book by Warren Hardig
Men for Missions International Director Warren Hardig, inspired by the courage and commitment of ordinary men answering God’s call to obedience, has compiled 10 of their stories in Still Sharpening, his second book of personal narratives.LEARN MORE ABOUT STILL SHARPENING
My very first trip to the mission field was to Haiti with MFM in 1973. It made a very definite change in my life. I began to see and understand more how to pray for the missionaries, and I wanted to be more involved.
Our son went with my wife and me on that first trip in 1973, and one of my grandsons went with me on my most recent trip in 2008. In between those trips, I made several other trips, taking a high school Sunday school class, our pastor, and others in the area. I would highly recommend being involved with MFM and doing, going and giving whatever the Lord asks you to.
I love Men For Missions because it’s a group of men who love the Lord. You come to take action, not just talk about it. You come because you care for the lost and dying.
You’re electricians who handle the power of God; farmers who plant the seed of the Word; bankers who know about riches in Christ; insurance men who sell eternal plans; plumbers who pipe living water to thirsty souls; carpenters who build sanctuary and shelter; and godly men who give their all to the cause of Christ.
First Trip to Haiti - We tried to go before but circumstances always held us back - until now. I had tried to prepare for the trip. I had seen photos... however the extent of the poverty and devastation was beyond my comprehension. Can we really make a difference with so much sorrow and need?
Then we saw a house in the process of being built, started the one that we came to build and watched the foundation going in for the next house. We saw the faces of children, first looking so serious and shy, slowly daring to come, play, sing, talk. Next the women, mothers proud to give us their beautiful little children to hold, trying to converse with us with their Creole, a little English and our broken French dredged up from the recesses of our brain - but we did connect! The Haitian men - working so hard - digging foundations with shovels and pick axes, all the cement, gravel, water being carried up the hill - cement mixed in a cement mixer run by a generator and a bucket brigade to pour the foundations.
Then we figured out who would be living in the houses - their grateful smiles made the whole trip worthwhile.
I realized that this trip signified for me just how the Lord works - we look at all the sin and darkness in the world and think it is overwhelming. But the Lord looks at the people - working through families and making a difference in the individual lives of each person.
So, were we able to make a difference to everyone in Port-au-Prince? No. But we did make a difference to the village of Gressier, and especially to the family of nine who will be living in a new home.
Do I think it was worthwhile to go? Absolutely! I thank God for allowing us to be a part of a miracle for this family. I want to go back!
After college graduation, Janie and I went to Haiti and worked for Dr. Mellon of Hospital Schweitzer in community development. One evening we traveled to Port-au-Prince for a meeting and met two OMS missionaries, Harold Brown and David Graffenberger. Since it took eight hours to see them, we didn't expect to see them again, but God had other plans. Several months later, we journeyed to Cap Haitien, and we saw a blue and white school bus driven by Dave Graffenberger. He spotted us at the same time and stopped to invite us to visit the OMS campus. Immediately our hearts were touched by the work being done there. After our two-year term was finished, we returned to Kansas to farm and start our family.
One Sunday while visiting a nearby church, we heard people talking about OMS and a group called Men for Missions with whom several in the church had gone to Brazil on a work trip. That encounter led to me going back to Haiti on a "work crusade," and my heart being broken. With God's direction, we sold our farm and returned to Haiti as OMS missionaries. One of our job assignments was the construction of a mountain road using men from the States through Men for Missions as equipment operators. During this time, I saw changes as the bulldozer cut a road into the mountainside, as well as changes in men's lives as they worked, prayed, and shared their hearts with each other and with Haitians living in grass- or tin-roofed homes along the road.
As a result, some men went home to be the spiritual leaders of their families while others returned to share how God had touched their lives. When our four-year term ended, we left Haiti to farm once again, but my desire to see men's lives changed never left me. Then in 2002, I was asked to become a part of the Men for Missions Cabinet, and presently am serving as president. What a blessing to still be involved with Men for Missions and see how God continues to touch men's lives.
This is my fourth official mission trip. We're down here in Haiti, outskirts of Cap Haitien, and today we just finished going around evangelizing. We've talked to eight different people who've all accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
It's been approximately eight to eleven years since I went on my last mission trip; It's been a while and I'm getting older. This reminds me how important it is to go regularly on mission trips. We can get stuck back in that idea of the “American Dream” and doing things for ourselves, and that we are number one in our lives instead of God being number one. It really feels like going on mission trips pulls us back and gives us a better foundation in our faith to remember what it's all truly about.
If I can encourage anyone to go on a mission trip—Just Do It. It has definitely changed my life. When I go back, I immediately start thinking of the things I need to do for God's Kingdom instead of my kingdom. Those are the biggest things that have probably changed in me each time I do a mission trip, and each time I really sit down and reflect on what has happened. I hope that helps you out.
First trip to Haiti - As I experienced Haiti I was struck by the incredible brokenness of a people and a country. We went to provide a family with a home, but it seemed impossible to make any kind of difference in the face of such incredible need.
As we were there longer and engaged with the local people the despair began to fade. God started opening my eyes a bit wider to see a little more clearly who He is. We are a broken people with a gracious, loving and faithful God.
We seek to give hope; He is Hope. We seek to love like Him; He is Love. We seek to relieve suffering; He will eliminate suffering.
As we sought to be the hands and feet of Christ my prayer was and is that people were pointed to Christ, the One who will one day wipe away every tear and restore creation.
