I hit the road again this past week, covering a task force called Heartland Interstate Strategy (HIS) that is working to facilitate church plants along the 800-mile stretch of Interstate 29, from Kansas City to Winnipeg.
As a journalist, I’m always looking for a moment that defines a person, a movement or an event. On this particular trip, it occurred on Prospect Hill in Sioux City, Iowa.
Just as the rain let up on Wednesday morning, our bus pulled off I-29 in Sioux City and wound through a neighborhood toward Prospect Hill (where you can see into Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota). I was anxious to see the monument honoring the work of three Presbyterian missionaries named Rev. Sheldon Jackson, Rev. T. H. Cleland and Rev. J. C. Elliott who looked across the great expanse and prayed for “the great unchurched areas” on that very spot in 1869.
On Wednesday, nearly 150 years later, members of the HIS task force stood in that same spot and prayed a similar prayer.
“Lord, you called us to a purpose – to go and make disciples of all nations,” prayed Dr. Leo Endel, the executive director of the Minnesota Wisconsin Baptist Convention. “And there are vast groups of people west of us, just like 150 years ago, that do not know your son as their Savior and you have brought us to this place today, not by accident, but by calling.”
A group of maybe 25 Southern Baptists joined Dr. Endel in prayer, standing on the shoulders of three Presbyterian missionaries who came before them. I sensed that heaven was applauding as kingdom work became front and center.
I’ll post a link to the article once it goes live on the newspaper’s website.
Speaking of links, I’ve been updating links to the Articles page here on my website and have come across several I hadn’t been aware of. Since I write for a newspaper within the Baptist Press network, I never know where my work will end up within that association of publications.
Here is an example. I wrote a story for “The Pathway” newspaper in Missouri recently about a vision tour that the Missouri Baptist Bikers Fellowship took of the I-29 corridor. Here’s a link to that story: Mo. Baptist Bikers Fellowship: ‘We need to overwhelm the north with our presence.’ That same article ended up on the Baptist Press website: Baptist bikers ‘spy out the land’ for ministry. And on Townhall.com: Baptist bikers ‘spy out the land’ for ministry.
I don’t have any news yet about the re-release date of my Christmas devotional for families, “The Experience of Christmas,” but I should have some soon. Also should be able to share the new cover with you.