One life can make a huge difference. Ask Randy Mayfield.
Singer, songwriter, pastor, sports chaplain, concert organizer, and missions director, Mayfield has lived a lifetime of seeing how one life can make a difference. One Life: Your gift will make a way is part autobiography and part an account of how one life made a difference in Honduras, Kenya, Albania, China, the Philippines, India, the Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Iraq, and St. Louis.
And the “one life in each of these places” wasn’t Randy’s but instead those of other people called by God to serve, sometimes in foreign countries and sometimes in their own. Collectively, the accounts of Randy’s own life and those of a dozen others serves as a recent history of missions at a single church. Central Presbyterian in St. Louis, Mo. (I attend that church, and to see the stories collected together is nothing less than awe-inspiring.)
He knew from a young age that he would be a singing evangelist – his grandmother Minnie told him so, and that was how it was going to be. And sing he did, performing with some of the best-known gospel singers in America. Called to St. Louis in 1979, he took on a job that was serving as a church media director, helping with radio programs, and leading contemporary worship on Sunday mornings. But one thing led to another, and missions became his focus. He was still the singing evangelist, but he was now singing all over the world.
|Mayfield in concert|
His “one life” soon touched the lives of others, giving opportunities for more “one lives” to make a difference. Two examples (of many) from the book are Iraq and Honduras.
During the ISIS uprising in the Middle East, hundreds of thousands of refugees could be found in camps in northern Iraq. If there’s a need, Mayfield will eventually be involved, and Central Presbyterian works with Jamal, a former Muslim who became a Christian, to provide relief. That relief takes the form of food, clothes, shelter, and beds. Mayfield also performs in charity concerts to raise money for refugee needs.
In Honduras, Michael Miller, a man who grew up in Central Presbyterian, developed a heart for missions in Central America. Shortly after he arrived in Honduras in 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated the country. Miller called Mayfield seeking help, and soon the church sent funds for mattresses, diapers, and other needs. Longer term, homeless youth was a serious problem, and it was one Miller took on an effort to deal with it. With the support of Central and several other churches, what is known as the “Micah Project” resulted in a residence home that brings in boys from the streets. Hundreds of lives have been turned around.
These “one lives” have similar stories around the globe. In country after country, “one life” has made a huge difference.
Mayfield is an accomplished singer and songwriter who has performed in venues all over the United States, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. He has opened concerts for such performers as Stephen Curtis Chapman, Jaci Velasquez, the Imperials, and others and has performed with symphony orchestras on Russia, Hungary, England, and Iraq and staged concerts at numerous correctional centers, jails, and prisons. He currently serves as pastor of Missions & Outreach at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Louis.
If you doubt that one life (or one vote or one person) can truly make a difference, read Mayfield’s One Life. You will be heartened and encouraged.