When a Pastor Gives Up…

who will weep, who will shoulder the blame?

This evening I feel twinges of nostalgia and sadness. And perhaps a twitch of a whiff of bitterness? No, I overcame that a long time ago.

Twenty-five years ago this evening, at the Mennonite church in Santa María (Sonora, Mexico), the first national minister of that congregation was ordained.

photo of Emanuel church in Santa Maria

As I recall, my Dad (James Roth) gave the charge. And as I recall, the church’s “founding father” (Joe Mast) as well as two members of BMF Missions (Merle Kropf and Wilton Smucker) were there from Oregon as well. I was the congregation’s pastor.

I continued in that role til I resigned in March or April (as I fuzzily recall) so Manuel Torres could take over. My family and I had to leave the field (in May, I think).

Manuel soldiered on, with little help or training from those more mature in the faith. There’s really little excuse for that. Too bad. He finally resigned in December 1997. 🙁

It could have been so different, but for… No, I won’t use this public venue to go on a rant, so relax. And I won’t use a private venue either. Most rants are dumb, hurtful, and unconstructive. (Sinful fits too often as well.)

But where was God in all of that? Right where He always is. But somehow, He got missed or overlooked. That happens, you know.

Well, may God bless Manuel for his service to that little congregation. He must be in his seventies by now.

Comment? Sure!

Above all, love God!
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