Yahoo! Group: Latter Rain
Latter Rain was the name of a group I had in Yahoo! Groups in 2002. I hosted a home Bible study group every week and the lessons were outstanding so, I recorded the meetings and then posted our lessons to the Latter Rain group. I did this until I relocated to Florida to go to school in 2003. I also went with the anticipation of being activated with the Army National Guard. Unfortunately, that did not pan out and all the ministerial activities which kept me busy for five years had also come to an abrupt halt.
I felt lost for several months and then I began to question what my purpose really was. I questioned myself, was working in evangelistic ministry so I could impress people? No. I knew that was not it because I did not want to be doing what I was doing in the first place. It was as if the entire Church had vanished. When I tried to attend any service, I felt invisible, like I did not belong. It was terrible to feel that way so, I quit going altogether and fell back into my old life. This was more than uncomfortable. My old life was no longer the life for me, I discovered.
All those years of wondering what happened, then feeling sorry for myself, then feeling too ashamed to come back to church, I never could arrive at the notion to deny God. I never once became angry with God about any of it. I still made attempts to share God's Word as often as I could even as I doubted my ability to do so. Although I felt like I had cut myself off from God, I did not want that for anyone else, so I shared the Word of God with whoever would lend an ear.
A Brother's Request
Little did I know, God had not let me go and He was nowhere near done with me. It turns out that God was not done with Latter Rain either. In 2003 I reluctantly agreed to an online meet and greet with a man from India. At the end of our first meeting in my Latter Rain group on Yahoo!, the man tells me that the Lord had just told him that I was to go into the ministry full-time. It shook me up because I heard the call three years before this but, I never told anyone, and this guy is in India. After a couple of weeks of prayer, I agreed to support his ministry and we have maintained relatively close contact from that moment on.
It's Time to Answer the Call
When I had no Christian friends, Brother John was there, whether online or by telephone. He was my source of encouragement, my accountability, and my constant reminder of God's calling. We finally met face-to-face in 2018 when he came to the states and what a blessing that meeting was. At the end of our visit, Brother John pulled his chair toward me close enough for our knees to touch. He leaned forward and said to me, "For fifteen years we know each other and every time we talk, I tell you the Lord wants you in the ministry full-time. When are you going to listen?"
At that moment, I know that I needed to answer the call, ready or not. After fourteen years of what seemed to be nothing, I relented. Unsure of what I was to do exactly or how I was going to do it, I began to seek employment with other ministries. Before Brother John left for India, I told him what I thinking about doing. He told me unequivocally, there was nothing to think about. He told me to start up my own ministry because that is where God is leading. Then I asked, "What do I do? What do I even name it"? He told me how Latter Rain Ministry is already a household name throughout South India.
Like Siblings Reunited
Latter Rain Ministry was registered in the state of Mississippi on 25 June 2018. These past two and a half years have been quite the learning experience. There have been many trials and setbacks. There has been some fierce opposition. I hate to admit this but, the truth is, I spent most of 2020 wanting to throw my hands in the air and walk away from all of this. I just cannot make myself do it. As I reflect on the past 22 years, I see the works of God and it amazes me that I do not notice it until much later. What I do know is that Latter Rain Ministry and I (C. K. Williams) belong to God. Both of us are here because of God. Both Latter Rain Ministry and I have grown in God from the beginning.
Latter Rain Ministry
Deuteronomy 11:13-15 (The New King James Version)
13 ‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul,14 then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.15 And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’
Philippians 3:7-11 (NASB, 1995 Update)
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8 More than that, I count all things to be lost in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God based on faith,
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.