picture, she is seated beside the still waters, high in the Andes Mountains, in her prayforbj.com t-shirt.

I saw the picture back in August as I debriefed her team. They were filled with enthusiasm over how God had moved among their teams and in the hearts of the Quechua Indians they ministered to. Relationships had been forged. The Gospel had been declared. They had a longing in their hearts to return, yet they had just arrived home. I assumed she had picked up her shirt at training...eight weeks earlier.

I saw her again this weekend at our annual iGo conference. There were over 130 people in attendance. The majority of them were Awe Star alumni or friends. She headed towards me, a bit shy, but her steps laden with purpose. In her hand she was clasping a photo, in her heart was a story she had planned to share during the summer, however, God's timing is always perfect.

Her sister had lived for a time in Indianapolis. As she was out one day, she encountered several students who were clad in pink t-shirts that read "prayforbj.com." She found this curious, so when she arrived home, she went to the website.

She began to read, and the Lord began to move in her heart. As she viewed the screen through blurry eyes, she began to think about her sister Michelle. She had seen a change take place in her life over the last couple of years. She had been drawn close to the heart of her Savior.

A though occurred to her sister. Michelle would love to be able to share in this kind of journey. She made a decision. She ordered two prayforbj.com t-shirts.

Christmas arrived as they gathered together as family. Michelle received a present from her sister. She opened it and did not know what to say. Neatly tucked into the box was a pink t-shirt with a web address that was meaningless to Michelle. It is easy to imagine the awkward pause.

Quickly, the story of BJ's life, ministry and subsequent death was relayed. The background gave her a better understanding of the gift.

A short time later, Michelle traveled from her University to another one in the area to visit a Bible study she had been attending. The leaders name was Drew. On this night, Drew would share with his group about the previous summer he had spent doing missions in Peru. He handed out a brochure for the upcoming summer, and sought to sow into their hearts a desire to accompany him on a return trip...a longer trip...an extreme trip.

This would be the same Drew who back in September had called me on the phone, introduced himself, and requested permission to come Indpls to visit us in the hospital. He knew BJ from Awe Star training the previous year.

Drew caught a taxi to the bus station. Took a bus from Chicago to Indianapolis. Took another bus from downtown Indy to our hospital. Spent three hours listening to me pour out my heart. He encouraged me tremendously! I found him a vacant visiting room where he slept on the floor for three hours, then caught a taxi to the bus station, took a bus back to Chicago, and caught a taxi back to his University (He spent more time traveling than he did visiting).

This young man was a freshman in college and he was negotiating cities and transportation systems he had never utilized. His training came from his years of doing short term missions.

Drew shared BJ's story with his Bible study group. Michelle interrupted him. "Wait, who,"she asked?

"BJ Higgins," Drew responded, "Why do you know him?"

"Well, kinda," she offered.

She shared her story with the group, and sat back amazed at what she saw the Lord orchestrating in her own life.

She began to pray over this opportunity to serve the Lord for eight weeks of her summer, in Peru. He stirred her heart for the lost people of the Andes mountain regions. She returned to
Her Bible study and reported to Drew, "I am going with you this summer!"

She went, and the Lord broke her heart for lost people. She grew a great deal over the summer, as she saw the Hand of God provide, and equip her for ministry.

She came to our iGo conference with a passion to return to serve. She is seeking Him on where He would have her go.

Please pray for her. The country on her heart will be a very difficult one.

Thank you Michelle for your obedience to our Savior! Thank you Drew for your faithfulness in using the giftedness the Lord has bestowed upon you to teach and to lead. It was good to see you both this past weekend!

dad

9 Comments:

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent and Deanna,

I read your posts everyday, and am almost always moved by the words shared, and today is no exception.

I'm not sure if Derek has shared with you yet, but he DEFINITELY will be going to Peru in January to stay through the summer, working with Reap South Ministries, based in Lima. His ministry opportunities mainly consist of two possibilities: (1) stay in Lima to help teach English to Peruvians who will serve as translators for American teams who come to Peru for short term missions, and (2)make visits to unreached areas to assess the ministry needs and possibilities for new works. He will likely end up doing a combination of these things, as well as (knowing Derek) repairing roofs, clearing land, or whatever physical needs he can help meet. AND, he'll always find someone who wants to chat--he makes fun of his mom for talking to EVERYBODY she meets, and has joked that someday we need to vacation in a country where they speak a language that Mom can't speak....Derek has a way of putting people at ease, and seems to be comfortable in almost any situation.

