Passing the baton

Two events occurred this week that made me think about Christine Caine’s convocation speech to the December 2012 Liberty University graduates again. The first incident happened at church. Isn’t it amazing that God, after thousands of years, still uses the church to speak to His people? We have a new young family coming to our church and the mother is a real activist. Her mother takes in girls plucked out of trafficking and eases them back into ‘normal’ life so you can see the kind of role model this young mother has had for her own family. Anyway, this woman is ready to begin a children’s Sunday School after church and is prepared to bring many other families with children to attend if we simply begin. This Sunday I begin a story, a craft, a memory verse, some singing and a re-enactment of the story using the back of the family’s pick-up truck as the ship transporting Jonah away from Ninevah. Watching the children play after the Sunday community lunch last Sunday gave me the idea. See what I mean?


IMG_0405The second incident happened yesterday when my biking friend called and said her daughters wanted to join us on our bike ride. Her daughter, Julie, had just graduated from Grove City College with a major in Biology and a teaching certificate in secondary education. We were riding our bikes and I got to talking to mission-minded Julie (in the pink tee shirt) about the need for an education director for Christian Light School in Haiti and that she might want to pray about that. Sherri Fausey, who runs the school now, is looking for someone to learn the administrative aspects of the mission and this would be a good time for a young person to apprentice while Sherri is still there. Julie said, “No, definitely not.” I merely replied, “I’m just planting seeds, Julie. God will let you know.”

Two distinct events, yet each telling me that it is the young women, not me, that is to go. My job is to pass the baton. Christine Caine’s convocation message is all about passing the baton. She says we are at the time of the great exchange. Those of us who have worked for the Lord, most in obscurity and anonymity, over the long haul and experienced His faithfulness in the difficult work of redeeming the lost are searching for the fresh runner to grab the baton of faith to complete the next lap for the Kingdom. Jodi and Julie are ready to grab that baton from me. They both have invested themselves in preparation for the Lord’s work. Please pray with me for the exchange.

In the movie “Problem with the Curve” the father must hand off the baton to his daughter. The struggle with the hand-off is what the movie is all about. The movie is not Christian, but it depicts well the hand-off that must occur between the generations. It is not easy giving up one’s years as leader. It is not easy letting those who have lots of experience to gain, go about gaining it. God’s grace.

He is with us,



4 comments on “Passing the baton

  1. Ah, dear friend. So often you say what is in my heart. When I first saw Jodie and her kids do the Mother’s Day skit I was overjoyed and a little “bittersweet jealous”. I saw myself many years ago with that same enthusiasm and determination. At this point, however, I realize I am in the wings as a member of the support staff. But it is enough. Indeed the baton must be passed with our prayers and encouragement for these wonderful young leaders. I firmly believe that God sent the Vogels to us. They have been like a shot of adrenaline (sp?) for our rather grey and creaky congregation. Praise the Lord!!!

    • I need to be there for the transition. She can do all of it. She just needs to know we are alright with giving her the space and materials needed. She needs to learn the culture that is White Pine. She already knows how to minister and she knows how to do it effectively. How great is that?!

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