Gospel Fellowship Association Missions
By Mark Batory

Rusting Cars

Growing up in a Detroit suburb with a family of automobile designers put within me at an early age a great interest in following a similar path in my own life. However, during my teen years the Lord saved and called me into missions, so I completely laid aside any aspirations to give my life to the automotive industry. My stepfather, who was in the top twenty of the designing staff of an automotive cooperation, severely rebuked me, saying that my decision to become a missionary was a foolhardy mistake and a waste of my future life.

Eventually my wife and I did go to Mexico where we taught in a Bible institute and were used by the Lord to plant a church in the city of Tamazunchale. People were coming to Christ, growing spiritually, and beginning to take responsibility and leadership in the church. Life and ministry were wonderful, and we were anticipating spending the rest of our lives reaching and ministering to them.


About four years into our ministry in Mexico, I contracted a severe double case of hepatitis and was flown home to Michigan for care and the hopes of recovery. While lying on my bed in a weakened state, my stepfather visited me and from the foot of the bed pointed his finger saying, “I told you this was foolhardy; now look where it has gotten you. Forget this missionary foolishness. I can get you further training to bring you up to speed for a position in the corporation. You will be able to make in a few days what you probably make now in a month.”

At first, I thought, maybe he was right. I am only twenty-seven, have a young wife and two small children, and my health is potentially ruined. But then my heart was quickened as I thought of all those in Mexico whom we saw transformed through saving faith in Jesus Christ. I responded to him, “No, Dad, the corporation would never be able to pay me equal to what I am receiving as a missionary.”

“What!” he responded with great astonishment. “Son, how much do they pay you?!” “Dad,” I replied, “All the money that the corporation could pay me would never fill us with as much joy and satisfaction as we receive in seeing these people’s lives change.”

“O, but son,” he retorted, “I get a lot of satisfaction in laying down those initial lines on a drafting board and then seeing my creation going down Interstate 75 as a shining example of what I can do through a multi-billion-dollar automotive corporation.” I quickly became unimpressed.


“Dad, you are giving your life for something exceedingly temporal. The product of your life commitment ends in a short time as a rusting heap of trash in a junk yard. I have seen those automobile transports carrying bright shiny and beautiful new cars coming from the assembly plants. But then going in the opposite direction on the other side of the highway is a flatbed truck carrying smashed and demolished cars being hauled to the scrap yard. Your work lasts just a few years and ends up as junk no one wants. Our work, on the other hand, begins in the trash heap of human existence. We get to see men and women who have been wrecked by sin believe the saving message we share with them. We observe their beautiful transformation in Christ and watch as they go on for eternity as a shining example of the power and grace of God in their lives. Dad, there is no comparison!”

He did not comprehend or appreciate my words; yet the church in Tamazunchale and many of those converts continue to thrive more than four decades later. Many years have passed since that conversation with my dad, and I can say with even greater conviction today that there is still nothing in this life better than knowing, serving, and telling others of Jesus Christ.