Connie’s Story: An inspiring example to proclaim the gospel
Motivated by love for her Savior, Connie boldly went out to go door-to-door and proclaim the gospel. Her determination overcame her limitations and left us in awe… especially when she approached her final two houses.
Praise and Proclaim Ministries traveled to Mankato, MN to provide evangelism training. The following Saturday morning, over forty members from Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Mankato, MN along with a few students from Bethany Lutheran Seminary arrived to go out and boldly put their training into action despite the rainy weather.
The Lord answered our prayers in unexpected ways.
One of the members who arrived at church that morning was Connie.
After receiving training on Friday evening, Connie was eager and ready to serve her Savior by going out to proclaim the gospel. A lay member named Michelle – who also served as our on-site event manager — agreed to accompany her in the morning before going out to pick up sandwiches for lunch.
After two hours of going out door-to-door, the members came back to church to receive nourishment. Immediately following lunch, time was set aside to share with others about how the Lord blessed the morning. When it became Connie’s turn, she humbly told us that she was only able to knock on nine doors before coming back to church and rest.
We rejoice with every gospel seed planted and every house that was knocked on during the day. That was the case with Connie as well.
Most of the members went out again in the afternoon, I stood in the parking lot to offer words of encouragement. In my mind, I was already wimping out and conjuring up many excuses to sit out in the afternoon. Michelle approached me and said, “Dave, I was with Connie this morning. I think you should know the rest of her story.”
A year ago, Connie fell and broke her hip. At 75 years old, the process of recovery was long and difficult. For eleven months, Connie had to use a walker to come to church and get around town. It had only been a month ago that she was able to walk on her own. Filled with love for her Savior and the desire to go out and proclaim the gospel, Connie was bound and determined to finish her street designated on her map. It was obvious to Michelle that each house was becoming more difficult. Even though her heart was willing, her knees and hips were starting to give out. Climbing steps to the front door were becoming more and more difficult. It seemed that nine homes may be too much.
Michele told Connie that it was okay to stop, but she was having none of that. Connie approached the final two doors filled with determination. Upon arriving at the three to five steps that lead to front door, she got down on her hand and knees and began slowly crawling up so that she could stand up and knock on those final doors.
When I heard the rest of the story, I asked myself,
“Who am I, Lord, to complain?”
“Who am I, Lord, to come up with dozens of excuses to not go and proclaim the gospel?”
I’m not sure if anybody saw Connie crawl up those steps, but God did. Along with the rest of God’s messengers who stepped out in faith to share their faith on Saturday, God must have been well pleased.
And for me, I dusted off those excuses and got into my car to find a group and finish going door-to-door proclaiming the gospel.
“Who am I? This or the Other?
Am I one person to-day and to-morrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!” [Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1944]