The Missionary And Me

Posted on 01. Mar, 2014 by in Missions/Evangelism, Prayer

bornagain3His name was Clyde Dotson. He was my grandfather’s older brother, my great uncle. I knew him personally though superficially. He was a man of God and I was a man of the world. We were related but separated.

Our two paths crossed infrequently, yet he would have a tremendous life-changing impact on my life.

He had left his home in Alabama at the age of 21 to be a missionary in Africa. Making his way to New York City, he secured a job on a freight ship in exchange for passage to his new home. He had no money, no backing nor support from any church or religious organization. All he had was the Lord. And that would prove to be enough.

He spent over 40 years in Africa, much of it in Southern Rhodesia. (now Zimbabwe) He would marry three times, having lost his first two wives to death on the mission field. “God did not intend for man to live alone”, he would say.

He would invest those 40 plus years building hospitals, churches and schools; digging water wells, and winning the South Africans to the Lord.  Uncle Clyde would spend 14 years translating the Bible into the native African language of Ndau.

He lived in the bush country among the people, without electricity, sleeping in mud huts, having to travel 18 miles for bathwater and 100 miles for drinking water. He encountered lions and elephants; disease and witchcraft. Yet, he continued on.

He won men to the Lord, many of them becoming preachers. He gave away his life, health and substance serving the Lord.

Twenty-six churches were built, more than 126 were baptized and a witch doctor met the Lord at the end of Clyde’s years in Zimbabwe.

Clyde Dotson was God’s man. He died in 1982. He is buried in Alabama but his heart is still in Africa.

After his death, his wife Anneli shared with me, that uncle Clyde had prayed for me by name, every single day for 20 years, that I might be saved. That’s right, Every single day for 20 years!

I was saved in 1983, the year after uncle Clyde died. I was 36 years old. I have now been a preacher for 30 years.

Sometimes we see the results of our prayers and sometimes we don’t. But, regardless, God is faithful to those who call upon His name. Don’t give up. Someone is counting on you.

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”  Jeremiah 33:3

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