Called to Serve

October 29, 2009

The Call

A boy climbs into a secluded cave in the middle of the Mexican desert. Upon entering the cave, all sound seems to cease, no longer can the trickling stream be heard outside and the animals scurrying around seem to have been made silent. The cool temperature inside the cave is a refreshing refuge from the above a hundred heat of the afternoon sun. Some time passes by as the young man reads some scripture by the edge of the cave where just enough light is entering to make out God’s word. Moving deeper into the mountain the light is gone and the temperature continues to drop. Finding a comfortable place to lay out, the young man relaxes and begins to pray to God. After speaking to God, he quiets his prayer and opens his heart hoping that God will speak to him. All of a sudden, a quiet whisper is heard, “You will be a missionary for me”. The boy sits up quickly, looking around for the cause of the noise. Seeing nothing, he lies back down. Again the voice comes as a whisper, “You will be a missionary for me”. This time the young man realizes that God was speaking; his prayer was heard and is being answered. “Ok” says the young man in the silence of his heart, “I’ll do it”. The whisper comes again, “Say it aloud”. With no one in the cave, no one who can hear, the young man grapples with why he would need to say it aloud. “Say it aloud”, is heard again. The young man sits up, takes a big breath, and says “I will be a missionary for you”. Immediately his heart melts, he is convicted, the Lord has called him to serve, his life will never be the same…

Sounds like a movie doesn’t it? Sounds like an inspirational little anecdote that one might use in a retreat setting or in a vocational video. Where does this story come from you might ask? I am the young man, the cave is located in a desert outside the small Mexican town of General Cepeda, and God called me to be a missionary for him last March. Seven months later I find myself in the middle of the Louisiana Bayou, in the small town of Abbeville being trained as a lay Catholic full time foreign missionary. My name is James Franke and I’m from Rouses Point, NY; a parishioner of St. Patrick’s Parish, the northern most parish of the Diocese of Ogdensburg. Throughout the next few years I hope to share stories of how God is using a humble servant from a small Diocese in upstate New York to share the Gospel and the love of Christ with his sons and daughters throughout the world who may not even know the name of Jesus. Listen to the voice of the Lord; he may not always come with neon signs and bolts of lightning. Often times he will come in a quiet whisper that will be all too easy to miss if we aren’t listening for it. You are all in my prayers and I would like to humbly ask for your prayers as well. God Bless.


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