Today is my birthday!
I love birthdays. I love celebrating people and life. I love the cake, the parties, the presents, even the silly song. I love that birthdays give us a chance to honor the special people in our lives.
That is why I am so excited about today’s post- a post meant to honor a special person in my life, a person who shares my birthday. A person I never met.
Rev. Clifford Bruffey
The church I grew up in offered tons of great programming for children to participate in. My favorite by far was Girls in Action.
Girls in Action (GA’s) is a cross between Girl Scouts and Awana except with a focus on missions.
Each year I worked through a series of activities and projects that taught me about Southern Baptist mission work and my role in evangelism. I earned badges and awards for each task I completed, while developing a missional mindset.
One year- I think I was 8- I had to pray for a missionary who shared my birthday. I chose Rev. Clifford Bruffey, minister to deaf students at Gallaudet University, a world renown liberal arts school for the deaf and hearing impaired.
It makes complete sense to me that I chose Rev. Clifford Bruffey. Helen Keller was one of my childhood heroes. My grandmother wore hearing aids because she struggled to hear without them. I was fascinated by American Sign Language and practiced the alphabet over and over while sitting through long, boring sermons. On top of that, I had chronic ear infections that make me keenly aware of how important our sense of hearing is.
What is surprising is that I have never forgotten, not even once, to pray for Rev. Bruffey on my birthday.
For some reason I also thought about him this summer, and it dawned on me that, well…Google!
I mean, why not find out more about Clifford Bruffey? I have been praying for him for over 3 decades. Maybe I could even write him a letter.
I quickly discovered that he passed away in 2001. Further, his beautiful wife, Ruth passed away in 2010.
My heart broke.
I thought about all those prayers I lifted over the past 12 years for someone who no longer needed them. Then I realized my Father in Heaven did not see my prayers as a waste. He still heard them, and He could still use them through the memory and legacy the Bruffey’s left behind as well as through their three children’s ministries.
So today, January 29, I set aside time to remember Clifford Bruffey, to appreciate the influence one activity in a children’s mission program had on my life and to pray for the Bruffey family and their ministries.
I pray this year finds them well and that they are comforted in the fact that their father had a lasting impact- an impact on someone he never even met. A little girl who shared his birthday.
Happy Birthday in heaven Rev. Clifford Bruffey!