"Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?'
Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'"
While in Haiti I met so many people with such incredible stories of God's amazing grace. There were multiple people that had a testimony of being delivered from demon possession. Several could testify of how God had given them hope in the face of tragedy. It was truly inspiring and heart stirring. The most powerful testimony came from missionary Richard Turner.
If you met Pastor Turner, there would be nothing on the outside to impress you. He is a fairly normal looking individual, a mountain man from the south without any teeth. He doesn't impress you with his charisma or his oratory skills. He is for the lack of a better word fairly simple. It is when you get to know the faith of this man that your heart is incredibly moved. In 1992 God called Pastor Turner to the mission field of Haiti. He was in his 50's and was set up to be able to retire quite comfortably. As a business man he had been quite successful, and God had also used him in several areas of ministry. It was time now for him to spend his "golden years" with his precious wife Wilma and their grandchildren. However, as He often does, God had a different set of plans. He knew that the hearts of Richard and Wilma were exactly what He needed in the difficult field of Haiti.
I could not in this space begin to tell you the entire story of their service in Haiti, but a couple of things stand out that all of us need to consider. First, they most definitely had a call of God on their lives to go and minister to souls. I am convinced that to go to Haiti or any other mission field without a call on your life is one way to commit spiritual and physical suicide. The Turners did not make an emotional and irrational decision to go. They were convinced of the Lord that this is where He wanted to them. When we are convinced that God is calling us, we must choose wholeheartedly to follow that call. There have been difficult and life-threatening days for the Turners, but God has taken care of them according to His will. Second, the Turners heard the call of God on their lives, because they were listening for it. Before the call ever came, they had surrendered to God to do whatever He called them to. With their spiritual ears now open, they were able to heed to God's will and direction for their lives. Most of us miss God's call on our lives, because we are listening to other voices. We may be listening to the voices of loved ones or even the voice of our own will. Only when we are still and focused on the voice of God will we be able to hear Him and hear the direction that He would have us go.
One of the verses that Pastor Turner claims for his calling to Haiti is Isaiah 58:14 which says, "The mouth of the Lord has spoken." When God is speaking, it is imperative that we listen and obey. There will be many that stand before our Savior at His throne in Heaven, but I believe people like the Turners will be allowed to stand close to the Savior and rule in positions of power with Him. Pastor and Sister Turner were once people of great wealth and means as far as this earth is concerned, but today they would be considered paupers by the world's standards. They are the fulfillment of the Scriptures that say that those who become the least will be the greatest in the kingdom of God.
May you be humble enough to listen for the voice of God!