God has blessed me with exceptional ministry mentors over the years. One of the greatest privileges of my life was to be involved with the ministry of Mary Jo Randall (a.k.a. “Momma Jo”). Momma Jo was my campus minister during my first two years of College.
Jo served for twenty years as a missionary in Japan. She eventually moved back to the States and served as a campus minister. I was in the Baptist Campus Ministries during her final two years of ministry (before retirement) at Jefferson State Community College. I consider it an extreme privilege to be one of the last of the “Jo Randall disciples.”
Jo saw leadership potential in me—she saw beyond my shy, reserved nature. She is one of the reasons that I am so passionate about college ministry. I jokingly told her that it is her “fault” that I’m still in student ministry, since she kept doing it until age 65.
Jo was in town this past weekend to visit me and other former students. I can’t describe how happy I was to see her and spend time with her. She will soon celebrate her 80th birthday, yet she is still vibrant with enthusiasm for Jesus.
I have a sermon that I preach entitled “Abraham’s Call.” There’s a line in my sermon that goes something like this: “All of us are here (in church) because someone answered God’s call. You know Jesus because someone answered God’s call and introduced you to him.”
Thanks, Momma Jo, for answering God’s call.
(For your amusement, I’ve added a picture from Jo’s birthday party 15 years ago. Some of you don’t believe that I used to have a lot of hair).
Update (June 5th, 2016)
I just received some sad news today: Jo Randall passed away earlier this afternoon.
Mare Cris and I tried to visit her as regularly as we could since 2013 (when we moved here from the Philippines). I’m very thankful that she was able to met my wife in person and get to know her. We always ended our visits with prayer.
We’ll miss you, Momma Jo. See you on the other side.
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