Thursday, April 02, 2009

Answering the Call

I have had some questions from some of you about my brother Paul. So in honor of Easter weekend coming so quickly and slowly, I thought I might share a story about him.

It's not my story. It is my sister-in-law Leigh's story. She is Paul's wife and about the best lady (second only to my own lovely wife Darlene) in the world. Together, Paul and Leigh set off to do missionary work for their church. They have travelled much of South America together, but their main residence was in the back country of Mexico near Oaxaca. There they raised a daughter Becky and son Benjamin. Both are about the best niece and nephew a guy like me could ask for.

When I could talk to Paul, he would tell me wonderful adventure stories of roughing it in the back country, and the wonderful Mexican natives they came to know and love.

And while Paul and I may differ in degrees in the intricacies of our ideologies, we understand each other and respect each other. And we are proud of each other.

Paul, Leigh and the kids are living in Baton Rouge now. Paul is a Minister at the Bethany Church. And Leigh is writing a book about their life in Mexico. Currently she has titled it "Answering the Call". 

She shared some of it on her Facebook page. When I read it, I liked the story so much that I asked her if I could post it here.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

An excerpt from Answering the Call, by Leigh Ann Wingate Brill:

Sometimes when Paul was in his truck going to services, he would frequently drop a tract out his window. One time in particular, he dropped a tract at the feet of a drunken Indian walking down the street. We later crossed paths with this man again. In our main church there was a schoolteacher. He worked in an Indian village and he came across a man one day while at work. There is a rotation system for residents in the village to take the responsibility of feeding the schoolteachers each day. Our Indian brother was sitting at the table visiting with a family and was witnessing to them about the Lord. The man of the house began to share a dream he had recently. "It was about a man on a horse. He had eyes like marbles. The voice in his dream said, 'what this man has is good, receive it from him." As this man described his dream to the schoolteacher, he instantly thought, "this sounds like Bro. Paul." The teacher invited this family to the service on Sunday (3 hours away) and they agreed to go.

The following Sunday, Paul wasn't scheduled to be there but did have to travel through it to get to the church and village he was going to. Not knowing anything about the man or his dream, our daughter had asked to go to service on the horse that day. They did and that day became one of the most divine appointments of God that we had ever experienced in our lives. As Paul was arriving into the village on horseback, the man and his family were standing there in amazement. That day, this man became born again along with his wife and several children. The amazement of this story was that this man was a paid assassin. This man was also the father of the drunken man who had picked up the tract when Paul tossed it out the window. The village they are from was one of our focal points of prayer to start a church in. The father had gone several days later to his family members in Mexico City and told them of what the Lord had done for him. He led all of his children and their spouses to the Lord. Eliseo, the drunken Indian was the last to come to the Lord. A few days after his own conversion, he handed Paul the tract that was dropped at his feet the year before and he shared his gratitude for bringing the gospel to his village.

He and his father led many people to the Lord. They held services in their home and seven months later, Eliseo was ordained the pastor of the new church planted in his village. When we made our visits to the church, he would earnestly pull Paul aside and say, "I led someone to the Lord the other day. He was blind and I prayed for him and now he can see. We have a church in his village now," he would say. The Lord had done so much for this family. Fruit was multiplying daily in their village.

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