“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
(Isaiah 6:8, ESV)
It was a cold, snowy evening when our bus pulled into “The Glen,” headquarters of The Navigators in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was nearly Christmas and would soon be a day that would change our lives forever. We checked in, had a quick meal, and reported to the room where we would hear Bob Boardman, a decorated WWII vet, known as “The Marine Who Only Whispers.” An author of several books, he also received two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star for valor. In the battle for Okinawa on June 17, 1945, four days before this last battle of WWII, a sniper’s bullet pierced his throat and hand, causing him to speak in a husky whisper.
Mary and I listened intently as he whispered a message on Isaiah 6 and “God’s call.” At the end of his message he asked, “If there is anyone here who would be willing to win others to Christ and be involved in discipleship not only in the U.S.A. but in a foreign country, would you please stand?” I immediately jumped to my feet. Then, I remembered, I’m married! I turned to see Mary standing beside me. As we looked wide-eyed at each other, we realized that we both stood at exactly the same time without realizing that the other had stood. We smiled, took each other’s hand, and remained standing through a commitment prayer.
The rest is history. Mary and I served as missionaries in the Philippines for twenty-seven years, and have remained associated with Philippine missions for the last sixteen years, returning every year to minister and be ministered to with Biblical Education by Extension World missions. We will forever be grateful to the “Marine Who Whispers,” who impacted our lives that Christmas. Since then, we have celebrated numerous Christmases with our beloved Filipino people. Thank you, Bob, and thank you Lord for calling us.