Dear God, I was speaking to a group of youth yesterday about the nonprofit where I work and I talked about how you take small seeds of ideas and grown them. In 1986, you led a woman to start doing some medical clinics with some missionaries in Northern Mexico. Six years later, you inspired her to start doing a one-night-a-week free clinic for people in the town where she lived. Ten years later, you inspired her and others to build on that and create a facility that would be a medical home for people. Now, 17 years later, what started as going to Mexico to help some people in 1986 has turned into a four-day-a-week clinic that has medical, dental, and mental health counseling services and a million dollar budget. Your blessing has been obvious, and I am grateful that your presence is still there. I wanted to show these high school students that big things can start from small seeds. They just need faith and patience.
I saw this video about the H.E. Butt Family Foundation Camp this morning. It made me think of the same thing—100 years ago a poor boy in Kerrville, Texas, promised himself that if he ever had enough money he would give kids an opportunity to experience nature. As he grew, he grew the family’s general store into a huge supermarket chain called H-E-B. In the early 50s, he and his wife found nearly 2,000 acres to purchase. From there they built camps for children and eventually an adult lodge for retreats. I am one of the beneficiaries of the seed you planted in his mind 100 years ago.
The H. E. Butt Family Foundation has impacted my life more than anything else. If you take away Howard Butt, Sr.’s vision and followthrough on that vision, I don’t know where I am right now.
- They hired my dad as a part-time bookkeeper in 1969 when he was in the Army and needing supplemental income to support his family.
- Nine years later, when my parents were separated, the man who hired him all those years ago invited him and my mom to a marriage retreat at which my father prayed to accept Christ and my after which my parents got back together.
- When I was 12, my dad came home from a retreat there and told me about a man he had med, Henry Parrish, who coached tennis. Through Henry, I got involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes which had a huge impact on how I came to be a discipling Christian.
- When I was 19, I was a camp counselor at one of the youth camps and met my wife there.
- I have been to numerous retreats over the last 27 years, and there have been times you have completely inspired me, including the retreat in April 2000 when you inspired me to start this prayer journal.
All of this started because someone had the seed of an inspiration. He didn’t think about how you would use that ranch for discipleship development or anything like that. He just wanted to offer kids the opportunity to experience nature. You took it from there.
Father, help men to heed your little nudgings and inspirations. Help me to not miss the seeds you want me to plant or that you want to plant in me. Give me the faith and the patience to do the work that is in front of me and then watch you grow it into what you have for it to be.
In Jesus’ name I pray,