A Village of Giants

Here in central Florida, I’ve found a village of giants. It’s a community of missionary veterans who live on streets named for the nations in which they poured their lives—Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Ethiopia, and others. This is the SIM Missionary Retirement Village in Sebring. I’ve just finished a week here, speaking a dozen times and listening to more stories than I can absorb—accounts of persecution, church planting, remarkable answers to prayer, angel visitants, being thrown out of countries, being held hostage, being chased by rabid dogs, close calls, lonely graves, and vast harvests from seeds patiently sown. One retired missionary physician conducted 60,000 surgeries during his years in Africa; another established a hospital at age seventy-five. On these 50 acres there is more knowledge of world conditions, prayer power, and missionary experience than just about anywhere else on earth. If you’re ever south of Disney World, stop by here in Sebring and visit. You’ll quickly run into a missionary statesman who’ll offer you a ride in their golf cart and show you around. You might even get a glimpse of the resident alligator.

One of the Overseas-named Streets
Year Around Amaryllis
A Tranquil Lake...
...Except for the lurking alligator
The Village Chapel
The Favored Form of Transportation
Roomful of Veteran Global Christians
Fellow Columbia International University alumni
Quiet Streets
Dr. Burt Long, 94, Still on his Motorcycle

4 thoughts on “A Village of Giants

  1. My love and admiration for these veteran missionaries knows no bounds! How I would love to just sit near them and listen to their memories, hear them pray, shake their hands, hug them, and just be friends with them!

  2. You were a great encouragement to my Mom – Front Left on the CIU alumni pic. She’s lived with us for nearly 5 years now – and has almost no memory left of anything that happened to her. God knows.

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