LONGVIEW, Texas (BP)--Ten minutes. That's all it took for God to thaw a 10-year freeze that left LeRoy Williamson with a stone-cold heart for the lost.
The 59-year-old Texas banker hadn't given a penny to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions -- or any other missions endeavor -- in nine years. It wasn't that he didn't have the money. Williamson's 5,000-square-foot home on Lake Cherokee in Longview, Texas, complete with a pool and a boathouse, made that excuse hard to sell.
But as Williamson slipped into his usual seat one Sunday morning last December at Longview's Macedonia Baptist Church, he had no idea the Holy Spirit was about to break open his heart -- and his wallet.
International Mission Board missionary Mick Greenbrier* had been invited to speak as part of the church's Lottie Moon emphasis. He and his family served for more than 15 years in West Africa, sharing the Gospel with the Songhai, a Muslim people group.
Before the pastor's sermon, Greenbrier spoke for just 10 minutes, contrasting the Songhais' desperate need for Christ with an offering shortfall. It was all Williamson needed to hear.
During the invitation, Steve Cochran, Macedonia Baptist's pastor, was shocked to see Williamson come forward with tears streaming down his face.
"I couldn't speak; I just wept," Williamson said.
He finally managed to tell the pastor he had something to say to the church. Cochran didn't know exactly what was on Williamson's heart, but the man's brokenness was unmistakable. He took a risk and handed him the microphone.
"In a nutshell, I became burdened for the lost," Williamson recounted. "The Holy Spirit immediately convicted me that my heart was cold, I was being willfully blind and willfully deaf ... Read More