In reflecting on who I knew who had “Crazy Boldness,” the first person who came to mind was Willard Walls, the minister who baptized me into Christ. Will was my Campus Minister at the Christian Student Foundation, or Campus House as we called it, where I attended as a brand new born again Christian. I was attending Ball State University when I found Jesus my freshman year and started attending Campus House. This was at the beginning of the “Jesus Movement” of the 1970’s and the college students who attended Campus Houses all over Indiana were dedicated in their love and devotion to Christ. They were also evangelistic in approach and reached out to all races that joined them in services and Bible Studies to draw them close to Jesus. Will Walls even started a ministry to the foreign students on campus, urging all of us to reach out to these international students for Christ.
A Mission Field of His Own
Being a Campus Minister was a challenging task in which Will took to with abandon. I could not tell you the number of students he brought to Christ and discipled in the faith, sweethearts he counseled, weddings he took part in, graduates of the Campus House who went into ministry, and those who went into the Mission field because of his training. In his 23 years at Ball State University, he changed lives for eternity. Then after encouraging so many young couples to go into mission work, Will and his wife Ruth decided to become missionaries to England. They joined a missionary group, CMF, and went out into the world seeking the lost. Some might have thought they were crazy, but they were led by the Holy Spirit and went joyfully to this new ministry.
A Calling to Pastoral Care for Missionaries
After several years in England and other parts of Europe, CMF realized Will’s potential as a counselor and asked him to come be the person who would pastor the missionaries they sent out. Will and Ruth prayed about this and answered the call for member care that was so desperately needed. For 24 years, Will traveled to countries where CMF missionaries were located. He counseled them in person, cried with them and shared their sorrows, prayed for them, encouraged them, and helped them when they came home on furlough. His work with CMF missionaries reminded him of the many students who had left Campus House and went to the mission field. They needed this kind of pastoral care too.
An Entrepreneur in His 70’s
At age 75, Will took on a new challenge in May of 2014. He was led to open his own ministry of pastoral care to any missionary around the world who needed his services, and he would continue to help his CMF missionaries. He called his new start-up “A Lamp Unto My Feet,” and immediately missionaries outside of CMF were calling for help. Since beginning this new venture, Will has worked with over 100 missionaries in 15+countries. His personal approach continued; traveling to their mission work to offer his advice and guidance, keeping in touch with the help of the internet, and supporting those missionaries when they are on furlough.
Still Bold for Christ at 78
Will turned 78 years old on the day our church held a Faith Promise Rally for the Missionaries we support. He was still going strong with A Lamp Unto My Feet; helping more missionaries than ever. Then a few weeks later, he had a stroke that affected his left side. Fortunately his speech and mind were spared. With medical care and physical therapy he is getting around with a walker, but his left hand is slow to reconnect with its purpose. When asked what would change in his ministry, he said that going back and forth to their countries must be put on hold for now, but through the internet he would still be able to care for his missionaries. To the world, Will Walls must seem crazy to continue this work, but there is no retirement to being a Christian and following the call of Christ. Will Walls is crazy bold for Christ!