Lives Changed: The Impact of the LMR Rally and Celebration

Below is a letter received by Doyce Connell, an LMR whose life was impacted by the LMR Rally and Celebration.

GreetingsSister Judy,

I would like to share a portion of the impact the 2011 LMR Rally andCelebration has had on my church, my pastor, the missions ministries and me. Iattend Bread Of Life Church of God, Byron, Georgia, with Pastor Bill Stuckey,and the rally was life-changing for us.

Permit me to share what has happened in my life since February 2010. My wife,Linda, who is a registered nurse, turned the corner in the hall at work andunknowing to her, a steam pipe was leaking. She took a bad fall, injuring her back. Thisended her career as an RN. We received a large reduction in our householdincome, approximately $5,000 per month. Had I not known God's Word and HisPromises, I would have thought that we were about to begin starvation. I toldLinda this: ‘do not buy any more groceries until all the food has been cookedand eaten from our large deep freezer, then unplug it.’ We took militaryshowers and used kerosene lanterns to light our house. God helped us throughit. Even though Linda most likely will never work again, we Praise God throughit all! He has met every need.

All of my life my heart has been toward World Missions. Every time I listenedto a missionary speak, my heart would burn inside. It was February 18th, 2010and I had had enough of the burning in my heart. I had had enough of everydaylife. My desire is to live an extraordinary life, and I needed closure on several things goingon in Linda's and my life. It seemed that satan was having a field day with us.So I drew a line in the sand, and said, ‘Today our lives will begin to change.’So, I began a 40-day fast. During that fast, I asked God what was going on inmy heart when I listened to missionaries speak. ‘Lord are you calling Linda andme into missions?’ At the end of the 40-day fast, I did not see lightningflashing. I was very hungry, weak, and had lost weight. But God begin to movein my life. It's as if he showed me another facet of Himself. Extraordinarythings begin to happen, people would begin to come to my desk at work say, ‘GodBrought Me here to hear what you had to say,’ They had received a message fortheir life to move them to greater victory in their situations.

My whole year seemed to be nothing other than World Missions. Around August2010 the Lord laid a message upon my heart that was just burning inside me andI asked, Lord, where and to whom would I deliver this message. Shortly afterthat, my pastor came to me and said, ‘Doyce, I want you to speak at a Wednesdaynight service,’ so I agreed, and he set it up for October. Then, on September15, my wife had a car accident. The car was totaled, and she was bruised badlybut had no broken bones. She was laid up for the next several months because ofthe accident. With all of that going on, the pastor forgot he had asked me tospeak, and I didn’t remind him. In November, Linda went into the hospital for14 days with staph infection of the lungs. I felt like our world was caving inon us. Around the same time, my pastor received an application requesting himto send an representative to the LMR Rally and Celebration 2011. Back in August2010, I had shared with my prayer partner that I sensed I was to be themissions director for our church. I didn’t say anything to my pastor or anyoneelse. I knew that if I were to be that missions director, the Holy Spirit wouldbring it to fruition. So, my pastor approached me and asked if I would be thelocal mission representative for our Church. He said, ‘I know your heart is inMissions, would you like to attend the LMR Rally and Celebration?’ At that timein my life, Linda was injured and very sick, and we were both somewhatdiscouraged. I held off on the missions application for a month and a half,then decided, by faith, I would fill it out and send it.

In December 2010 I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I heard theLord speak in my spirit, ‘Doyce, don't get ahead of Me.’ I was puzzled alittle, but I marked it in my heart and went on with life. In January 2011,Pastor Stuckey came to me and asked if I would like to be the missions directorfor our church. The very same wording that I had said to my prayer partner theprevious September. Wow!!! I knew the Holy Spirit was moving in my life. Then,my pastor said to me, ‘I want you to speak at a Wednesday night service.’  I agreed. At this point, I had neverspoken in a Church in my life. I spoke on that Wednesday night, and the powerof the Holy Spirit came down and touched lives! Two weeks later, Linda and Iwere visiting a Church of God in Alabama where we had never been before in ourlives. After that Sunday morning service, the pastor asked if I would come backand speak the following Sunday. The Holy Spirit began setting me up to speakthroughout the year. We have seen lives changed, and I've received reports thatmissions giving is up in the churches where the Lord sent me to take themessage that he gave me in August 2010. To this date, I have spoken 10 times intwo states and three churches. I'm scheduled
to speak at a fourth church in the near future.

This brings us to the impact of the LMR Rally and Celebration. While at therally, I met and talked with a lot of the missionaries, pastors, and long-timeLMRs. I came home so blessed and challenged, not knowing what the next step totake. My pastor had asked me to select a missionary for our local church tobegin supporting. I called and asked what missionaries had the most urgent needand learned about Tommy and Poppi Smith. I called Brother Tommy, and the HolySpirit canceled his next appointment, and he came to our church that Sunday andspoke for us. The service was dynamic, lives were challenged, and people havesince begun supporting him on a monthly basis. Our church has begun to grow innumbers and now is becoming very missions-minded. I've had people to share withme that they are now giving to missions regularly. Our church has given over$6,000 to World Missions since the LMR Rally and Celebration. We have a rather small church, but God is bringingnew families in almost weekly. Praise the Lord!

I met Dr. Hong Yang for a brief moment at the rally and there was such akindred spirit. He came and spoke at our church in October. The Power of theHoly Spirit came down in that service and I had testimonies from eight peopleof how the Spirit ministered to them under Dr. Hong Yang’s message. Dr. EstherYang also blessed us very much. Dr. Hong Yang and Sister Esther spent the nightat our house and we were able to talk and share God's Blessings that are in ourlives.

After Dr. Hong and Sister Esther spoke at our church, immediately, I had totake them to speak at a Mexican church in our community at 12:30 p.m. It wasanother powerful service. Dr. Hong asked for those who would like to have thefire of God in their lives for missions to come forward for prayer. About 15Latinos came forward and he called me to lay hands on each one of them and pray for them while following him. Ireceived such a blessing!

After Dr. Hong Yang left the Latino church, Linda and I lead them to Interstate75 South and they spoke at a Third Service in Live Oak, Florida three and ahalf hours later. They had a 3-hour drive when they left us. Wow!! Whatdedication. I was so encouraged by them. We have spoken of the possibility ofme traveling to China and Mongolia to minister.

My Pastors, Bill and Brenda Stuckey are rejoicing at the impact that missionsin making in our church. Sister Brenda has spoken recently in church and sharedhow missions is impacting her personal life and the lives of people in ourchurch. Pastor Stuckey is also amazed at the impact.  Sister Brenda said she could see the Holy Spirit all over meas I speak about World Missions.

Afterone Wednesday night service, I met with our Missions Committee on the front row of the sanctuary. While discussing missions and how we propose tosupport World Missions, a normally quite lady, who is 71 years old gave amessage in tongues and an interpretation. Wow!!!

So, to all those who put together the LMR Rally and Celebration, God is movingin a mighty way through your efforts and prayers! I would personally like tosay thank you to everyone who had a part in it. We have yet to see the extentof the impact that the rally made in the lives of the LMRs.

We Love You all,
God Bless You,
Doyce Connell