Praise God for His Mighty Power to Redeem and Transform Lives
On a beautiful, but hot, Thursday evening in August we gathered at Roy Meyer’s home for a B & B. That does not mean “Bed & Breakfast” – it means barbeque and baptism. Roy and Ed are the two younger men I have the privilege of mentoring and seeing them grow in Christ. Ed had decided that although he was baptized as an 8-year-old boy, he really wanted to recommit his life to Jesus by being baptized with a much fuller realization of its powerful meaning and purpose. He also wanted to honor his wife and best friend, Laisha, by recommitting his life and devotion to her on their 16th anniversary. I’ll let him share in his own words the amazing background story.
An Amazing Testimony of God’s Grace and Power
“I married my best friend 16 years ago. She and I had been friends for a number of years before ever dating, so we had a very solid foundation to build on. We invited God to our wedding, and made our commitments to Him, as well as each other that day.
I had begun my career in the construction industry, building pipelines. I enjoyed this work very much, and was paid generously for a kid with no college education. I had a typical American life, seeking my own piece of the American Dream. Life was very good.
Over the next decade I endured several accidents that left me with significant back pain, and the seizure disorder epilepsy. The first accident was in 2001 and happened while working. I was crushed under a 3,000 lb concrete vault. The result was numerous spinal and other fractures, as well as a few serious internal injuries. In 2006 I was in a rollover car crash and injured my head, which was the start of my seizure disorder. I was no longer able to work in my industry once I began having seizures because of serious safety risks. Unfortunately, this led to my ultimately losing everything I’ve ever worked for, including my home. I was blessed to have a best friend/wife who chose to stay at my side even at my worst. Let me tell you, when this woman said “for better or for worse,” she meant it. It is one thing to have a wife who made a commitment to you. It is another thing to have a wife who made a commitment to God. Little did I know then, just how important this would be for me later in life. But let me tell you, that while I was in the hospital, and it was unknown if I would ever be able to walk again, that my wife was still at my side, and was committed no matter what the future held. She slept each night in an uncomfortable chair next to my hospital bed. She refused to leave my side. If there are any young men hearing this today, I hope you can see the importance of finding a wife who is truly committed to God when she marries you! And a marriage without God is no marriage at all. If you find a woman who truly loves God, treat her right! This is the single most sound advice you will ever hear!
The next few years were full of financial uncertainties for us. It was a very stressful period to say the least. I picked up work where I could, when I could. I limped to and from job sites here and there, enough to keep the lights on and the kids fed. We tried our best to count our blessings and not complain. We still had each other, our children, and our hope.
The evening before Father’s Day, 2010, all that changed when our youngest boy was killed by an intoxicated driver. He was just 10 months old. It was very swift, so he did not suffer much. I thank God for this every day still. As I write this today, it has been 1,874 days since he was called home. Not one of these days has gone by that he was not on my mind or in my heart. I can honestly say that the only thing more painful than a father’s grief, is having to watch a mother grieve this type of loss. No mother should ever feel this much pain in her life.
It is believed that 80% of healthy marriages fail within 12 months following the loss of a child. By the grace of God, we represent the fortunate 20% that survived. We had a not-so-secret weapon on our side, – God. I learned that my marriage is just as important to God as it is to me. I cannot express just how humbled I am for having God with me as I took this journey. My marriage didn’t stand a chance without God’s grace – that’s a fact. God led us to a pastor, who just happened to also be a licensed Ph.D. psychologist. He started treating us on a sliding scale, which for us, meant that he was willing to work for free. Much like the Shepherd, who was willing to save the one lost lamb. This man had God’s love and compassion for us in his heart.
It is hard to explain to people just how much complication and drama follows the death of a child. If there are any of my fellow ‘club members’ hearing this today, they know exactly what I mean. Ultimately, we needed to move far away from our home in the Portland area. We needed a fresh start, and to heal. We prayed to God to please give us an obvious sign. We were extremely blessed to be led to a home that we could afford with the little savings we had at the time, and by selling the last few assets we had. Our home is no mansion, but it is ours. We did not know one soul when we first moved here.
Once here, it was time to focus on healing. I now receive a modest disability income. This, along with our home that we own, has allowed me to give my family the attention that they really need, in order to heal together. I was able to relax for a full 12 months and REALLY let my body heal. For the first time in many years, I was feeling nearly pain free. I was even able to stop taking all rx pain killers nearly 4 years ago now. In September of 2013, I ran my first full marathon. Two weeks later, I ran my second one. I have been able to spend all of my time with my children each day. We have been blessed with another baby girl. I have changed hundreds of diapers, and loved every minute of it. I am home to pray with my children each and every night. And I am now even catching my wife smiling again. I have missed her smile dearly.. Dare I say, life is good for us again. I never thought I would be able to say this, but we have been healed. God has a plan for me, and his plan does not include misery.
Still, one question people always ask me, is ‘why the Boise area of all places?’ And, until recently all I could tell them is that God led us here and that I am not sure why. However, God has revealed to me a school called Boise Bible College. I have been accepted and enrolled into their Christian Counseling degree program. It is my hope to do well in my studies, and to allow God to use me however He can. I know just how overwhelming life can feel following tragedies. I know just how hopeless it can feel. But, I have also learned firsthand that it IS possible to heal after so much pain. The gift of God’s healing is simply too awesome to not share with those who need it.
