From the time that I was fifteen years old, Mark has been the older brother that I never asked for! Before Mark, I thought that I could argue and hold my own with words, but I never could win with him. He always knew what was better for me concerning; well, everything!
I remember when the Lord began dealing with me about serving in the ministry, Mark was the first one to begin teaching me what that meant and how to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. I learned what world missions is and why there is such an urgency to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mark allowed me to have just a taste of deputation before I every knew what it was. I remember taking my spring break and driving from Dalton, GA to Myrtle Beach, SC to St. Mary’s, GA to Daytona Beach, FL in just one trip.
I remember learning to view the great needs of others in truly third world countries, seeing families living in land fills, and making their homes in heaps of trash. I remember Mark teaching me that being a man meant loving and serving others the way that Christ does.
I also remember breaking his heart and him never giving up on me. I remember that while the rest of the world would have deserted me, and rightly so, that Mark would be waiting for me to just pick up the phone and he’d be ready and willing to restore me.
So, tonight as he and his family prepare to depart for South Africa in the morning, I remember watching over Facetime as a new testament church, Vision Baptist, gives them a blessing service and I weep over the testimony he has been in my life. Tonight, I am so grateful that while Mark is the brother I never asked for, that he has been the brother I always needed.
Mark, I love you with all of my heart! I cannot wait to see God continue to use your life for the furtherance of His kingdom. I am so undeserving of the opportunities and the blessings of God, but He saw fit to provide me with a brother that has never given up, never turned away, and always faithfully loved me.
I will see you soon, my friend, my mentor, my brother! I love you very much!
Vision for the World
What a great post! God has me working with the brother that I couldn’t get along with as a child – marveling at how God has worked in his life as well.
Stephen Underwood says
Thank you! That is wonderful about your brother. I will certainly be lifting you guys up in prayer! God bless.