Missionary Heartbeat

Gallery of Heroes

     by Rocky Grams                

              

Eighty eight graduated in these days.

Sounds a little brash to say they are heroes.

They’re mostly untried—merely obedient dreamers.

Overheard some well-known Christian educators

In a different  leadership school assess the potential of their students: 

“We know only 10% will make it into full time ministry.”

Went totally against the grain of what we feel and hope and yearn for.

We really believe for 100%.

Some years it has happened and all are in ministry.

Pastoring and teaching and planting churches and touching the poor

Reaching out to hundreds of children and high school students.

Eighty eight graduates gleefully holding their diplomas aloft.

Over a thousand graduates in the last fifteen years.

Are we a diploma mill?

Hardly.

They’ve paid too high a price to just be milling through to a cardboard certificate.

Twelve to a room and bunk beds three levels high.  Sixty four to one bathroom. 

No loans.  No help.  Little encouragement from home or current leadership.

Practical application and service not optional:  required.

They’ve wept many tears to get this far.

They have dreams and passion and that’s about it.

And training and the willingness to serve and they’re filled up with the Word

And God’s strong Spirit.

Obedience is their resource.

Will some opt out of the gallery of heroes?

Like the young lady graduate used in the gift of healing

Now alone—drifting in the natural world

Cut off from the Body and from the Dream.

How about those sidelined by envious leaders?

Or the one who walked down to the slime of an affair?

Well loved by us

But they opted out and away.

This class truly is hero material.

Two weeks before graduation they honored their teachers with a fine banquet.

And then the soon to be graduates washed their teachers’ feet!

Immediately after graduation they worked together and planted a church!

Sold candy and raised funds for two years for that project of faith.

What do they have?  Who are they?

“We are a spectacle to the world,” Paul says.

About sizes it up.

Not much from that perspective.

But in obedience to God’s dream

A gallery of heroes.

We stake our lives on it.