An Unforgettable Friend
One of the most popular features in “Reader’s Digest” magazine is entitled, “The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met.” One such “character” for me was Dr. William F. “Bill” Edmonson. He was a college President. I was his Interim Pastor. At the conclusion of the annual mission’s emphasis sermon, I made an appeal for those who felt called to missions – either career or short-term. Bill Edmonson responded. In my gut I felt like saying, “I wasn’t talking to you!” I mean, why would a college President, in his early sixties, resign and go to a mission field? But he was serious. He had heard from God and was responding in the words of Isaiah, “Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8). Back to school, he earned a Master’s of Christian Education and, along with his wife, headed to northern Thailand as an English teacher and church planter for three years. I attended his funeral last week. His death was an unexpected shock. Just a few hours after successful heart bypass surgery, he died in the ICU. Bill spent the last few years as a faithful member of Gideon’s International and the Chairman of his Senior Adult Living Facility “Church”. So, next time you hear a mission’s sermon, do not assume it is for someone else. The voice you hear, falling on your ear, might be that of God. And preachers, next time you preach a mission’s sermon, in the words of my un-schooled truck-driver grandfather, “Don’t never assume nothing.” Preach the Word, extend the call, and get out of the way so the God can work. Thanks Bill, for a life well lived, and an example well set.