Recently Richard Twiss passed away. I met him while working on a local missions conference here in Portland. I sat by him in a few meetings. He nicely chatted with me. We exchanged a few emails regarding updates to his website that I might help with. Nothing ever came of it. He struck me as very genuine and very down-to-earth. When he died I read about it first, of course, on Facebook. It quickly became apparent he had a prominent national and worldwide influence as Christian leaders from everywhere were posting and re-posting stories and condolences.
I knew he had started a ministry called Wiconi International and did quite a bit of traveling for ministry and speaking engagements. From my interactions I never would have guessed he was someone so “important.”
The more I think about it Richard reminds me of a person C.S. Lewis talks about in Mere Christianity when he discusses a humble person. Lewis says, “Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.”
You can read more about Richard Twiss at, “A Native Faith: Richard Twiss Shapes Portland’s Youth and Beyond” from Christianity Today. You can watch videos of Richard from his ministry’s website here: wiconi.com/?cid=1058 .
I’d be remiss if in posting this I didn’t mention another person who passed away recently. One of my seminary professors, Prof Hendricks, also had great influence and showed great humbleness. Since I knew him in the context of seminary I knew all of his “credentials” but when he taught class or you saw him around campus he just seemed like a guy you wanted to be friends with. I imagine if I’d met him in a coffee shop or another context I would be as shocked as I was about Richard when I found out the reach of his ministry.
You can read more about Prof Howard Hendricks at, “Howard Hendricks, Longtime Dallas Seminary ‘Prof’ and Mentor” from Christianity Today. He put his seminal seminary class into a book, Living by the Book, and I would suggest everyone read it.
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)
Photo by Patrick Feller