Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Looking for Goodwill and Sharing It

Binghamton, NY

Chaplains had been in the Bible College parking lot when a man drove up to donate a box of pots and pans. He was going to be leaving town that afternoon and would not have the time to look for another location, the chaplains took the box and offered to donate them for him. 
After driving around a couple of days, with pans rattling in the trunk of the car, chaplains started to look for a Goodwill Store.  Seeing an elderly lady out working in her yard, the chaplain got out and went to ask about a local Thrift Store or Goodwill that would accept donations.  The lady did not know of one, but continued to share with the chaplain about the flood and her recent fall down several steps, having to have 4 large staples in her head.  She then saw "Billy Graham" on the chaplain's shirt and remarked her husband used to watch Mr. Graham on television all the time, until he died.  The chaplain asked Ms Isabel if she had not survived the fall, did she know that she would go to the heaven that Billy Graham preached about.  She said, "No, I am a catholic and I am not sure you can know".  She listened as the chaplain explained that scripture, 1 John 5:12-13 says "you may know that you have eternal life".  The chaplain shared the Steps to Peace with her and she started to pray, asking forgiveness and Jesus to come into her life, before the chaplain even read the prayer to her.  Ms. Isabel smiled and waved as the chaplains drove away.  Goodwill had been found, in the driveway of Ms. Isabel!

The Language of Love

Binghamton, NY

     A few days ago, a Samaritan's Purse Team Leader was driving and saw a elderly, Japanese lady dragging a heavy garbage can to the road and stopped to offer help.  Finding that she had been flooded and her children had helped her mud out her home, the SP Leader offered for SP to come and power wash and do mold remediation. 
     The spray team went in yesterday and got started with the basement.  While there, one of the SP members talked with the lady and found out she was married to a US Army man after the war and came to America from Japan.  She self taught herself English.
    The SP member asked the chaplains this morning if they had a Japanese Bible.  The chaplains called the number for the local Gideons and asked if they had one.  The Gideon, Charles Kark, said he did have a Japanese-English Bible he used for speaking in churches and he was willing to give it to the BGEA Chaplains.  The chaplains drove out to the farm and had prayer with Mr. Kark over the Bible. 
   The chaplains took the Japanese-English Bible to the job site, where Reiko (pronounced Layco) lives.  The chaplains gave the Bible to the team leader and then went to talk with her.  She is 76 years old and was raised in the Buddhist culture.  She shared about the flood and getting older and her husband dying.  When the chaplains asked her if she believed in Jesus Christ, she said she had attended the Lutheran church in high school and she believed in Him, but was not sure of heaven.  Chaplains shared the love of Jesus and the hope and assurance He can give for eternity.  Reiko, in broken English, prayed to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. 
  The chaplains signed the Bible, along with the SP team, and the Japanese-English Bible was given to Reiko.  She can now read more about the salvation and promises and hope Jesus gave to her. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Heavenly Father

Heavenly Father

One day we went out to Samaritan's Purse team for prayer and the homeowner was there helping.  He was not supposed to have been there, but God had a plan.

When the Samaritan's Purse team first arrived at the work site, a neighbor walked over and told one of the team leaders that she thought this house was a rental and they were at the wrong address.  So the team lead called back to the SP Unit to confirm the address.  The SP Office contacted the homeowner and was assured this was their residence and the address was correct.  The wife asked when they would be arriving and after being told they were already there, she said she would call her husband because he wanted to be there to help them.  

We arrived as the team was just taking a break and spoke with the homeowner.  Sitting on a turned over 5 gallon bucket, the homeowner continued to share with us, as the team went back to work.  He started sharing about the flood, but then tearing up, he shared about his dad dying in a tragic plane crash when he was only 4 years old.  He shared how hard that had been on his mom as he was growing up and he grew up without a dad. We talked to him about Jesus and the peace and hope He can give.  He listened and he said he would like to receive that peace.  We were able to tell him about the promise of eternal life and a security and hope.  He listened and then he bowed his head and prayed a sweet prayer to receive forgiveness and salvation.  We then shared that he now has a heavenly Father that he can talk to anytime, one that loves him very much.
Through his tears, he smiled and looked up.  ...and I am sure his Heavenly Father was looking down...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Waiting to Meet Team and Meets Christ

Samaritan's Purse was to clean out Mr. Weedeman's house and he was there waiting on the team to arrive.  Chaplains got there early enough to talk to him before the team was there.  Mr Weedeman knew of Billy Graham and asked about him.  Chaplains shared with him about Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Ministry, still telling people about Jesus.  Chaplains asked did he have a personal relationship with Jesus and knew for sure he was going to heaven.  Mr Weedeman said he knew about Jesus, but was not sure of heaven.  Chaplains shared "Steps to Peace" and he prayed to receive Christ. 
The Samaritan's Purse team arrived and celebrated meeting their new brother in Christ, who happened to be 81 years old. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Billy Graham Accepts Christ