My direction in life changed through positive short-term missions experiences. Perhaps my most influence experience was in Nicaragua as our group participated in door-to-door evangelism. We met a town drunkard one afternoon who was slurring his words and reeked of alcohol. We spoke with him and prayed with him for sobriety. Later in the week, we met him and found that he had confessed Jesus as his Lord. What’s more, he was witnessing to the mayor of the town. After experiences such as this, I knew that I would not be happy doing anything else. Through One Mission Society and Men for Missions, I provide others an opportunity to see God’s hand clearly involved in lives around the world. This passion would stimulate people to serve God in full-time ministry or in Christian living in the workplace.Brent Morrell
A half-century ago I was enrolled simultaneously in both a theological college and an art institute. Where could a young graduate with majors in Bible, missions, and graphic design find a meaningful, fulfilling career? Would I have to choose between ministry, missions and art? OMS and MFM offered a unique opportunity for a layman, a graphic designer, to become fully engulfed in ministry and missions.
For more than forty years a drawing board a computer keyboard have been my pulpit to graphically package and proclaim the Great Commission as well as reports of other laymen through OMS and MFM publications. In a word, serving Christ through Men for Missions has meant "fulfillment."
Men for Missions is the organization God used to fulfill my longtime heart's desire. God blessed me with my wife in 1973, and then blessed us with six children because we both wanted a big family. I soon became interested in missions and began reading books about missionaries. C. T. Studd, William Carey, Adonaram Judson, Hudson Taylor and others were my heroes, along with present day missionaries who visited our church. However, God never gave this same vision to my wife. This is not a criticism of God or my wife, neither of whom I would trade for anything.
One present day missionary couple I began supporting was Gene and Shelba Pollic. At that time I was 50+ years old, and had nearly given up on ever going to the mission field since most agencies do not accept people over 50. Gene told me "I'm taking you with me," but I didn't believe him.
Eventually, I was convinced to go with him in 2003 to Haiti. Since then my immediate family has grown by over 100 children in a Haitian orphanage and many other Haitian brothers and sisters. My life is more full now than I ever thought possible! Thanks be to God, my wife, Gene Pollic and Men for Missions.
I was first introduced to Men for Missions in the summer of 1972, and in 1973, Dwight Ferguson came to our church for a missions emphasis weekend. I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to make a commitment and accept the challenge to do whatever the Lord asks me to do, to go wherever the Lord asks me to go, and to give whatever the Lord asks me to give.
Since that time, I have been on a life changing journey. I have been to six mission fields, and have shared my faith in several languages. Over the years, my wife and both of my sons have joined me in trips making missions a family priority. The Lord is faithful in providing opportunities and provisions when we make the commitment to do, go, and give. After over 30 missions trips, I now serve on the MFM Cabinet and I am still challenged.
In December 2009 I had the opportunity to get 1,400 new polo type shirts as a donation to missions. In January, the Haiti earthquake happened, and in February I took those shirts to Men for Missions to be loaded in a container of Haiti relief supplies. God knew what He was doing when He gave me that opportunity in December to respond and commit myself to Him. Little did I know the need would be so great.
Just an ordinary church-going farmer guy, I accepted the challenge to go to Colombia, South America in 1971 with Men for Missions. We saw God use our simple testimony to draw people to Himself. It changed our lives. I couldn't stop talking about it and challenging others to get involved by going, doing and giving whatever God asks. We began a Men for Missions council in our area, which has been instrumental in sending and encouraging missionaries. I have returned to South America four times since, on work crusades. We served as coordinators for annual missions conferences in our local church until 1995, when we heard God's call to go with CoMission to Russia for 'one year', which turned out to be 12 years.
We are privileged to have watched God change lives and build a church in Archangelsk, which is home to about 70 to 80 Christians and growing. We are confident that God will continue what He has begun. We praise God for today's technology, such as Skype, as we keep in contact with our 'family' there.
God has used Men for Missions to draw us closer to His heart and show us how we can be involved with Him in the Great Commission. What a thrill and privilege to be serving such a Great and Awesome God with Men for Missions/One Mission Society. We believe the journey has only begun and keeps getting better and better.
I've been here [Haiti] five times. My wife's been here three times. I did not think she would even like it here and she came back the next year and she's ready to go anytime.
I can just say it's a blessing to see these people change their lives, just by walking in their homes and they welcome you. One older gentleman, I can't tell you his name, but he's Catholic and he has problems going to church because people look down on him, and all these kind of things that happen back home also. He said he had a dream. He dreamed that the missionaries were going to come and talk to him. What can I say to that? Jesus didn't need anything. I was here and he used me but he didn't need me but he used me.
The whole point of this whole trip to me, and what God can do is amazing to me, because what he does for me and what he's doing for these people. We give them radios; they can listen to Bible. They can listen to the radio all the way from one end to the other in their language. We gave away six today and we could probably gave away thousands if we had them. To anyone who wants to give, it’s a good place to give.
To find out more about the Resounding Hope solar radios initiative, and to make your donation, visit www.resoundinghope.org.
Men for Missions has been my life changing journey starting in Albion, Illinois at a dinner where I heard about a man who sold everything to become the custodian for OMS. That testimony prompted me to go to Haiti six weeks later. There I saw first hand as I prayed with a Haitian man on a mountain trail that the gospel was not limited to white English speaking people.
Upon my return I went to a Men for Missions event where I stood between a blind man and a bank president. Among these men from all walks of life, passionate about giving all that they had to reach people for Christ, tears were flowing with no embarrassment as they heard testimonies of people in other lands coming to faith. From these experiences, I saw the common denominator was Christ as Lord in the lives of these men. “…He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:9).
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