Dr. JoAnne Lyon, founder of World Hope International and General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church, was here with us in the northwoods of Wisconsin for the past few days.
On Sunday morning, she preached to a full house (two services) at our daughter church, The River, in Minong (led by the dynamic young pastor, Ben Kidder.)
Then, on Sunday night, she travelled into the deep woods and spoke at the Woodland Wesleyan Church, enthusiastically pastored by Hayward's own Andrea Wittwer. Andi is doing an outstanding job of beating the bushes. Her little church was full Sunday night -- full of people, full of joy, and full of praise to God. (Woodland is really remote. We saw quite a bit of wildlife on the way home, including a bear and a wild turkey! Andi said she hit a bear on the way home from church the other week. She took him home, and they had him for supper.)
On Monday night, Dr. Lyon spoke at Hayward to a gathering of our congregation. As usual, she hit the ball out of the park -- a grand slam home run! Several people spoke to me afterwards, using the same word to describe what happened in their hearts as she spoke: courage.
I don't know how she does it, but Dr. Lyon infuses courage every time she speaks.
Yesterday, she met with several northern Wisconsin Wesleyan pastors, in a forum, where she listened to our perspectives about ministry on the front lines, what we need from the denomination, and our opinions on how to be more effective in bringing hope and holiness to a broken and needy world.
It was great stuff -- I left totally energized, pumped up and ready to charge out and bless everybody!
What a powerful series of events! What an honor to have this great leader take the time to share her life with us.
Of course, she would probably say she was just fulfilling her duty, the Great Commission -- going to the "ends of the earth."