“All I Want to Do is Change a City…”—Part II

“All I Want to Do is Change a City…”—Part II

by Bill High

After serving on the mission field for 15 years in Peru, Rudy thought it was time to retire and go be with the grandchildren. But God had different plans. After leading a mission trip to another part of Peru—Cusco, Peru—Rudy sensed God’s calling once again. (I wrote more about Rudy in my previous post.)

This time the calling just didn’t make sense, however. He was old, and a bit tired. He didn’t have the time or energy to make the impact he thought needed to happen. But the call was undeniable. So Rudy left retirement and the grandchildren for Cusco, Peru.

I met Rudy in the Fall of 2000 when he was trying to raise the first $750,000 for the project. At that time, the work of the Foundation was just beginning, and there was little we could do. Still, I remember Rudy’s plea: “All I want to do is to change a city…” Rudy left that day, and I’d not heard from him since.

But on Sunday, October 3, 2010, our church announced that we would have a guest speaker. I gave it little thought until he was announced and I saw him walk to the stage. It was Rudy Johnson—moving slower now but with the same wry humor—and the same plea: “All I want to do is to change a city…”

This time the message was different. The screen showed pictures of a church, a camp, a school, and all kinds of progress. The city of Cusco held a parade, and they invited the ministry to participate. The approach of the school and the teachers was greeted with robust applause. The multiple buildings on the campus were all debt-free. It appeared that Rudy was well on his way to being God’s instrument for “changing a city.”

Where have all the Rudys gone? Where are the dreamers who still dream dreams of affecting a culture, affecting a city gone astray? May God give us more Rudys. May God give us more who are willing to give their lives away in light of that which cannot be taken away.

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Published October 7, 2010

Topics: A Life of Faith


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