"In the morning, remind me to tell you about the dream that I just had!"
In 2011, my wife, Vada and I had settled into a pretty comfortable ministry routine. We were serving on staff at CrossPointe Church, in the small Oklahoma town of Crescent. We had been there for close to six years and were checking all of the typical youth ministry boxes.
It was during that time that things began to change.
I have always loved mission work and going on mission trips. I first felt called to ministry while on a trip to Russia in 1999. Serving at CrossPointe gave me the opportunity to go on some pretty amazing mission trips; and in 2011 I was getting ready to go to Uganda for 10 days. During that time, Vada began to experience overwhelming anxiety attacks. She managed to get through the trip, with me being on the other side of the world and her home with our two girls, but her battle was just beginning.
After I got home, the anxiety didn't stop, it got worse. Never one to back down from a challenge, Vada turned the closet in our bedroom into her prayer closet. he would go in there everyday and pray for relief.
While all of this was happening, our Pastor began a series about spiritual dreams. Late one night Vada woke me up and said, "Remind me to tell you about the dream that I just had." I shrugged her off and went back to sleep. The next morning she shared her dream with me.
In Vada's she saw a man who lived in the jungle and spoke a native language. He was desperately looking for someone to tell him how to avoid going to hell. The man searched and searched, but he could not find anyone to tell him about Jesus, in a language that he understood. Finally the man found a small box with a red button on the top of it. The box had a different picture on each side. When he pressed the red button, the man heard a simple message about who Jesus is and how he could accept the free gift of salvation.
To make an already long story short, we began taking steps to turn Vada's dream into reality. We told a friend who had just started an advertising company about the dream. He set up a meeting with a man who basically designed and paid for the first prototypes of The Message Box.
As God continued to lead us on this exciting journey, we started to realize that the anxiety attacks that Vada had faced, were more than that. She was literally fighting a spiritual war for the ministry that has become The Message Box.
Eight years have passed since Vada's dream. In those eight years, we have shipped Message Boxes to ministries in Russia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Guatemala, Ghana, Honduras, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Rwanda, Philippines and several cities across the United States.
A simple Google search tells us that there are estimated to be 2 billion people who have never even heard a gospel presentation. What's more, millions of people on our plant cannot read (and will never have the chance to learn). You can never go wrong with giving out Bible's and tracts, but in many cases, we have to get creative. I truly believe that we have only scratched the surface of what God wants to do with The Message Box. I can't wait to see where He leads us next!