Category Archives: Millie’s Missionary Stories

Trepidation & Anticipation

As I walked up the stairs of the First Baptist Church in the Kansas town of Arkansas City, I did so with both trepidation and anticipation. Trepidation because this was the first time for me to speak about Millie Young’s missionary work without Millie as a presentation partner. Anticipation because I love talking about how amazing a woman of God she is.

A representative from the American Baptist Women’s Ministries of the Roger Williams/Walnut Valley Association called requesting Millie’s phone number because they wanted her to speak at their spring conference. Millie moved to Indiana this last year, so I volunteered to speak on the topic of what I learned about Millie’s work while helping her write her memoirs. They accepted my offer.

Millie’s love for the Lord is conspicuous to anyone who knows her. But that is not what impresses me most about her. Her humility is amazing. During her life as a missionary in Colombia, she had so many experiences which required total dependence on God. Her total commitment to prayer exhibits Millie’s reliance on communication with her Savior.

I chose to talk about what I learned from Millie about the importance of prayer, not only for one’s self but also for others. She came through several adverse experiences which she later learned were a result of others praying for her.

It is my hope that the ladies attending the conference Saturday left with a renewed commitment to praying for missionaries. As I reflected on the strength of Millie’s communication with God, I pledged to spend more time with my Lord in prayer.

Do you need to revive your prayer life?

3 Ways to Support Missions

I have heard people say that they do not know how to support the work of missionaries.

Missions work in Colombia

Millie Young, a dear friend, was on the mission field in Colombia for forty-nine years. She often has told me that missionaries need three types of support.

  1. Missions teams: Missions teams are vital to the work that missionaries perform. Sometimes the mission team will help with physical labor and construction, sometimes the team will evangelize a village, and sometimes they will conduct Bible school lessons. But you do not have to travel to be a part of a mission team. You can help by financially supporting those who are called to go.
  2. Financial aid: A monthly financial donation is vital to the missionary being able to stay on the mission field. They need a dependable income flow. However, periodic gifts are used to meet unexpected needs or to further current projects. If missionaries express a need for particular items, you can support them by giving.
  3. Prayer: The most vital activity you can do for a missionary is to pray—pray faithfully and often. Prayer works to protect the missionary. Many times we are called to pray for a person even though we do not know what the current need is. Just pray. If God lays a missionary on your heart, know that missionary needs prayer immediately.

How are you currently supporting mission work?

What Did You Say?

Do you listen to hear or do you just let the sound hit your eardrums? Is your mind on what is being said or on what you will say next? Or even worse, are you thinking about a completely different topic—what you will eat for supper, who will win the World Series, or the misbehaving kid across the street?

I, like most people, am so poor at listening—truly listening—that I miss the blessing of hearing with my heart. Yes, I listen. But often it is surface listening. I am “protecting my turf” listening—absorbed in self and not the speaker.

When I was helping Millie Young, a retired missionary, write her book, I recorded our sessions. Often I heard Millie make a seemingly off-hand comment that was profound. Yes, I physically heard it, but I did not understand until I reflected on the significance of the gem Millie had expressed. Here is one of those passages.

1-2-2001_039 (2)“During the first few years I was on the mission field, much of the success that my fellow missionaries and I had in Colombia was in the poor areas of Medellín. I believe this is a fairly universal pattern in third world countries. The conversions begin with the lower class people because they have nothing. They cannot say they do not need Jesus. So they bring a different attitude to learning about Jesus. A faith in Jesus gives them something to live for.”

This comment bounced around in my brain for several days. Could it be that the reason we do not have revival in the United States is because we think we do not need Jesus because we are so prosperous?

Are we so busy thinking about our comforts, our desires, and our things that we do not recognize our need for God?

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:15

Are you listening?

You Will Be With Me

lightstock_77238_small_sandra_Millie Young, a missionary to Colombia, tells a story about a wonderful godly couple, Don Jesus and Doña Lola, who were an inspiration to her when she first entered the missionary field.

Before he was saved, Don Jesus was anything but good. He was a military man who followed orders. One time he and his men were told to kill all the Christians living in a village. They carried out their orders in a most egregious manner. They sealed the exits to a small building where the Christians had gathered, poured kerosene around the outside walls, and set it on fire. The Christians inside sang hymns praising Jesus until they could sing no more.

