I attended a funeral today of a lady, whom I did not have the priviledge of knowing. I attended the funeral because her brother is a member of my church and means a lot to me. The funeral was a tribute to a great woman of God who influenced many people for Christ. I listened to family members speak of how much she influenced them for Christ. One family member read letters from other family members, friends, co-workers, and former students, testifying how their lives were changed by her Christian witness and encouragement.
As I was listening I couldn't help but think back to those who believed in me and greatly influenced my life for Christ. One lady in particular came to mind - Ruth Faires. She was my R.A. (Royal Ambassadors) leader when I was in high school. She believed in this self-centered, immature kid. She believed that God had a plan for my life when I didn't even know God.
I still remember how she encouraged me to apply to be a summer worker at the North Carolina Baptist Assembly (Fort Caswell) when I was a junior in high school. Although I balked at the idea, she was very persistent until I finally said yes. It was her persistence that was ultimately and eternally life changing for me - for it was at Fort Caswell that I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ and was saved.
When I returned from Fort Caswell at the end of the summer, Mrs. Faires gave me leadership responsibilities in the R.A. program and spent time with me at her kitchen table teaching me from God's Word.
Mrs. Faires has gone on to be with the Lord now, but I am so greatful that she was willing to sacrifice her time and energy for a bunch of immature boys in order that they might grow up to be responsible men of God. I am especially thankful that she was willing to spend extra time with this young man.
I don't see too many Ruth Faires's in the church today. The young people of today, more than ever, need spiritual mentors who believe in them and will encourage them in their faith when no one else will. Will you be willing to follow Ruth Faires' footsteps? Will you be willing to sacrifice some time to be a believer and an encourager of the young people in the church today? You can make a difference in a person's life that will last for an eternity.