Today marks our 37th wedding anniversary. Ours was the marriage of two musicians, and together on this day we sang our desire to “sing His song where His song is unknown.” It was the passion of a Wycliffe linguist and a Dallas Seminary preacher to share His good news with all people.
One of my earliest memories of my husband was of him wrestling with a blind friend on the Biola lawn. The friend knew he was loved. Rick’s first ministry was among Black friends in the projects of Dallas, Texas. Together our first ministry was among Lao youth and SE Asian refugees.
Throughout our married life we have welcomed into our home and our lives people from many races, nations, tribes, and tongues (Rev 7). We’ve had occasion to build ramps to bring in the disabled. And to give up our lunch to feed the poor.
Our children know their ethnic foods from the strangers who fed us: Jamaican patties, Indian Curry, and Pad Thai were not made by franchises, but by friends for whom we are forever grateful. The Met was filled with languages, over forty by our last count. I trust everyone knew we loved them as we ate together, served alongside, and made visits.
Not all find our worldview so attractive. On one memorable trip for a Christian conference, uncannily enough back to Dallas, a seminar on “campus diversity” was packed with white folks, while across the hall we joined a black woman who presented poverty to only five. Will we listen? That evening, seats were rearranged so certain people could sit together. Do we include? The same woman led the waiter to Christ – no one else saw him. Are we selfish? Week after week, I teach internationals on our campus. Could anyone just say “hi?” Yesterday on Zoom, I asked if they felt prejudice. Heads went up and down. Among those of us who love Jesus, these things ought not to be.
On this our anniversary day, our purpose remains as strong, if not stronger now than then: to be part of making Him glad by bringing people to Him and training people to serve Him from and for every place on earth. Rick’s recent vision 2020 statement only further clarifies this mandate for Heritage. Together, we call upon every faculty member, staff, student, and parent of Heritage students to listen, notice, serve and welcome with us so that there is “neither Jew nor Greek , neither slave nor free, for [we] are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28).
We seem to have lost the ability to simply: Love One Another. This is our lasting Heritage.