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This Sunday I missed my first service, in the 4 1/2 years we have been in Chile, because of sickness. I’ve been fighting a mycobacterial lung infection for a couple of weeks, and Sunday I thought I would just “push through” with my preaching commitments.

As I was preaching our first service at 9:45, I could barely breath and felt so light-headed I thought I would pass out at any time. Clutching the pulpit, I managed to finish the message. During the invitation song, I called a few of the key leaders to the side and told them there was no way I could teach a 45 minute Sunday School lesson and preach the second morning service at 12:00.

They didn’t hesitate! One took my Sunday School class with only 10 minutes notice, and the other preached the noon service. That evening one of the guys took care of everything too.

This whole experience stresses the crucial need to train effective leaders and preachers for the ministry. So many missionaries never develop skilled national leaders who can carry the load of the work when the missionary is gone.

This weekend was a great experience for our ministry… seriously! It reminded me that during the next months and years we’ve got to do everything possible to train men for the ministry. And, this weekend let our church people know there are capable men who can carry the load even if I’m not there! Those are two priceless results from an otherwise rotten weekend 😉

Thank you Lord for bringing this sickness to help me remember that the ministry is all about training leaders to reach this world for your glory.

Who are you training?