ALONG THE WAY: OUR FIRST MINISTRY ASSIGNMENT
While pressing forward to equip and encourage leaders with Global Training Network, every once in a while, Sharon and I reflect back on people we love who God brought into our lives and used us to bring them to faith or encourage them along the way. Following are just a few:
I met Ed Murray my first year of ministry at Northwestern University, and shortly thereafter he trusted Christ. Ed came to live with us for a while. Meanwhile, Sharon played a role in Coralee’s life when she (Coralee) was a student nurse before she and Ed were married.
Ed and Coralee joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, and are now just finishing 50 years of ministry impact in Austria, East Germany, Moldova and Bulgaria, as well as other countries of Eastern Europe.
Here’s a note from Ed:
“Talked this morning at a men’s group about significant people from our memories/past. You were right up there on the list. Thanks.”
Ed and Coralee were just two of a number of Northwestern University students who we worked with and went on to serve and follow Christ. Ken (wife Cindi) Luxton was another. Here’s part of a note from Ken:
“Dear Linus- It has been many years (almost 40) since I saw or talked to you last. We met through Campus Crusade at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. I was a football player. If you don’t remember me I wouldn’t be surprised but on the other hand you are very memorable to me. You were a great influence and friend during my freshman year at NU.” – Ken
ALONG THE WAY: UCLA AND THE JESUS CHRIST LIGHT AND POWER HOUSE
Following our early ministry with Campus Crusade we were part of launching Christian Associates International and the Jesus Christ Light and Power House, during the Jesus Movement. We had a ministry on the UCLA campus and a training center (JCLPH) nearby (photo below).
So many of the Light and Power House students we trained have gone on to have an impact for Christ. One wrote:
Thank you Linus, JCLPH was the beginning of internal reconstruction for me. To look back now, I must say my life was a pile of rubble when I arrived. The rebuild has taken many years, but the end result thus far is good, still much to be transformed. The renovations continue, I enjoy the process. I have an interesting faith-filled life. Thank you for tearing off my old stinking bandages. – Darrell
One of the couples involved in the UCLA side of our ministry was Paul and Judy Williams. Here’s a note they wrote:
Dear Linus and Sharon,
You and Sharon helped us establish a good foundation “in Christ”. Apart from Him, marriage is almost impossible. You taught me (Paul) how to be a “man” at the tender age of 19: Integrity, honesty, based on the living word of God.
Thank you and Sharon for your commitment to disciple us while at U.C.L.A. I try to see Judy through the eyes of Jesus. She is precious and will go to any lengths to protect, care for, and Love her. We thank God for placing you in our lives. Praise Jesus for His kindness and faithfulness.
Love you guys always,Paul and Judy
ALONG THE WAY: NEWS RELEASE BASKETBALL MINISTRY IN ASIA, AFRICA, AND EUROPE
Two of the UCLA students we worked with (Gary Edmonds and Chris Hall) helped launch a summer missions basketball ministry we called News Release. One of our former players, Steve Sorenson, continues to lead that ministry today.
In addition to sharing the Gospel at the half-time of our games (in Asia, Africa, and Europe), we studied the Bible together, and sought to be missional and transformative wherever we went.
A number of our teammates ended up as pastors. One of them, David Chadwick, now pastors a church in Charlotte, NC. Here are experts from a couple notes David sent me:
Thank you, Linus, for reaching out. I love friendships that last for decades! Ours especially.
I’ve started the new church, hoping it will be strong and missional, simple yet focused. We’ve had around 1500 the first several Sundays.
My heart for decades has been to be faithful…to run the race well. I’m very privileged to have met people like you along the journey. Thank you for who you are in Christ. You’ve touched thousands around the globe.
The memories live. A great time in my life. And we will be young again.
I don’t have enough space to tell of others who continue to make an impact for Christ, who were part of our News Release teams…like the two Ralphs (McCall and Drollinger), Kent, and, on and on.
ALONG THE WAY: STUDY AND HOSPITALITY AT L’ABRI IN SWITZERLAND
Sharon and I took our four daughters (Linus Jr and Kathryn would come later) to Switzerland to study under Christian philosopher Francis Schaefer at L’Abri in 1973. It was a great study and family time for us. Sharon studied in the mornings, while I watched our children, and we reversed roles in the afternoon.
While at L’Abri, several others lived with us, one of whom, Jim Urish, went on to become a pastor in Wyoming and Colorado.
Jim entered the presence of Jesus recently after a faithful life as a husband, father, and pastor. To the right is the note I received from Jim’s wife Anne, telling me that Jim beat me to heaven.
Another young man who stayed with us while we were at L’Abri recently wrote:
Linus, long time since we have been in contact! You took me into your household in L’Abri, Switzerland in late 1973 when I was desperately looking for meaning in my life…. How incredibly valuable that was to beginning the foundation of my life, most importantly my personal relationship with Jesus Christ! Just so thankful for the support you provided so many years ago and sorry I have not reached out much sooner. — Duane
ALONG THE WAY: CHURCH PLANTING IN EUROPE
I mentioned above two of the UCLA students who came to Christ during our ministry years there, helped launch the News Release Basketball ministry. After a decade of basketball teams (and a couple of Master’s degrees), Gary and Trish Edmonds, Chris and Debbie Hall, and Sharon and I moved our families to France to start a church just across the border from Geneva Switzerland.
After four years we returned to the US, and Chris and Debbie stayed another year. Gary and Tricia led the Crossroads church for another decade. Subsequently, both Gary and Chris went on to lead other Christian organizations.
Another former UCLA and Light and Power House student who joined us in Geneva was Vince Leong. Vince started the student ministry of Youth for Christ in Switzerland while helping us start the Crossroads Church in France.
Vince is a life-long friend and is currently part of the NO BS BS I lead each week. He recently wrote:
Thanks for your thoughts on the presentation. Starting to put together how the Lord brought my parents to the US [from China], and led me and others in my family to Christ. God has used you to open Eternity to our family and future generations.
I was recalling with Paula last month how in my family we never hugged or touched each other. During one break from UCLA I decided to hug my Mom for the 1st time, as I was leaving home to return to campus. Mom was quite startled but pleased.
Through that simple gesture I have come to realize that I was introducing my family to a glimpse of Heaven, an expression of love and care that had been absent in our family. Mom accepted Christ and was baptized many years later @ the age of 73!!
ALONG THE WAY: FAST FORWARDING BACK TO THE USA
After a decade of church planting in France and Holland, leaving two healthy and growing churches (and many dear friends), we relocated back to the US to give leadership to a church planting movement.
While back home, we had several people live with us including Bas van Rhee (light shirt below). Bill Betz (pictured next to Linus Jr) also lived with us and ended up on the pastoral staff of a church in the San Francisco area.
Bas, now married, recently wrote:
I hope all is well with you and Sharon. I’m in a preaching class at church and my assignment for this Thursday is Philippians 1:3-8. I am using you as my opening illustration to explain how I experienced Koinonia for the first time. Much love, Bas
Hi Linus. I just read the newsletter you sent out. Your descriptions are always a reflection of real life in which God is present. — Brad
ALONG THE WAY: BECAUSE OF “THE WAY”
One thought on “Remembering … “Along the Way””
Thank you for the impact and friendship you had in our lives. Bill and Tina