Well, at least in one case a soul costs about $2000.00. Before you take issue with me theologically, let me explain. I don’t believe we can buy souls (as in the Reformation era Roman Catholic practice of indulgences). I also don’t really believe we could put a price tag on a soul. But follow this story and I think you’ll see what I mean.
It all started with Hurricane Sandy during the fall of 2012. The storm ravaged the Northeast coast taking direct aim at the media center (New York City) of the nation. Few of us will forget the media coverage of the terrible devastation and storm. Some of the earliest responders were Southern Baptists and in particular North Carolina Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief. Our church, Mud Creek Baptist and our Carpenter’s Hands Ministry responded over the Thanksgiving holiday that year. Responders from all over the nation did much good in assisting the Northeast in recovery.
Months passed after our relief work following Hurricane Sandy. Then, out of nowhere, I received a call from a couple whose daughter lived in the Northeast. Our team helped her repair her damaged home. They wanted to make a donation ($2000) toward relief and mission trip efforts, particularly if we were heading back to the Northeast. I told with them that our recovery and relief efforts were no longer needed in that part of the nation, but shared that our Carpenter’s Hands Ministry was heading to Montana later in the year to partner with Central Baptist Church, in Lewistown. They agreed we could use their donation on that mission trip. So we set the money aside.
One of the things I’ve always appreciated about Mike Nelson and his leadership in the Carpenter’s Hands Ministry is his willingness to seek the Lord’s direction. He and the leadership team pray and prepare thoughtfully before committing to a project. They also pray through what to do when they arrive. So they took the $2000 donation and assigned it to a special project while in Lewistown. Because the team leader from NC Baptist Men was at Central Baptist overseeing church construction project, Mike Nelson was freed up to build a covered shelter on a walking/running path for the city of Lewistown.
Mike took a man named Robert along with him to help with this project. Robert was a part of Central Baptist Church and had been helping our construction team out while we were in Montana. The construction of this shelter gave Mike others time to talk with Robert. He discovered during their conversations that Robert was unsure of his salvation. After hearing a clear presentation of the gospel, Robert placed his trust in Jesus and was actually baptized at Central Baptist before our team headed home.
So, in Robert’s case his soul was worth at least $2000 (the donation amount which allowed for the special project) and years in the making. Our response and assistance to a daughter following Hurricane Sandy moved the hearts of a couple to make a $2000 donation toward mission. Committing to the project in Lewistown, Montana gave the Carpenter’s Hands Ministry a place to serve. The $2000 donation gave us the opportunity to build a covered shelter as a special project. The special project gave Mike an opportunity to invite Robert along to help. And ultimately, Robert’s assistance with the project resulted in his trusting Christ as his Lord and Savior. So the next time you pray, serve, give, and go remember that there is a sovereign Lord working providentially to bring people to faith in him. Every part and person in Robert’s story was important (including those we didn’t mention specifically like Central Baptist and the North Carolina Baptist Men’s partnership in Montana). Don’t ever underestimate your part in God’s redemptive work. Robert’s salvation story has many participants. Whose salvation are you participating in now?