I had a fascinating conversation with a man today on while visiting my parents in Burnet Texas.
A friend from their baptist church--we went to pick up a tiller from him so my mom can do some gardening. His name is Mr. Zimmerman and in a very short time I was able to hear some of his story that was stirring and amazing.
He is about 75 years old. While he showed us the ins and outs of his tiller--and jumped in and out of my dads pick up truck like a guy half his age--he told us how the Lord gave this property to he and his wife about 20 years ago.
Having raised 3 of their own he and his wife sensed the Lord leading them to "child care" ministry and worked for a couple years at a Buckner camp that has since shut down. At this facility they served as foster parents for many children.
They wanted to keep serving in this vital ministry and aquired property in Burnet (through the Lord moving on someone in the church) to continue this ministry. He said over these years they saw many children come through their home--about 75 total!
He didn't paint the scenario as glamorous. He mentioned one child threatened to stab them at one point. One mentally retarted boy came to them after severe physical abuse (being hung and whipped) that they felt very inadequate to care for. However, this has been rewarding as the Lord met them with every challenge and he has some boys that still call him dad.
"I've lived long enough to prove that Rom 8:28 is true."
I didn't ask Mr. Zimmerman this--but I don't think that he regrets laying his life down for these 75 kids over the years--nor do I think he's tempted to wonder if he made a difference--or spent his retirement well.
We can change lives as we lay ours down.