Don Jesus was bothered. He went home to his wife who he found praying by the side of their bed. For you see, she was a Christian. That night, he asked Jesus to come into his heart. Don Jesus became a new man—a man who devoted his life to his Savior.

Millie accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of fifteen having committed no horrible sins by the world’s standards. But she realized that she was a sinner who needed forgiving.

Both the man, who committed atrocious sins, and the lady, who was considered good by all who knew her, accepted Jesus and spent the rest of their lives serving him. Both were used powerfully by God.

Have you told Jesus you want him to forgive you, and you want to spend eternity with him?

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43

For the Love of Children

Millie Young and I met weekly for a little over a year. Each week she would have written down the main events in a segment of her missionary life and the Bible verse she wanted included. Often she had recorded words of wisdom she wanted included with the chapter.

Even if Millie had not decided on her words of wisdom before our meeting, they developed as our time progressed. They might emerge from statements Millie made as she reflected about an event she did not want included in the book. Often she would suddenly laugh and spew out a gem.

One such treasure was this statement. “None of my training included ideas on how to handle mobs led by a demon-possessed woman.” Millie would make comments like this then proceed with the story as if it was no big deal.

A perilous situation in the past was not important to her. Millie acknowledged that God had led and protected her, but the danger was not what she wanted emphasized. She desired that others could know how God used her for his work.

The encounter with a demon-possessed lady took place when Millie was conducting a Bible story for neighborhood children in an impoverished area. That lady eventually accepted Jesus as IMG_1032her Savior. Millie did not lead her to Christ, but she planted the seed.

Whenever a child of any age is in the room, Millie gravitates to the child as if a magnetic force is pulling her. Her face lights up with a loving glow. God has placed an extraordinary affection for children in her heart. Her ministry proves that when you lovingly teach children the gospel, you also reach the adults as many of them found Jesus watching Millie witness to children.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14

Two Reasons to Reconnect

What a shame! In the past few months, I realized that I have not been paying very much attention to what is happening in the lives of people I had cared about at some point. During this time, I attended a class reunion and two family reunions. My lack of recent association with some people I claim to value became evident to me. I need to reconnect.

Two reasons exist for me to awaken relationships that have been allowed to slumber.

Reason #1: Family is important. I must stay connected with family members. It is easy to assume family will always be available to meet my needs. I have not always nurtured these relationships as I should because too often I have not chosen words carefully or have allowed myself to become impatient with family members. What a pity! Family relationships must be approached with love and caring not self-centeredness. My heart’s desire is to value both close and extended family members.

Do you have a family member with whom you desire to cultivate a closer relationship?

IMG_1141Reason #2: Friendships have helped me grow and appreciate others. During casual conversations, I learn something about how others have approached life. Their talents and accomplishments can be celebrated. Through communicating as we rebuild relationships, I often learn about myself, and sometimes something startling is revealed.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that my friend Millie was my brother-in-law’s first grade teacher. Such tidbits surface during relaxed chitchatting.

Life is full of fun surprises when we value both new and old relationships.

What “old friend” do you desire to engage in a friendly conversation?

Prima Donna or Team Player?

Are you a prima donna or a team player?

I like to think of myself as a team player. However, God has been placing situations and Bible verses in my path that have lead me to examine the true condition of my heart.

Do I REALLY believe in the importance of teamwork? What do my actions say? Do I sincerely seek to be a part of the team, or do I try to outshine the others as I pretend it only matters that our group does well? How insistent am I that my ideas are used? What are my actions toward the freeloader on my team?

God used Moses’ life to guide my thinking. Moses became caught up in his leadership role to the extent that he was putting himself under much stress and compromising his effectiveness in serving the people. Moses’ father-in-law Jethro firmly informed Moses that what he was doing was not good. Then Jethro provided Moses with a plan to improve the situation. Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and followed his suggestion.

Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. Exodus 18:24-25

Millie is with Foster, Lori, and Susan in Susan's office at OMS Headquarters.

Millie is standing with Foster, Lori, and Susan in Susan’s office at OMS Headquarters.

