Once of my favourite quotes has always been, “you can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you cannot count the number of apples in a seed” or trees for that matter.
I have often used this quote to talk about the potential of our camp ministry to campers and staff alike. We never know who will be listening and who they will affect in ministry later on. Every once in a while you get to see the results of the ministry we do. I call it getting to peek behind the curtain (like in the Wizard of Oz).
Consider the story of Edward Kimball…
It was the year 1858 in the city of Boston. Edward Kimball was a young Sunday School teacher who made it a habit to personally give each student in his class an opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior. He was concerned about one of his students who worked in a shoe store. One day, Kimball visited the young man at the store where he found him in the back stocking shelves, and led him to Christ. That student was Dwight L. Moody who eventually left the shoe business to become one of the greatest evangelists of all time. As well as founding Moody Bible Institute and The Moody Church in Chicago.
Moody became an international speaker and toured the British Isles. He preached in a little chapel pastored by a young man named Frederic Meyer. In his sermon, he told the story of his Sunday School teacher. That message changed Pastor Meyer’s ministry, inspiring him to become an evangelist like Moody. Meyer eventually preached in America, in Northfield, MA where a young preacher heard him say, “If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?” That remark led J. Wilbur Chapman to respond to God’s call on his life.
Wilbur Chapman went on to become an effective evangelist. He enlisted the help of a volunteer named Billy Sunday, a former professional baseball player, who helped him set up for his crusades. Billy Sunday learned how to preach by watching Chapman and eventually took over Chapman’s ministry, becoming a dynamic evangelist. Billy Sunday’s preaching brought thousands to Christ.
Inspired by a Billy Sunday Crusade in Charlotte, NC, a group of Christian men dedicated themselves to reaching their city for Christ. They invited an evangelist Mordecai Ham to come and hold a series of evangelistic meetings. The year was 1932. A local farmer loaded his pick-up truck with neighbors and brought them to the meetings. One was a 16-year-old boy who sat in the crowd each night spellbound by the message. Each evening the preacher seemed to be shouting and waving his finger at the young man. Night after night, the teenager came and finally on the last night, he went forward and gave his life to Christ. That teenager was Billy Graham.
Billy Graham has communicated the gospel to more people than any other person in history. And it all started with a Sunday School teacher named Edward Kimball who cared for the souls of his students to personally make sure they knew and understood the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only eternity will reveal the impact of that one teacher who invested his life in the lives of his students.
This fascinating chain of events was triggered by a Sunday school teacher’s concern for his boys.
Don’t. Give. Up!