As I wandered the almost empty halls and rooms of the Aurora Service Center last week I felt many emotions. Any of our missionaries will tell you that, in general, we weren’t really fans of this building. It’s nothing to write home about.
Yet as I go into the lower level board room I remember that my wife and I began our exploration of how to serve in God’s mission at an IDIOM event held there. I vividly remember sitting in then Director of Program Ministries Walt DeMoss’s office and he looked me in the eye across the table and said, “We want you, we really think you’d be a good fit with LBT.” I remember feeling the gravity of the moment when I moved into that same office to assume the role of Director of Program Ministries last year – twelve years after that first meeting – and realizing that that job was now mine – to support our missionaries, provide direction for our programs, look a potential candidate in the eye and tell him that he has a place in God’s mission with LBT.
I felt sad when I moved out of that office in May, realizing that I would be the last DPM to work from there. As I sit here one last time today, I reflect on all the great men who have sat here before me. And I reflect on how many others there must be who found there place in God’s mission in this building – serving overseas, serving in the service center, serving on the board, touring the old kid’s exhibits – like a missionary candidate I interviewed two weeks ago who told me he first heard of LBT years ago when his elementary school class visited here. I reflect that my kids’ handprints are on the wall in the downstairs playroom along with loads of other MK’s whose parents were here on furlough to debrief and retool for ministry.
It’s overwhelming to think how God has used this building. It’s really no place to write home about. Did I already say that? On the other hand, it’s sacred space where the Lord has worked to involve countless people in his mission. Thankfully He works through the common and ordinary to accomplish his will. Like you and me, like bread and wine, like spoken word and everyday situations. And buildings that aren’t much to write home about.