After 40 Years, Will You Trust Him?
ON one balmy afternoon exactly 40 years ago, my otherwise sane parents, Eugene Sr. and Pilar, came up to meand said one of the most insane statements they could ever say:“Bo, we’re going to organize a small prayer group in our garage. And you’re going to be our leader.”
Just like that. And the trajectory of my life was changed forever.
Picture me at that moment in time: I was 14 years old. What did I know about leading? Goodness, I was not even doing well in school. Not to mention my, uh, unforgettable physicality. I had an abundance of pimples, I was thin as a used toothpick, and my presence created this pervasive ambiance, because I was reeking with armpit odor, as I believed using deodorant was against God’s Divine Will.
My awkwardness was off-the-charts. If there was a competition for awkwardness, I would be its undisputed all-time champion year after year.
Every time I preached, I wore an ill-fitting tee-shirt that was given away by the corner hardware store, with its name, complete address, phone number printed at the front, and the list of materials you can buy from them, printed at the back of the shirt, like Lumber, Plumbing, and Toilet Accessories.
I also wore soggy jogging pants and the ugliest pair of brown sandals you could ever find. If I gave it to a beggar, the beggar would give me money.
Yes, my fashion sense could kill people. Look at me once and you die laughing. On the photo (left) I am in one of my early mission sorties wearing an oversized shirt. I have no idea where it came from, but it definitely made me feel more like my model, St. Francis of Assisi.
But would you believe? That small group of 20 to 30 persons listened to that 14-year-old boy. Week after week after week. Why they did, my teenage brain could not grasp.
It was a question I asked God, and in one sweet moment in prayer, I remember Heaven visiting me, and hearing His whisper: “Bo, I’m their leader. Not you.”
And with these simple words, just like that, He blew away any whiff of pride growing in my heart.
That small prayer group did not remain in that garage. Forty years later, that group of 30 has become a global movement of Feasts in 26 countries.
Along the way, I’ve stepped down from my over-all leadership position and a new generation of young, humble, selfless, and Jesus-centered leaders has taken over the movement. More good looking, better smelling, and with improved fashion sense. And I’m absolutely sure they don’t wear teeshirts that announce “Toilet Accessories” at the back.
But in the spiritual realm, one truth has remained unchanged: God says, “I’m their leader.”
We face tomorrow, trusting that wherever the future may bring us, we follow Him alone.
Friend, perhaps you’re afraid of the future. So many worries. So many uncertainties.
But in the spiritual realm, know that one thing has not changed. Today, God whispers to your heart, “I’m your leader.” Trust Him.
May your dreams come true,
PS. This issue is the first of our series on the LOJ YEAR 40 Special,
featuring our journey to make disciples for Jesus through
our three major ministries: Mission, Media, and Mercy.
We start with Mission in this issue. Read on…