Yesterday my husband and I were riding in area which had been flooded and saw a contractor's truck with the name Billy Graham on it.  The Samaritan's Purse team had been working next door and had spoken to him.  When we visited the team, the contractor was working in the basement of the house, so the we left a book by Rev. Billy Graham in the seat of his truck.  This morning, we felt led to go back in the same area. When we saw the truck again, we decided to stop to meet Billy Graham. He was coming around the house where he had been working.  He told us he was here from his home state, Idaho, working on the houses that had been flooded.  We  talked to him about the Rev. Billy Graham and his belief in Jesus.  Contractor Billy Graham said he too believed in Jesus, but when asked if he knew he was going to heaven when he died, he was not really sure.  We shared with him, "Steps to Peace" and Billy Graham prayed to receive Christ.  It was with great joy that we were getting to  present him with a Billy Graham Bible. 
He then came to eat with us and the Samaritan's Purse teams for dinner tonight and spoke during share time. We thought it was really special, since tonight our share time was held out under a tent, due to the Wednesday night service at the church where we are staying.  Pretty neat, hearing Billy Graham speak outside in a tent! 

Later, by his request, his wife called and talked to me.  When I shared with her what had taken place and her husband accepted Jesus, she cried and said she had been praying for this.  She shared that she had just gotten him to go to church with her a couple of weeks before he came to North Dakota and had prayed that he would meet someone in North Dakota to invite him to church. We actually laughed that her prayer may have been what made me come all the way from Alabama and him from Idaho to meet in North Dakota!

But the best part of this story today was that:
Billy Graham's name was written once again in the Book of Life, but this time for another soul.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Walking to find Jesus

 The chaplains were making a follow-up visit with homeowners who had been helped by Samaritan's Purse.  A young mother and her son were passing by as they walked the dog.  The chaplains felt compelled to offer her books, and explained how they were written for people going through hard times.  As the discussion centered on 'hope' and where we people place their hope, she could relate to the temporal, unstable nature of things of this world.  The chaplains presented "  Steps to Peace" and Tessa wanted to pray the prayer of salvation.  As she went her way, she had a big smile. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Minot State Uninversity Students Prayed

Thursday evening, I spoke at Minot State University at the meeting of Chi Alpha ( a Christian organization).  When I found out that the Praise Team had some problems with their instruments and we were not singing at the beginning, I requested the playing of the video on Youtube by Matthew West and his song "STRONG ENOUGH". It shows Samaritan's Purse volunteers in the aftermath of the Alabama tornadoes and my husband,  BGEA RRT Chaplain Denny, in the video.
I knew of hardships and the temptations of spending and borrowing money for college students.  How it is hard to get out of debt and stay out of debt.  God cannot use and bless you if you are burdened by financial obligations.  So, I spoke about finances and college and then weaved the gospel of Christ by sharing salvation stories.  At the end of the meeting, I then sensed the Presence of Holy Spirit and felt led to lead the group in the prayer of Salvation.  With every head bowed and eyes closed, I could hear the whispering of repeating the prayer.  When asked had anyone prayed that prayer for the first time in their life, 2 male college students raised their hands.  When asked did anyone pray that prayer as a renewal of a relationship with Christ, three people raised their hands.
Then, afterward we met with several students, one on one, and had prayer for their specific needs. Many students have a sense of loneliness and separation, even on a campus full of people.  But, this group of 26, tonight felt the completeness that only God can give them.  We prayed and asked them to encourage each other in praying and reading and serving God together here on campus. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ice Chest Salvation

Chaplains were driving through disaster area, when they noticed an elderly lady sitting in the shade by her flooded home having lunch off the top of an ice chest.  Turning around, the chaplains went back to visit with her.  She shared about the flood and being displaced .  She shared that she and her husband had been married over 50 years and had lived in this house for over 35 years.  The chaplains asked her about her eternal home.  She replied, "Well, I hope I go to heaven, but I don't know for sure".  When told "God loves you and sent His son to die for you".  She surprised the chaplains and said she had heard of Jesus, but did not know He died for her. The chaplains gently went through the Steps of Peace with her, showing her how she could know for sure that she could spend eternity in heaven.  She listened intently and then ask what must I do?  Pat then bowed her head and prayed, confessing that she was a sinner and asked Jesus to forgive her and to come into life as her Lord and Savior.  Pat, at the young age of 81, gladly took the Billy Graham Training Center Bible so she could learn more of the Peace and Hope that Jesus gives. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Laundry Washed by Volunteer, Soul Washed by Christ

Misty and her son are living in temporary housing.  The chaplains met her near the laundry trailer, while there to visit another homeowner.  The scripture verse, that the lady doing the laundry for her and written on her bag, was John 3:16
  As Misty shared her story with the chaplains, they talked about the Bible verse and showed her where it appeared in the little booklet "Steps to Peace".  Chaplains  then shared the whole booklet and Misty prayed to receive Christ. 

