An email message came to my box today. It is from a Young Preacher registered for the 2012 National Festival of Young Preachers in 3 weeks.
“I attended last year’s conference, and I just want to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. From a young minister in the gospel I would like to thank you for putting such a wonderful conference together. After attending the conference my preaching has improved 100%.”
This is the kind of message we like to receive. It means we are doing our job of inspiring and supporting young people who are called to a ministry of gospel preaching.
But then the email took a sad turn.
“I was planning on coming to this year’s event. Rev. Huckleberry was a great part of my attending this year. But due to my finance situation, trying to gather my $360 for my room was unsuccessful. It is with deep regret to inform you that I will not be able to attend.”
This is not the kind of message we like to read, but all too often it is exactly the situation we deal with every week and sometimes every day. Many young people have enormous talent; they have a dedicated mentor, an attitude that enables them to learn and make progress, and a holy ambition to be an effective preacher of the Gospel: but no money.
He continues with this prayer: “I pray that God moves in this 2012 conference.”
“That God moves” is common language in some traditions that expresses the hope that preachers will be inspired to preach true and well, that hearers will be inspired to lives of holiness, service, and joy, that they will leave the preaching event with hearts converted and wills motivated.
“I wish I had the money to come,” he wrote, “but I know God has a way to make all things possible. Just to let you know: I was only able to gather money for my travel but not my single room. If there was a way for me to come, trust me I would find it.”
I am glad he has the money to come to Louisville in three weeks. But what he needs is the money to cover all of his room and board. We long for the day we (the AoP) can provide the room and board for all the young preachers who come to our National Festival of Young Preachers. Two weeks ago we sent to many people a letter of appeal asking for support for these young ministers, and today we sent another. We need your support to help young preachers like this one who wrote me today.
Perhaps somebody reading this post will be inspired to provide for this young man’s room and board at the Festival. Perhaps somebody reading this post will be “moved” (to use his language) to pay the $360 need to help this young man. Who knows: one day, he may be your pastor and preacher!
He concludes (and so do I): “Thank You for all your help.”