Missionaries come back home

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 14, 2008

Think of the word missionary and what comes to mind?

Someone with a suitcase tucked under one arm and a Bible under the other, heading off to Africa or India or some island with an unpronounceable name?

Two Lawrence County natives went off to college to become missionaries, but she said God’s direction has not taken them far, far from home. In fact, Sarah Brock and Michael Wright said God has called them to come back home— to people and places they knows— to bring a message of hope and forgiveness.

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Brock and Wright are 2007 graduates of Chesapeake High School and are in their freshman year at Liberty University. Brock said recently college leaders had a church planting emphasis week.

During this week, the major focus was sending students out for summer missions to start new churches in the United States. During the closing service Ergun Caner, one of the campus pastors, quoted statistics about how many people in the United States do not go to church.

One particular statistic caught Brock’s attention: Caner said there is not one county in the United States where a majority of people attend church regularly.

“I found that hard to believe, especially in Lawrence County where it seems like there is a church on every street,” Brock said in an email. “That morning in convocation, God put a burden on my

heart. He did not call me to go and plant a church or go on an overseas mission with my summer vacation. God called me to work in the area He placed me in from the very beginning.

The next time I hear the statistic about church attendance in United States counties, I want there to be an exception. God has called me to change Lawrence County, and there is no reason why His goal should not be met.”

Brock said she has had a yearning to do great things for God, but she had always thought she would graduate first and then set off for the mission field, that she would be older and established first. Then she realized she didn’t need a degree, she only needed a desire to make a change.

“That was my human nature putting God in a box and only using

Him for what I wanted,” she said. “God was capable of changing the world through me when I was six years old and understood enough about Him to accept Him as the Lord and Savior of my life.

I have since then wasted thirteen years saying I will do something great when I am “capable.” I am tired of waiting, and this summer I am not waiting any longer.”

Brock and Wright want to help plan evangelism training and perhaps a community service aimed at encouraging more people get involved in church.

They will be home for spring break March 15-23, and would like to meet with anyone who wants to join with them in this endeavor. A planning/informational meeting is planned for 7 p.m. March 17 at Big Branch Church in Chesapeake. Brock’s email address is slbrock1@gmail. and her phone number is

(304) 633-1562.