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Teacher-author Beth Moore urges missions workers to a deeper walk

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–Seated in a waiting area at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, Beth Moore fixed her gaze on her open Bible as she memorized a Scripture passage.
Like the other travelers around her, Moore, a popular Bible study teacher and author from Houston, tried not to stare at an elderly man slumped in a wheelchair nearby. His matted gray hair flowed down his back. His fingernails were overgrown. His clothes hung loosely from his emaciated frame.
As Moore studied her Bible, she felt the Holy Spirit speaking to her about the man. “PLEASE, Lord, don’t make me witness to him,” Moore, a member of Houston’s First Baptist Church, argued with God.
“I don’t want you to witness to him, Beth,” the Lord replied. “I want you to brush his hair.”
“Brush his hair?” Moore retorted. “You’ve got to be kidding, Lord!”
Moore tried to ignore the impression and continued her Scripture memorization. But God wouldn’t leave her alone. Finally, she slammed down her Bible and walked over to the man.
“Sir, may I have the privilege of brushing your hair?” she asked softly.
“Speak up,” he said. “I can’t hear you.”
“Sir, may I brush your hair?” she repeated, nearly yelling.
The man agreed. As Moore, still angry with God, searched for a brush in the man’s suitcase, “a miracle of God came over me. I have never been so overcome by the fruit of the Spirit,” she recalled.
When she finished brushing the man’s tangled hair, she knelt in front of his wheelchair. “Sir, do you know my Jesus?” she said.
“Oh, yes,” he said. “When I met my bride, she wouldn’t marry me unless I gave my life to him.”
The man explained that he’d recently had open heart surgery in another city and was flying home to his wife, who’d been too weak to visit him in the hospital. He hadn’t seen her in months. “Before you came up, I was sitting here thinking what a mess I will look like for my bride,” he told Moore, author of a popular women’s discipleship series published by Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tenn.
This poignant account was one of many real-life stories Moore shared March 2-4 during Spiritual Emphasis Week at the Southern Baptist International Mission Board in Richmond, Va. During Bible studies based on Romans 12, Moore challenged IMB employees and missionaries-in-orientation to seek a deeper walk with Christ in order to fuel their global ministries.
She urged them to heed the Apostle Paul’s advice to present themselves as “living sacrifices” to God and to depend upon his “resurrection power” to keep from burning out in the Lord’s work to bring all the peoples of the world to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
In an interview at IMB headquarters, Moore said she developed a love for international missions while growing up in Girls in Action at First Baptist Church, Arkadelphia, Ark. At age 18, she felt God’s call to full-time Christian service while serving as a GA camp counselor in Arkansas. Yet later she began to wonder why God gave her a passion for missions but didn’t call her to serve on the mission field.
As she prayed about the matter, “God began to make it very, very clear to me that my mission service is to encourage those who serve in global missions, to help them keep that flame hot and keep abiding in his love.”
While in Richmond, Moore also led a Bible study attended by more than 1,000 area evangelicals — mostly women. During the study, sponsored by the IMB and First Baptist Church of Richmond, she noted that one reason Paul’s ministry was so successful — despite his hardships — was that he had planned beforehand not to stray from the course, no matter what.
“When everything is said and done, all that is going to matter is when Christ has the opportunity to say to us, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant,’” Moore said. “Our lives will be measured based on what we did with who he is.”

    About the Author

  • Mary E. Speidel