I first learned of Francis Chan a few years ago, when I watched one of his Crazy Love videos/devotionals. For those that don’t know, he has a compelling background. His mom died in childbirth, his step-mom drove off a bridge (car accident) when he was seven, and his dad died of cancer when Francis was 12. Despite all of that massive trauma, Francis eventually found his way into the loving arms of his heavenly Father, and went on to become a successful pastor. I thought he could make a good role model for my son Sam, who was permanently separated from his birth-mom very early in life and then lost his adopted mom to cancer when he was seven. I pray the similarities in the family backgrounds end there!

He made news some years ago for leaving his thriving mega church, because he felt that all the ‘entertainment’ and comfort and crowds were a distraction from what was really important. So he spent his time developing a network of small home churches instead.

He also hit the speaking circuit. Which was good, because there are two things I’m pretty confident of with regards to Francis Chan: I think he truly, sincerely loves and trusts the Bible, and; he has massive talent. I mean, the man has big-time game. If you haven’t heard him preach, I encourage you to dig up something from YouTube or his crazylove.org site.

Well, we’re not going to be seeing as many sermons from Francis from now on. I hope he still does preach occasionally. The reason is that he’s decided to become a full time missionary in Asia. He did a mission trip to Myanmar recently, and the success he had encouraged him to do it full time. His wife and two of his seven kids are joining him in the endeavor. I pray for safety for them all, as they are going into tribal areas that don’t always take kindly to outsiders, especially outsiders who challenge their religious beliefs.

It must have been a hard decision to walk away from a comfortable life here in the US. In the end, as he explains in a sermon he did very recently, he came to the conclusion that missionary work was his purpose, that that was what the Holy Spirit was leading him to do. Finding our purpose, listening well enough to the Spirit to discern it, and if we find it having the courage to follow it, is something I wrestle with myself. I’ll wager a bunch of you who are reading this do as well. Kudos to Francis for listening, hearing, and following. Bon voyage, Francis. Our loss here on earth will be made up for by extra friends you will introduce us to in heaven.

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