He also hopes to be in place to work with an Awe Star team next summer. He is completing his major in Spanish and Christianity at college--this week--and is looking forward to putting his knowledge into practice!

He is excited about his future, and so are his parents--the only thing is that his mom (me.....) is thinking about how much she will be missing him!!!

When our children were born, we dedicated them back to God for Him to use them however He desired, and we know that we can't hold them back from their callings. It's not easy to let go, but we know that we'd be doing more harm by clutching too tightly.....

Bloggers, please pray for Derek and those around him who are affected by his life. May he be an awesome instrument for God's love, and may he always be obedient to His leading!

A melancholy mom,

Jolene

 
At 10:47 AM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

Praise the Lord for showing us another one of His awesome orchestra pieces in the lives of Drew, Michelle & her sister. He is the ultimate choir director!!

Daily we pray for all of your faithful walks/runs/marathons - we will add these three. May we all continue to be on our knees and prepared to be obedient.

We teach our children that obedience is first time, every time, immediately and completely without arguing or complaining. We do this for many reasons, but a major one is that they might learn in preparation to do the same to their heavenly father. All to His glory!

Each of them can quote this little sentence back to us. At various times we repeat it to them with one word bolded more than another based on the learning lesson.

Today will be a great example to read to them.

It is a life long race of obedience - what great examples we hear here! Thank you Lord!

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Brent, I remember meeting Drew. I also remember how honored you were that he had traveled so far to spend just a few hours with you. What a great story of how BJ's life is so far reaching!

 
At 3:53 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

dad--

I LOVE michelle. i got to spend some time w/her sunday afternoon as i waited for my plane that i thought would never come, and she is incredible.

Thats a crazy story tho.. i didn't know that she had gotten hooked up that way.

Have i mentioned how good it was to see y'all this weekend?? it truly was a blessing to be there!

i love you guys...see you in January.

praying always-
~kristin

 
At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Vicky Ward said...

My daughter proudly wore her prayforbj.com tshirt last night to the MercyMe concert. When she came upon Whitney at the concert, she felt uncomfortable that she had that tshirt on. I told her to wear it with PRIDE always, as he touched our family and changed our relationship with Christ. (Whitney, I'm looking forward to your debute!!) I must say that we were a bit disappointed that MercyMe did not play Beej's song last night in Indy -- but we know the work is still going on through BJ and just like today's blog - God is Glorified!! Amen

 
At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our family was also at the MercyMe concert in Indy last night. All evening I was waiting for BJ's song, but it didn't happen. It was still a wonderful evening praising our Lord!

Wow! What a wonderful story of God's perfect timing!

Always praying for your family!

In Christ,

Shelly
Noblesville, IN

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger  said...

Brent,
I had such a great time at iGo! I can't tell you how much I love Awe Star and all of the people there. And you've been such an encouragement to me ever since I met you! You have such a genuine love for people and it really shows :) And I saw Kristin's comment, I LOVE her too! I met her through Sam Beer and she's the best.
I can't wait until this summer, I really hope that things work out so I can go on another trip. And I really hope my friend is able to go too, he has such a great story and I know that he could be such an encouragement to people. I'll call you as soon as I talk to him again. I hope Walker is happy that I'm recruiting more missionaries! haha.
And thank you so much for telling me about this post, it made me really happy! And I told my sister and she just read it and thought it was so cool. Thank you for all of your prayers as well. Talk to you soon!

~Michelle

 
At 7:21 PM, Anonymous olivia said...

I am a student at Sapulpa Middle School,one of my teachers is Mrs.Higgins today Nov. 07 Mrs.Higgins showed my class a video of BJ. It was so sad I dont know how she made it she made it through. But I knew she could!!

I LOVE YOU
Olivia
Jones

 
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