Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Missionary Spotlight Monday: (Sort of)

I have a confession to make. I dropped the ball. My five year college reunion was this weekend, and I forgot to think ahead to this week's blog. And I didn't realize it until yesterday on my way home. So, as a result, today's blog will be quite different. Different focus. Different challenge to you.

I'd like to introduce you to three people (two today and one tomorrow) who have had a profound impact on my life. Each one has played a crucial role in helping me get to the place I am today. They have affected the life of this missionary. By no means are they the only ones, but after seeing each of them this weekend, I was reminded of the fact that I would not be on the journey I am without them. Dr. Dennis Kinlaw once said, "Everybody's redemption begins in somebody else." And I know this is true because of these people.

Meet: Joe B. and Willa-Sue Brockinton

I first met Joe B. and Willa at Asbury College in August 2000. They were the faculty advisers who were basically "parents" to our incoming freshman class. My first memory of Joe B. occurred shortly after my mom drove away, leaving me in a new place with people I did not know for the first time. I was walking to the dorm after having a class picture taken, and Joe B. was walking in the opposite direction. He called me by name, stopped, and took the time to find out how I was doing and what he could do to make the transition easier. As I walked away from that conversation, I had no idea that he and his wife would quickly become tremendous agents of transformation in my life.

Through countless conversations over dinner, over coffee, on the sidewalk, sitting in their home, meeting in their offices, in the cafeteria, at Fiesta Mexico, my life began to change. Both Joe B. and Willa continually challenged me to think BIG of God, that what He says is true, that He is faithful and can be trusted. They always prayed that His Agape, unconditional love would be a tangible reality in my life. They were relentless in helping me to discover (and ultimately believe) what Jesus says about me, and encouraged me to allow it to change how I view the world.

Throughout the years, Joe B. has become the father-figure I so desperately needed. His consistency, wisdom, and unconditional love has been life to me. Just as he did that first interaction on the sidewalk, he goes out of his way to make me feel loved and important. He has taught me so much about the character of God because he continuously seeks to become more like Him. On a less serious note, he can play the harmonica, takes a lot of pictures, and is a huge Georgia Bulldogs fan. (But I don't hold that against him.) And Willa-Sue is, quite possibly, one of the most authentic and genuine people I've ever met. Loves unconditionally, and lives to serve. She was one I knew I could trust with any confidence or question, a woman of integrity who walks in truth. I knew when she said she was praying for me that she actually was. Her love for Jesus and His word changed my life. (As did her strawberry shortcake, but I'm resisting the temptation to talk about it.)

The Brockinton's are people who may never win awards or accolades that make them known throughout the world. But, by simply living life, they have changed mine. And I am forever grateful. If "everybody's redemption begins in somebody else," I wonder...Whose redemption will I get to celebrate as a direct result of the redemption that started in me that started in them. And how about you? Someones redemption is beginning in you. Whose?


  1. OK.......this worked, but I do not know how I feel about being anonymous.......especially if everyone else is going to be.....o well..Love reading the blog entries...Love, MOM

  2. Couldn't agree with you more about these great people! They make a difference wherever they are planted. May God continue to raise up more like them!