So many conversations and thoughts here on our journey in Brazil have surrounded my wife’s dad. Pastor Leslie Dickerson served with his wife Irene and family in Brazil for a total of 52 years as a missionary. We reflect on our own memories and missing his presence here with us.
The impact Les had on people’s lives and the generations affected by the work of Christ through he and Irene’s work is staggering. We regularly rub shoulders with people here who are impacted by God’s work through the Dickerson family. Darla summed it up beautifully for the kids the other day saying; “Grampy gave everything first to Jesus, because he loved him and second to the Brazilian people who he loved deeply.”
Seemingly his singular focus was to share Jesus’ love with the Brazilian people, especially the young people who aren’t so young anymore. One story we heard involved a young man visiting the retreat center grounds Les founded. The young man saw a plaque with Pastor Leslie’s name on it and asked about it. Once told that Les was the founder of the ministry, he was astonished. This young man’s grandfather came to Christ under the ministry of Pastor Leslie and three generations of this family now follow Jesus.
All of this has led me to one simple question. A question of focus for my own life and maybe for yours…
How are the lives of people where I live directed toward Jesus because of me?
Do I have the boldness to answer this honestly? I wonder are the people of South Orange County different because of my life? Am I willing to give 52 years of my life to the people of my community and neighborhoods that generations may follow Jesus?
I am willing. I am ready. I am on my knees before God that he would use me as I fall deeper in love with Jesus.