Do you ever read the last chapter of the book first?

Rosemary WillafordChurch Blog

Rosemary Willaford CEF Missionary Retirement BlogDo you ever read the last chapter first in a book? My friends know that quite often I do – just can’t wait to find out what is going to happen. Do you ever wish you could do that with LIFE? I admit – I do! BUT that would take away our needing to depend upon God our Father, having faith that HE knows, HE directs, HE has a plan.

Little did Bill and I know when we got married in 1966 what God had planned for our lives together! After 10 years in the Navy, then 27 years supervising the running of two nuclear reactors, an opportunity came up for Bill to take early retirement at the age of 55. The option was presented and we walked through the open door little knowing what God had for the next leg of our journey called “LIFE”.

As chairman of the State Board of Virginia for Child Evangelism Fellowship for 8 years, Bill would often call Headquarters and ask if there were any possibilities for a State Director as we had been without one for the last six years.  Their response would always be that they were working on it. In the midst of a retreat that we had put together for the staff across the State bringing in the Vice President of CEF of International to be our speaker, God revealed the next part of HIS plan for us. Bill was asked by the Board to step down as chairman and then to take the position of State Director. At that point in time, we asked God for 10 years. And indeed, God gave Bill those 10 years.

From traveling over the five states for which Bill was responsible as Mid-Atlantic District Director to spending time with our Virginia State staff, God chose to write the rest of the chapters of Bill’s life here on earth. With joy in serving, love for his staff, and a heart for the children, God led us each step of the way.

What a privilege and delight it has been for me to serve as Administrative Assistant to CEF of Virginia for 18 ½ years. As I come to the end of the book on my serving with CEF as of the end of June, I do it knowing that God can use each of us – we just have to be willing. Having grown up in Immanuel and being under the teaching of Pastor Seume – a man who had a huge heart for missions – being a “missionary” seemed far out of reach – not even an addendum to my book. I could pray for them, support them, encourage them and I considered that to be what God had for me. But God had a different plan.

Walking into the buildings of Immanuel at any given time, I always know that I have come “home” and that my Immanuel family is so dear and precious to me. Words cannot express how much I thank you for all that you have been to me during this portion of my journey. From encouragement, to offers to help in preparing for CEF training school, to majorly praying for the ministry and for me and for financial support – none of this would have been possible without you being the feet and hands of Jesus to support in all areas of my life. My prayer for you is that you will see Jesus as you walk through the chapters of the book HE has written for YOUR life.

I would like close with sharing the theme song from our 2011 CEF training school. I do not know who wrote it. There is no copyright but the words are powerful and thought-provoking. The title is Just Outside These Walls:

Just outside these walls, there is a world that’s lost.
The mission field begins just outside these walls.
Just outside these walls, despair runs free.
Hopelessness is found just outside these walls.
How will they know, if they’re never told?
And how will we tell them, if we never go?
Just outside these walls, a lost world is waiting.
Will we answer the call, just outside these walls?

Just outside these walls, a world is searching,
Looking for the Truth we hold so dear.
Just outside these walls, can you hear them calling?
Oh, they are crying out for help, just outside these walls.
How will they know, if they’re never told?
And how will we tell them, if we never go?
Just outside these walls, a lost world is waiting.
Will we answer the call, just outside these walls?

Just outside these walls, the Savior is waiting
For his church to appear, just outside these walls.
Just outside these walls, all hope is not lost.
Just outside these walls, we will carry the cross.
Just outside these walls, we will go where we are told;
Where the hope of Jesus belongs, just outside these walls.
Just outside these walls, all hope is not lost.
Just outside these walls, we will carry the cross.
Just outside these walls, we will go where we are told,
Where the hope of Jesus belongs, just outside these walls.

Rosemary Willaford

 

Rosemary Willaford
Missionary, Child Evangelism Fellowship