Shari Leader, a member of the Lighthouse Fellowship Company in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, regularly conducts evangelistic series twice a year. She was in the middle of preaching an evangelistic series in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began to take a turn for the worse.
There were several attendees who were really benefiting from the series, so Leader was determined to finish it. She eventually resorted to using Zoom. She did another series in the fall when it seemed like things were beginning to go back to normal, but the infection numbers rose again during the 2020 holiday season.
“In January, I was concerned about whether we should do it again. I had the money to do it, but I didn’t have money to waste,” said Leader. “I can’t see the future, so I took it to the Lord.”
The First Signs
Leader prayed, asking God to show her whether she should do the series. That very afternoon, Leader received a call from a woman who had received a brochure for the previous series but hadn’t been able to attend. She wanted to know if they were going to hold the series again.
“Sometimes we think that the Lord tells us stuff because it’s what we want to hear. So I asked the Lord again. ‘Okay, Lord. I know I’m being a pest, but I need to know for sure. Did You tell me to do this? Or am I twisting what you told me?’”
That very afternoon, Leader got a second phone call.
The second call came from Arizona. A woman had contacted the caller to inquire on behalf of her brother, who wanted to attend an evangelistic series. The problem was that the brother lived in Raleigh, North Carolina, not Arizona. They contacted Leader to see if she was planning a series there.
This was it — the confirmation Leader needed to move forward with the series.
An Ice Storm and a Penske Truck
The venue was reserved, and brochures ordered from Seminars Unlimited in Texas. Two weeks before opening night Leader received word that Texas and the surrounding area were experiencing a freak ice storm.
With no answers or options, Leader once again put everything in God’s hands. The following Monday — the day the brochures were scheduled to hit the local post offices — Leader got a call from Carl Johnson, president of Seminars Unlimited. He told her that the post offices were closed, and he had been trying to find a way to get the brochures delivered, but it was going to cost an extra $4,000.
Leader didn’t have the money and was ready to forget the brochures altogether. But God was not surprised — or thwarted.
Knowing how important these brochures were, Johnson rented a Penske truck, loaded up all the brochures, and drove straight through the inclement conditions — all the way to Raleigh. He then went to every post office and talked to every postmaster, explaining the situation, and showing that the postage was already paid. Every one of the postmasters accepted the brochures, and they went out in the mail the next day.
To top it all off, the governor of North Carolina lifted a lot of the COVID restrictions on the day the series was supposed to start. In fact, the lift went into effect one hour before the series was scheduled to begin.
A Beautiful Reminder
The four-week/five-weekend series began on Feb. 26, 2021. It was held both in-person with 28 present opening night and online, with 366 views on Facebook and YouTube combined.
There have been two baptisms and one profession-of-faith from the February-March series. Two additional people are continuing preparation for baptism. And Leader is already conducting a second series this fall.
Leader’s testimony is a beautiful reminder that God is always in control, and He’ll always make a way if we put our trust in Him.
— Rachel Beaver is the communication intern for the Carolina Conference.