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70 and a Heart Transplant – Golf Carts and Grandkids?

 met my Brazilian friend, Ary Velloso, in the registrar's office on his first day at Dallas Theological Seminary when we were students together.

The only thing Ary could do in English was grin--he learned English; Hebrew, and Greek in four years and also became the top Bible salesman for the Southwestern Company during that time.

Upon graduation he joined OC International and traveled the US raising support and announcing he was looking for a mother-in-law. As a result he met and married the beautiful--and much younger--Carolyn Jones, returned to Brazil, and planted Morumbi Baptist Church in Sao Panlo, one of the first churches directed toward business and professional leaders in the country. Over the years the church grew to nearly 3,000.

About eight years ago Ary learned that he needed a heart transplant and spent nine months in Miami, first waiting and then receiving his new heart. A couple of years ago Kay and Carolyn decided it was time for them to leave Morumbi and move on. They had a team in place that could carry on the ministry, and the church continues to prosper, but the issue they faced was where to go and what to do. Did they opt for a golf- cart and the grandkids? No way! I spent a couple of days with them in Londrina, where they had moved with a team to build spiritual leaders for southern Brazil. And what is Ary doing? Planting the brand new Cartui Baptist Church and discipling leaders as he has for the past thirty-five years.

Questions to Ponder:

  • Where will you be when you're 70.? Well, not with a heart transplant, I hope. But what will it be—a golf cart and the grandkids? Or forming leaders for Christ? Golf is great fun, and we all need to be with our grandkids, but the ultimate question for those who claim to follow Jesus is what will you do to make every movement in life count for Christ?

Related Topics: Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Leadership