Life Riding Shotgun With the WFBC Mission Director

Who? Me? By 2001, I had been the wife of Pastor Wayne Vawter for almost 30 years and pretty much knew what to expect! So when Wayne determined that the Lord was leading him into a new ministry as the mission director for the WFBC, I was prepared for many changes. Of course, he would have to resign from his pastorate at Rock Lake Baptist Church in Lake Mills. We would be moving into the WFBC parsonage in Sun Prairie–a home I had visited many times when Dr. and Mrs. Jim Elkins and Dr. and Mrs. Leon Leeds had been living there. We would no longer be members of a church where we were in the middle of every event, surrounded by people to whom we were ministering day by day. I would have a pastor who was NOT my husband for the first time since 1976! We soon found that the ministry of the WMD (not Weapon of Mass Destruction, but Wisconsin Mission Director!) is similar to the experience of a missionary on deputation or furlough…a different church every Sunday, eating in restaurants and staying in homes or motels.

But one of the most surprising changes for our family was the fact that we rarely have Sunday dinner together. In 2001, 2 of our 4 sons were still living at home, attending college, and our daughter was beginning high school. Abbie traveled with us every weekend through her high school years, but the boys were active in their own local church and busy with school and work. It was a big change for them when we no longer had weekly roast beef or baked chicken dinners, complete with homemade dinner rolls and special dessert! In a very few weeks, they tired of frozen pizza! When we were ministering in the churches, we often enjoyed church dinners because it is a good way for us to get to know folks around Wisconsin. But we missed being together with our sons on Sunday afternoons!

When I think about it, though, it wasn’t the food I missed…it was the time spent together. No matter how busy our lives became during the week, on Sundays, we spent time together, communicating with lively conversations over the meal. When that changed, we had to find other ways to stay connected…and, of course, we did!

One reason I want to have a blog here on the WFBC website is to have a way to “connect” with many friends around Wisconsin and the world. Since we cannot be together for a meal, we need to find other ways to communicate! I LOVE the ministry the Lord has given to us through the WFBC…traveling, talking, listening, praying, being with the Lord’s servants all over Wisconsin. But we need to stay connected, even when Wayne and I are “on the road”, headed for the next church! So, please post your messages, and I will share some of my thoughts and experiences with you here, and…in the end, we should all be connected, with or without Sunday dinner!