Ordinary people

EDITORIAL: God calls all of us

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Illustration: Multicultural Avatar Group

The first week of April, as this issue was being finalized, my father unexpectedly entered hospice and instead of living weeks, he lived days. As we reflected on his life, it became clear that Victor Jost was about three things: loving Jesus, his family and farming.

When my dad was a senior in high school, his father had a question for him. Was he interested in going to college? Dad was the youngest of five children, and I imagine my grandpa had asked his older children the same question. Three had chosen to attend Tabor College: Dad’s two sisters and his oldest brother who also attended seminary. The brother closest to him in age had become a builder. When asked about his plans, my dad said he wasn’t interested in college; he wanted to be a farmer.

Victor L. Jost

For 76 years, until he and my mom moved to an assisted living residence due to her Parkinson’s disease, my dad called the family farm his home. My dad loved farming and while he didn’t expand his land or livestock into a “big” operation, he worked hard at a job he found rewarding.

Thinking about my dad’s life in terms of God’s call, I have concluded that the joy and contentment Dad found in his profession is a sign that God did in fact call him to be a farmer. Like so many of us, my dad’s interests, skills and passions prompted him to choose something other than vocational church ministry. And, like many of us, Dad recognized that as a follower of Jesus, he had a part to play in God’s plan that disciples disciple disciples.

My dad served his local church as a youth group sponsor, deacon and Sunday school teacher. He financially supported immediate and extended family members when they served as missionaries in the U.S. and other countries. He was active in The Gideons International. Dad isn’t unique in this; lots of people do these things.

At his funeral, Dad was remembered by family and friends as a quiet, gentle and steady man who had a good sense of humor. People spoke of his kindness, wisdom and patience. Again, these attributes aren’t unique to my dad; many people are remembered for their God-shaped character.

The U.S. Mennonite Brethren conference currently needs more people to answer God’s call to serve him as pastors, church planters and missionaries. USMB is investing time, energy and creative thinking in calling and training men and women to serve the church in their vocations.

But God calls all of us—whether we work in education, business, industry, agriculture, government, technology, service, health fields and the home—to be his ambassadors in the workplace, living as faithful disciples in our families, neighborhoods and communities and using our gifts in a local church. Maybe the most extraordinary thing about God is that he partners with ordinary people doing ordinary things to communicate his extraordinary love.

1 COMMENT

  1. My husband had PD-5 programme about 4 months ago. Tremors in his hands and jaw are gone. It doesn’t make the Parkinson’s go away but it did give him better quality of life. we got the treatment from ability health centre

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