My most recent testimony, is that with God’s help, I have been able to walk away from my 23-year-old tobacco habit. This has been a serious challenge, and I humbly ask for prayers as I continue this new war. My quit tobacco plan is heavily dependent on prayers! My sincerest thanks to anyone who is willing to do this for me, really!
I believe that God’s biggest plans for me are still to come. Everything I have experienced in my life this far has helped shape me into who I am today. And now I hope to have God use me for His glory, however this may be.
Yours in Christ, Eddie” Davis
Another Amazing Testimony of God’s Grace and Power
When we made a trip to Oregon in July, we went to visit Gary and Sandra Strubhar. They introduced us to their friend, Keith Newman. After getting acquainted with Keith, he shared his testimony with us. It is very inspirational, so we asked if we could share it with you, and he gave us permission to do so.
Lessons from God Learned through the Tool of Parkinson’s Disease
By Keith Newman
“Because I believe God will keep the promises He made to me, I believe Philippians 1:6 – God, who began a good work in me, will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. I also believe Romans 8:28-29 – ‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.’ This being true, I believe Parkinson’s Disease is in some way being used by God to make me know my Redeemer more fully and thus make me like Jesus. The following are some of the things I have learned on my journey.
• Because I move slower, I learn to stop and smell the roses.
• Because I am never sure how my day will go, I learn to get as much as I can out of every minute.
• Because I get weak, I learn how God is my strength.
• Because life doesn’t always make sense, I need God, my Rock, to be near.
• Because I need help, I learn to trust in Him.
• Because I need help, God teaches me the joy of giving someone else the honor of helping someone.
• Because there are things I can’t do, I have learned to ask instead what I can do.
• Because I have more time to spend with God, I have more, “Oh, that’s what You mean!” times.
• Because I can’t talk too well, I have been given the gift of learning to ask questions and listening.
• Because I sometimes can’t do anything, I learn how to just be with God.
• Because I sometimes can’t move, I know better what it is to not be able to move with nails through your hands.
• Because I have been misunderstood, I know better what Jesus felt like to be misunderstood by those He wanted to care for the most.
• Because I have dealt with suffering, I know better how much Jesus loves us to have gone through His suffering for me.
• Because I don’t walk so well, I know better what it was like to carry a heavy cross when He didn’t feel He could stand.
• Because I sometimes am so tired I need to sit down, I learn that if I just sit in my chair and am obedient, I am pleasing God as well as any other saint of God who is doing things in obedience.
• Because I lost the ability to do many things I loved doing, I learned that my identity should be in Christ alone.
• Because He gave me an adventure to live, I will live it.
• Because He gave me a story to tell, I will tell it.”
From Our Mailbox
“It´s nice to hear from you again and to hear that you would like to visit Germany. Yes, you are very welcome to visit us in Eningen….”
May God bless you and Della.
“Thanks so much for your timely encouragement! We would be delighted to see you when you come through here and would like to have you serve with us in some way.
We rejoice that we may baptize three new believers in Jesus tomorrow on the Day of Pentecost in the Neckar River outside of Tuebingen! Pray the Lord for what He has done in their lives. They are all international students – a young man from China and two young ladies – one from Scotland and one from Korea. Please pray for us on this day that all will go well and that many newcomers will come and be blessed and spoken to by our Lord, challenged to have faith in Him!
Warmly yours in Christ,
Jim and Naomi Kautt, International Student Mission (ISM), Tuebingen, Germany”
“Thank you for your newsletters – it is all the time a great inspiration for me through your thoughts, information, witnesses, plans, answers to prayers and new prayer requests. God is definitely doing His great work through you and overseas and museum! There was a period in my life back in Ukraine when I sometimes would not take time and read your newsletters, but I enjoy and look forward to every coming one since then.
“Always enjoy your news and rejoice in your amazing faithful service to our Lord in ways we wouldn’t even think possible. You are moving in the direction God is going, and we pray for blessing to fall into your path to motivate you to keep on keeping on.”
“Dear Rick, Thank you for the information. And for your willingness to help Eddie. He has lived a hard life and had a great number of disappointments. I do not know anyone better qualified to help and encourage him than you.
Thanks and God’s blessing. Bud Davis”
Wade & Tamara Roye
“The Church, fully equipped with the Word of God, is the most powerful tool for transforming lives. It is our responsibility as a church, not government’s, to transform society; as only we have a potent enough tool – the Word of God – to do this.” What a powerful encouragement for taking action in our chaotic reality! I was reminded by God (during Discovery seminar) that I am responsible to live life for Him, not for my own interests…..
This is a very dark time for my country and my family, who live there. So, I am especially honored to minister with the Ukrainian team to glorify our Lord. By praying for our ministry you become the part of the Great Commission: bringing His Word to all people groups; also, your prayer lifts the ministry in a country which is now under war conditions. We would love to share your life in prayer too, so we want you to send us your prayer requests in return……
We need your prayer support in:
– productive collaboration with recruits of PBT Ukraine;
– wisdom in choosing efficient materials for teaching, in time management, and for accuracy in translation.”