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From My Heart FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS… Diane Baughman What will the rest of your story be … the one that few people know, but that plays an important part of who you were, who you are and who you will become? 2017 arrived and generally with a New Year come resolutions, perhaps a commitment to do better as a Christian, son or daughter, parent, spouse, friend, student. Perhaps a promise to read God’s Word every day without fail, to pray faithfully, to witness more frequently might be on that list. Of course, there are plans, goals, secret hopes and dreams that only you and the Lord know about. If you are like most, you blow something the first day, or the first week and it isn’t long before those well-meant resolutions are forgotten or put on hold until 2018. On the flip side is the anticipation or angst of what the New Year will unveil—life changing decisions, marriages, births, deaths, health changes, job or ministry changes. Thinking back over all that took place in 2016, could you have ever imagined you’d be where you are today? I always stand amazed as I reflect over an entire year’s events and realize how faithful the Lord was every day no matter what happened. You know, if you don’t journal (and I don’t), I want to encourage you to jot down brief entries of what happens each day in 2017—the date, a few words to summarize events, and a prayer request or prayer answered—the Lord’s faithfulness or working – all to do with those events. Another option is to create six lists titled trials, blessings, opportunities, people witnessed to, people led to the Lord, and people influenced. Keep the format simple so you won’t quit. Do entries before any social media. Our 2016 began with CAMP BIMI alumni leaving for the mission field almost monthly. We were able to see several of them off at the airport! Others became “official” missionaries and began deputation—some raising support quickly. How could we have ever imagined that the Lord would forcefully but clearly transfer the SMART 2016 trip to 2017? The devil fought students coming to CAMP BIMI, but the Lord blessed abundantly beyond all we could have imagined. Immediately after CAMP BIMI, a full SMART 2017 team formed and their support began to arrive in September! We could never have envisioned what the Lord had in store for us from August through December! We experienced deliberate movement by the Lord on a daily basis from morning to night. The phrase that kept coming to mind was “For such a time as this.” There was no mistaking it. In addition to an amazing conference schedule and meetings with incredible missionaries (several were CAMP BIMI alumni), the Lord completed every waking moment with opportunities to share the Gospel, to encourage, comfort or counsel, to reconnect with people, and to see those we had led to the Lord and/or mentored long ago. One of the greatest blessings came when the Lord brought a relative to mind that lived within an hour of where we were. “But Lord, there is no time with the conference schedule to make that trip to talk to her.” He would not let me forget. I made the trip with “my agenda.” Arriving unannounced, right in the driveway, our conversation was immediately directed to her sister and what she was going through health wise—not only her, but her husband also. Immediately, my concern was if he was saved. Two days later, I was able to visit her very ill husband and lead him to the Lord. He had not been raised in church. I was also able to visit with his wife and her sister at each of their homes to ask them about their salvation. Each had been saved at a younger age. These were cousins that I had seldom seen since my teen years because we lived so far away. At the end of eight emotional hours, heading back to the conference with a quiet but very full heart, I knew people had been praying. The Lord had prompted me to follow His leading by faith, and He prepared each heart before I even arrived at each cousin’s home. I didn’t need to know the “why;” I only needed to “‘go.” I can assure you that from mid-August to American Thanksgiving, there was never a doubt that the Lord only wanted us to trust and obey (like the old hymn). He would do the rest. There are not words or space to share each experience—all separate from the conferences we were in. Laying our heads on unfamiliar pillows each night and reflecting on that day, there was no doubt that the Lord had ordered our steps and prompted us to move on each one “For such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). We had done something that would make a difference for eternity in someone’s life. From my heart to yours, I encourage you to: 1) Follow Holy Spirit Promptings – when the Lord lays someone on your heart, move on it ASAP. You don’t need all the details ahead of time. He’ll reveal them to you as needed. 2) Realize that your mission field, at any given time, is where you are at that moment. The Lord places you amidst people daily for a reason, and it isn’t only for those on the mission field. 3) List those who impacted your life since you were little – a neighbor, teacher, someone on a church pew, bus driver, relative, classmate, school janitor, someone you observed but never spoke to. Locate where they are now and send them a handwritten note, or call them. With a note or letter: include a good tract explaining the plan of salvation. With a call or visit: identify yourself, and tell them why/how they influenced you and why you want to thank them. Tell them what you are doing now and look for that open door to share Christ. If you share your personal testimony of salvation first, most will listen. 4) Most importantly, do one thing each day that will count for Eternity. How much of what you did in 2016 shaped who you are today? How much of what you do in 2017 will shape you into Christ’s Image? “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) CAMP BIMI 3