Gloria Baird has been a Christian long enough to have seen her three daughters become Christians, marry Christians, and see her two of her grandchildren become Christians. She is a woman committed to helping as many women as possible know God. As she helps older women teach the younger women, she and Al are still inspiring young Christians to love God through their example and words of wisdom whenever they speak. Be inspired from a woman who inspires many.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
One of the greatest blessings of being older is to have so many “stones of remembrance” that remind me of the powerful ways God has worked in my life. It is very faith building to think of times I had just a glimmer of a vision—only later to see how God honored that small dream in amazing ways. One of those times occurred when as a young bride, I asked the elders’ wives to teach a class for us newly-married women. Their response was, “We don’t teach!”
My thought then was, “I want to be an older woman that will teach the younger women!” Little did I know how God would honor that desire. It is one of my greatest joys to be the wife of an elder in God’s church and to have the opportunity to train and teach many younger women. Through the years I have had the vision for more and more women to want to become elders’ wives.
Recently I was on an overnight retreat with seven other women. As each of us shared how God had worked in our lives, I was overwhelmed to realize that these women were fulfilling my dream! Three of the women are already wives of elders, and the other four women are married to our elders-in-training. I am so grateful to be part of a growing number of women who are serving in God’s kingdom as elders’ wives—older women training the younger.
Another dream that we see being fulfilled is the renewal taking place in the campus ministry. Recently Al had the opportunity to speak to a group of about 100 campus interns. He was so inspired by their faith, enthusiasm and zeal for the mission. He came back saying that he is the most excited about the campus ministry and the future leadership in the church then he has been in twenty years! And, the interns couldn’t stop talking about how inspiring Al was to them. He had to be ‘rescued’ from all their responses and questions after his lesson!
The news from the recent International Campus Ministry Conference held in Chicago has underlined this renewal. There were 2100 in attendance (with 20 more going on around the world this year). What a contrast in comparison to the 300 in attendance at the ICMC in 2005 in San Antonio. Mike Taliaferro estimated that over 300 campus disciples would be seeking to go full-time in the ministry in the next few years. We are definitely in a time of dreaming dreams and seeing visions and experiencing God doing more than we could ask or imagine.
God, as always, is moving in the hearts of young and old, alike, to ultimately fulfill his dream of having as many as possible come to know Him!