Moses quit trying to do it all. He created a team to help handle the governance of the Israelites. After meditating on Exodus 18, I started thinking about teams of people whose work blesses me.

I am thankful for the people in the communications department at One Mission Society. When I visited their offices, it was obvious that they function as a team joyfully serving God as they spread the good news of the gospel. Thank you Susan, Lori, Foster, and the rest of the staff for working together to make Millie’s book a reality.

The Book Is Here

IMG_1134So much excitement! Seeing a book you spent many hours writing in hardcopy is … well it is … I do not know how to express the emotion. Millie and I have worked for months preparing the stories and compiling all the information needed. We sent it to the editor and haven’t looked at it for what seems like ages. Waiting for others to do their part was our role. Patience was required.

It takes time to get a book in print. Lori McFall at One Mission Society (OMS) carefully edited the book and formatted it for printing. Foster Pilcher inserted the photographs and designed the cover. Susan Loobie oversaw the preparation. When all was completed, it went to the printer.

With excited hearts, Millie and I traveled to OMS Headquarters last Wednesday. We presented “teaser” speeches at a chapel and sold over 200 books that morning. In the afternoon, I loaded my car with boxes of books, and we headed back to Kansas with joyful, thankful hearts.

Millie and I are available to speak to groups and sign books. If you are responsible for securing a program speaker, contact me. Use my email address of

Contacting me through email is one way you can order a book. Also books may be purchased through Amazon. Here is the link.

We pray you will find the book inspiring and encouraging in your walk with our Lord. Let us know how Millie’s story affects you. I know it has had a profound affect on me.

Learning From Miss Millie

If you had the opportunity to spend a week with a person that you admire who is not a relative, who would it be? My living hero is Millie Young. She and I were traveling mates this past week.

I wondered what we would talk about during the day and a half we would spend in the car traveling to the OMS (One Mission Society) National Convention.  I had loaded a audio book on my phone to entertain me during the hours of driving interstate highway. After all, I reasoned, Millie had already told me all of her good stories while I was helping her write her book.

I had hours of interesting listening, but it was not my audio book. Millie had more stories. She related her experiences in a humble, yet engaging, manner. The core of each story was the glory of God and his work in the lives of people. My selfish complaints became glaring sins as I listened to how Millie handled difficult times.

Petite Millie visiting with friends.

Petite Millie visiting with friends.

The next two and a half days were spent witnessing Millie’s interact with her missionary friends. In between warm embraces and the reminiscing, Millie would tell me how important each person was to her and how she had maintained contact with them.  Millie cares deeply about people and their spiritual condition. She demonstrates true, lasting friendship.

The drive home was far from anticlimactic. I had to work hard at not sounding like I was conducting an interrogation because I needed to drink in as much wisdom from her as I could before our adventure ended.

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom.  Psalm 37:30a

Who would enrich your life if you would spend a few hours just listening to them?

A Hero

Millie is with Jaime, the principal of a large Christian high school in Colombia. (January 2014)

Millie is with Jaime, the principal of a large Christian high school in Colombia. (January 2014)

Who is your hero? Who has influenced you in a positive manner?

My hero is, Millie Young. She works harder as an octogenarian than may twenty-year-olds. She is patient and genuinely humble. Millie cares deeply about others. She will not mention challenges she is facing unless asked directly. Even though she has immense biblical knowledge, she is slow to speak in Bible study groups. She listens and generally only contributes if asked, which allows others to discover God’s message.

Millie Young is devoted to serving God. Millie spent her adult life shepherding children and adults. She was instrumental in training many of the evangelical protestant leaders in Colombia. She is in regular contact with Colombian friends and is planning her next short-term mission trip.

A little over two years ago, Millie asked me to help her write her memoir as a missionary in Colombia.  Millie would tell me a story in a matter-of-fact manner. I often had to stop her to make sure I was hearing correctly. Some of her experiences and accomplishments would be unbelievable coming from someone who does not have her humility. She may only weigh a hundred pounds, but she is a lady of steel. She is totally focused on God and stands firm in her faith.

I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 1 Corinthians 4:16

Paul challenged his followers to imitate him. Anyone who knows Millie should imitate her.

Who is your hero?