A Sad Celebration

We were requested, as BGEA Chaplains, to attend the funeral today of a 10 year little boy, who was a member of the host church, First Assembly of God, Minot, ND.  The little boy was killed riding a 4 wheeler and ran into a barbed wire fence.  His little sister found him.  The mother is a single mom.   The little boy, Joshua, and the other children were visiting their father in Canada,  when this accident happened.  Joshua loved westerns, his favorite tv show being Bonanza.  The family was all dressed in western attire and a cowboy hat and his little cowboy boots were on the casket.  The celebration of Josh going to heaven was presented in video, showing his youthful antics as well as his baptism this past year.   The service was full of his favorite praise songs and Jesus Loves Me.  As the service ended and the casket started to be rolled out and as the family followed, the theme song of Bonanza was played, as if little Josh was riding off into the sunset......to meet Jesus...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ginger Sanders, BGEA RRT Chaplain: Scheduled for Salvation

Ginger Sanders, BGEA RRT Chaplain: Scheduled for Salvation: A couple of weeks ago, Samaritan's Purse received a work order for a mud out in Minot, ND. The volunteers were few and the job orders...

Scheduled for Salvation

  A couple of weeks ago, Samaritan's Purse received a work order for a mud out in Minot, ND.  The volunteers were few and the job orders were many.  It just so happened that the Mennonite Christian Disaster Relief, who often have volunteered with Samaritan's Purse, came into town and requested work orders.  Samaritan's Purse gave them seventeen work orders out of the stack. 

The following week, a homeowner came to the Disaster Relief Unit to see when SP could be there to do the work.  She was told her work order had been given to the Mennonites.  She broke down in tears, as if she had no hope.  The SP office manager called for a BGEA Chaplain.  The chaplain came to the DR and started to talk with the lady to calm her.  The chaplain felt there was more here than just the house and ask the woman about her family.  The lady started to share that she and her husband were raising their 3 year old grand daughter because her father is in prison for abuse and the mother is gone.  This homeowner shared she could not forgive the father for what he had done to her daughter and grand daughter. 

The chaplain and the office manager prayed with the lady and told her only through Jesus could she forgive him, but with Jesus all things are possible.  The chaplain asked the homeowner to pray, right then, for the father and then continue to pray for him three times a day.  The homeowner hesitated, but then in tears, started to pray for him.

The Mennonites came back to the DR Unit with the seventeen job orders, saying they were not going to be able to get to them with their low number of volunteers. The office manager looked down and the lady's job order was on top!

The Office Manager called the chaplain and the chaplain came to hear that the job order was back in the hands of Samaritan's Purse.  The chaplain and the office manager had special prayer over this home and the homeowners.

A few days later this job site was given to a team.  The chaplains heard that the homeowner was going to be there when the team arrived, so they went to the home to be there as well.  Well, the team decided to stop by another job en-route and was later getting to this site.

The chaplains came down the road and saw the homeowner in the driveway waiting on the team.  (The SP team would not be arriving for 45 minutes) She told the chaplains she was faithfully praying for the man as the chaplain had requested her to do. 

Then, the husband arrived at the scene and the chaplains had the opportunity to build a relationship with him as well.  The SP team arrived and was warm and gracious and full of the love of Christ. The team suited up and went to work in the basement of the house.  It overwhelmed both the husband and wife.

The chaplains then asked the couple about eternal life.  They both listened as the "Steps to Peace" booklet was shared.  The husband prayed, for the first time in his life, to receive Christ.  The wife prayed and rededicated her life to Christ. 

It was with great joy and celebration that the wife and the little grand daughter came to share dinner with the chaplains and the SP teams tonight.  The chaplains prepared a dinner to go for the husband who was at work. 

God had scheduled this meeting with this job order....many played a part in this...but He gets the Glory!

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Barriers with God...even in Jail

Mary* attended the services at the host church for Samaritan's Purse this past Sunday.  During the week she was arrested for various charges and is also dealing with probation violations.  The chaplains decided to visit her in jail; but upon arriving were told that  "there are no visiting hours today". God did a mighty work in the hearts of the men in authority and we were granted visiting privileges.  We were separated by glass and talked through phones, but had a meaningful visit.  While holding "Steps to Peace With God" up to the window, Mary* read the prayer to rededicate her life to Christ.  We left reading materials with the guard, for her. 
 (*Name changed to protect her privacy)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Never Too Old

My husband and I attended church services Sunday morning and then left for an afternoon of relaxation and sight seeing.  We went to a state park, not too far from the town of Minot, ND.  While there, we parked our car to look out over the water, but then saw Prairie Dogs, close by, popping up out of their burrows.  Walking over to read the signage about them, the we saw an elderly man, who was sitting in his car.  My husband started to talk to him about the strange little animals. Then, he started to share his life, telling us when he was a young man, he was a well digger.  He said his health was failing him as the years past by, for you see, he will be 87 years old in a week....September 1.  We then asked him if he knew he would go to heaven when he died and he said he sure hoped so, but he did not really know. We explained to him, "Jesus died for us, so we can know we have eternal life if we ask Him".  The gentleman smiled and said he attends church frequently, but he was still not sure of eternity.  We showed him the simple prayer in "Steps to Peace" and told him, "If you believe Jesus died for you and rose again, all you have left to do ...to be sealed with the blood of Christ, is to prayer, would you like to do that?"  This soon to be 87 year old man, bowed his head and prayed to receive Jesus.