Lunch with Marjorie: Burning bushes, burning faith—part two

In 1995, Jane Logsdon and her husband Bean (Larry) felt called by God to become missionaries to Israel. Jane resisted, initially. She told Bean it would take a burning bush to get her there. Here is part two of her experience.

I asked Jane Logsdon to recap how she felt about her husband’s call from God to go to Israel.

“You didn’t hear God say anything, right?”

“It wasn’t a ‘God spoke to both of us’ thing. I did, for two seconds, think of leaving him. I mean just two seconds. It started on one side of my brain, and that’s how long it took to go from one side of my brain to the other.” She laughs, blue eyes sparkling. “Then I thought, I’m not raising three kids by myself.”

“That’s how much you didn’t want to go to Israel.”

“Marjorie, my mom and dad had just moved to Dixon. Grandma and Grandpa in the same town with us! Our friends were there. I had no inclination…a foreign mission field—people prepare for years.”

Friends suggested they go to Israel for answers.

“We bought airfare…told the kids we were going on summer vacation.”

Prime Minister Levine was assassinated November of that year. There were bus bombings. The Logsdons arrived Aug. 5.

“You were looking for that burning bush?”

“I was looking under every rock. The Lord wasn’t speaking. I was thinking…maybe it’s an Abraham-Isaac thing. Once I give up my will. Or maybe when the kids are grown up…maybe this is a preview. Israel is the sixth most expensive country in the world. Milk is $6 a gallon…gas is over $5 a gallon.”

They toured for two weeks.

“We stayed inside the Old City walls. We hired—oh, rented a car…day trips, mostly around the Dead Sea. Sunday we went to the Church of All Nations, outside of the Garden of Gethsemane…the rock where Jesus knelt and prayed…where he said, ‘Take this cup from me, and ‘Not my will, but yours, Lord.’ Finally I knelt at that rock, sobbing. I gave my will over to the Lord. It was so hard. I was 40 years old. I knew I was holding out from the Lord. That night, I remember this as if it were yesterday, we had a plan to get some falafels and bring them to this secret garden grassy area in the guesthouse. The church was on this compound. I said, ‘Why don’t we go to church?’ Bean said OK. We looked in the bookstore, and Bean walked up to somebody…the principal of the school connected to the church.”

Bean had read about the Anglican school and had seen a picture of the principal. He had enquired about David Jeffrey when they had arrived on Aug. 5. David was on vacation.

“He walks up to this guy—with throngs of people…and gives him the story of our calling. David must have thought we were one of thousands of Jerusalem-syndrome nuts. There’re a lot of crazy people who go over and say they are John the Baptist or whatever. It’s called Jerusalem-syndrome. But he listened politely, as the British do. He asked, ‘What do you teach?’”

Bean said he taught science.

“Then (David) got this incredulous look and walked over to me. After introductions, I said, ‘I’m the director and head teacher of a pre-school. They’re waiting for me to get back home.’”

David and the Logsdons headed for the church service.

“Let’s talk after church,” he said.

The pastor asked David to make an announcement.

“David looked right at me…and asked for prayer for a family on vacation in England. They had had a bad car accident on Aug. 5. David said, ‘You know these are two of our teachers. We’re kind of in a crisis. Nigel was our science teacher. Alison was our 3-year-old pre-school teacher.’”

Jane’s story was spellbinding.

“It’s like when you get a shock. Your insides do a melt. We had to go through the whole rest of the church service. That was my burning bush. Bean said I turned to him and had tears running down my cheeks. I don’t remember. Within 10 minutes, we had housing, schooling for our three kids, and jobs. The way the Lord prepared for us—it was amazing. We were going to a country we knew nothing about. It’s walking on faith. We were so much in the center of God’s will that we could have walked through fire.”

They returned home and flew back to Israel eight days later.

Last summer, they returned to Rockford on furlough.

“We know the Lord told us we should come home—but not come home and stay.”

“Do you miss it?”

“I’m grieving it. Every year has its chapter.”

“Does it take the same call to return?”

“Missionary work—your whole mentality changes. It’s how you live your life…relationship building. I’d like to go back. Those are precious relationships.”

Marjorie Stradinger is a free-lance writer residing in Roscoe.

From the April 20-26, 2005, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!