A Partner Story: Participating in God’s Global Work

Lewis and Alicia Humphreys may be from a small town, but they’ve always prayed they would never be small minded. They’re from Dothan, Alabama. He’s a respected periodontist who has been in private practice for 24 years. Her training is in social work, but after raising their three kids, she now does marketing for Lewis’ office and runs an event-planning company with a friend. They’ve been married 42 years and have seven grandchildren, whom they adore.

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They met at Auburn University and originally planned to go on staff with an overseas mission. But the door did not open. Then they hoped to be sent overseas when Lewis was in the Air Force, but that didn’t happen either. When someone suggested they leave the military, go into private practice and help fund others who were doing international missions work, they did just that.

They first heard Tim Keller preach while visiting NYC. Alicia says, “Following up on our visit, we listened to his three-part series: Smashing False Idols. We began to carefully reevaluate how we viewed sin and our self-righteousness. God used these messages to change the way we saw life and how we prayed.” 

And they do pray. Alicia did not grow up in a Christian home, but when she was nine, she heard the gospel. Two years later she trusted in Christ, absolutely blown away by the idea of a God who loved her so much, he gave his Son for her. In college, Campus Crusade’s emphasis on prayer had a profound impact on her. She explains, “I had two reactions. First, I came to believe God actually wanted to talk to me. And second, I realized I probably had never had anyone praying for me consistently—ever—in my whole life. These two things still snap me to attention.”

Prayer is an active agent in both of their lives. When they feel overwhelmed by the headlines, they pray. Alicia says, “I can pray and petition God to show me what he can do and then respond when he prompts me to do something. Prayer doesn't give me a pass when God wants me to take an active part. Prayer sets my course.” Lewis adds, “Sometimes we’ve wondered why God closed the missions door for us and why he has kept us in a small town, but this is where God has us, and we don't want to miss out on what we can do.”

When some close friends introduced them to CTC, they quickly resonated with the mission: “CTC prayerfully recruits, trains, coaches and resources leaders who cultivate gospel movements in global cities.” Lewis and Alicia say, “This isn’t just website information - CTC is doing it! To hear the church planters’ stories is powerful and informative in giving specific ways to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Secular media doesn’t always communicate where hope is winning/making progress. But the brilliant God-directed strategy of CTC gives us a window into all he is doing – and we get to see and hear about it and participate in it. What could be more empowering than that? We are astounded at the growth with more regional training centers being established. We also appreciate how CTC supports a variety of gospel-centered churches of many denominations. In our opinion, there are very few ministries with such practical training and ongoing support for the vision of reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.” 

The Humphreys make friends wherever they go, and, as Alicia puts it, “We don’t lose them—we collect them.” And, of course, they pray for them. Alicia says, “I think so many people are like I was—not knowing anybody who is consistently praying for them. One of the most tangible ways we can show love for each other is to pray and then ask how God is moving or changing that person as a result.”

This friendship extends to CTC and the church planters they meet. They fondly remember meeting Tim Clemens, a pastor starting a church in Sydney, Australia, at their first CTC event. Since then, they’ve visited with Drew Hyun, a church planter in New York, and recently traveled to Scotland and met Neil and Louise MacMillan, church planters in Edinburgh. Lewis says, “The MacMillans were able to tell us first hand how CTC is helping them reach their city for Christ.” And Alicia adds, “Once again, soli Deo gloria, but God has used you, CTC, to make our world bigger! A thousand thanks! We serve an astonishing God, and I cannot wait to see Jesus face to face one day and thank him, thank him, thank him.”