Leck’s very personal story
As a little boy, my favorite Bible story was David and Goliath. At nap time, I would ask Mommy to please read to me about David and Goliath and then I would lie there in the quiet of my room and pray for God to send me a Goliath so I could slay him. It would seem silly and childish except for the fact that God has sent me more than one giant to be slain in my life and I am certain that He put that desire in my heart as a little boy to develop my hunger for conquest that would eventually express itself in many ways for the advancement of His Kingdom.
When I was six, I lay on the front lawn of our North Texas home and gazed up into the deep blue expanse and began to wonder about limitlessness. As my young mind would imagine the edge of space, I would realize that something had to be on the other side of my imagined limit, and out and out my mind would race until I began to think about the God who had made the limitlessness. He was beginning to capture my mind and to train it to stand in wonder and awe before the one who made me and the world in which I lived.
At seven, I was suddenly, in an instant, deeply troubled by my sin. Nothing was said to me about it. No fire and brimstone sermons or images of judgment to manipulate a fear response from a young boy. It happened on the front porch. I had just left the kitchen where my mother had asked me a question. I don’t remember the question but I do remember the answer. The answer was, “Yes ma’am”, and I said, “No ma’am.” When I turned and walked out of the kitchen and out of the house onto the porch I was suddenly gripped with the reality that I had lied, or as we said, “told a story” to my mother. I immediately spun around and went back into the kitchen to confess with tears. “Mama, I told you a story.”
Not long after, my mother wrote to my Pastor, Elder H. G. Ball, to tell him that I wanted to “join the church.” What I had actually said was that I wanted to be baptized. It was what I knew about turning to God at the age of seven. I had come to see my need for Him and my need for a Savior in Jesus and yes, I wanted to be baptized. I would lie on my bed for lengthy periods and just cry and cry from the depths of my young soul, her letter said.
When I was sixteen, my pastor Elder R. V. Sorrels spoke one Sunday of his call to the ministry at age sixteen. What a coincidence! I started to wonder that day if perhaps I was “called” too. These thoughts remained with me, sometimes strongly sometimes not so, over the next several years ‘til one night at age nineteen I had an experience that clinched the deal. I had just met a beautiful young lady by the name of Cynthia McCarty at our annual a cappella music school called Harmony Hill. I was quite taken by her good looks and her witty personality and that night as I lay on my cot, gazing up at the star filled sky I had a vision. Really, an eyes open wide awake vision, an experience that was entirely unique to my mind. I knew pretty much nothing about experiences of this kind at that time but there it was. I saw myself from the waist up, suspended in space probably ten feet or so in the air. Jesus appeared behind and to the side of me and put his left hand on my left shoulder. Then Cynthia appeared beside me and he put his right hand on her right shoulder. No words were spoken but instantly I knew two things. I would marry Cynthia and I would preach the gospel. A year later I was married to Cynthia and a few months after that I acknowledged to the church that I believed I was “called to preach.”
Does this seem strange to you? It does to me too in a way because I don’t think of myself as any kind of a prophet or mystic, or anybody all that unusual, and yet I realize these things seem a bit unusual to many of us. Still, they happened, and God speaks still. He speaks in less dramatic ways most of the time and he speaks especially through the truth of his book, the Bible, and through good people who walk in his light and through others who don’t seem to have a clue they are being spoken through. And through all that, he has led Cynthia and me to a place where we would have never dreamed, to face giants we would never have conceived.
Here we are in Nicaragua to flesh out the things that God has spoken, that he has breathed into us, and planted in our minds and hearts and to see His Kingdom expand here in order to “bring good news to the poor… to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor… (Isaiah 61:1,2; Luke 4:18,19).
Pontis, the bridge in Latin, is the framework through which we bridge the Kingdom of Heaven into the culture around us until its influence is felt everywhere and its wonderful fruit is available to everyone. Our work is not limited to Nicaragua and it is not always expressed in what you might call a “religious” way, but for the last seven years we have been preparing to release a work here that will do just that – help bring the influence of the Kingdom of God to a country of about six million people who comprise the second poorest populace in the western hemisphere, second only to the poorest country in the world, Haiti, and do it in such a way as to transform their lives, their culture, and hopefully, eventually, their nation.