Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

MY JOURNEY 15

scholar-cat.jpgIt’s been some time since I last wrote.  I have been doing some classwork for a degree I’m working on and my goal was to get the classwork completed by the first of the year.  By the grace of God, I was able to complete the 30 hours of classwork required before I begin the laborious assignment of doing research for the dissertation.  One goal accomplished and one to go.  I appreciate so much your prayers for that, and, oh yeah, Kathi and I leave on January 12th for Florida for 3-4preaching/teaching assignments in two separate churches.  I have a deep sense of need for the help of God in this matter.  Lives are hanging in the balance and it is my sincere desire to give each of them word from the Lord.  Please pray…Thanks.

MOUNT KENNY- MY PERFECT DAYhaitian-mountains-saint-ard1thumbnail1.jpg

Do you mind, if I relate another account of God’s leading in my journey with him?  Thanks!  That which I am about to relate to you may be one of the most perfect days I have ever lived.  Now most of us, when thinking of living a perfect day, suppose it would include moral perfection, or a day without sin.  However, the day I am about to share with you is one about which I claim none of that, although I have no conscious remembrance of committing any sin during that time period.  If I did not sin on that occasion, it is most likely due to the grace of God in my life rather than any special ability on my part.  What was it Jesus said to the twelve?  “Apart from me you can do NOTHING.”

As with a number of my experiences in Christ, this one took place in Haiti.  We had spent a long day in travel from Miami, and by the time we arrived at the mission compound and got a little something to eat it was rather late.  At that time, having electricity in Haiti was a luxury.  Things haven’t changed much.  Not having electricity also means no TV or radio. It is surprising how the Lord can work, when there is no noise.  As is our habit while in Haiti, we afford ourselves the opportunity of sitting under the stars on the roof of the missionary’s home (Phyllis Newby).  How long has it been since you were able to view the Milky Way in all its glory?  There is no way for me to explain the beauty of the sky, nor how bright the constellations are.  We began to sing and give testimony, pray and share from the word of God.  Suddenly, one of the ladies felt led to wash the feet of Sister Phyllis.  Each of our hearts was stirred as the water sloshed in the basin and as words of blessing and encouragement were spoken over this precious servant of Jesus.  Well, you might have guessed that others were led to wash still others’ feet.  Until all but one person had experienced this exercise in humility….all that is except one fellow from Central Florida, Kenny Dale.  Now Kenny was on that trip for one reason.  His friend, Ed Joyner, had invited him to come.  We needed an electrician, to explore how to set up a solar, electrical system, and Kenny was an electrician.  PROBLEM!  Kenny was not a Christian.  Furthermore, he had never been in church in his life.  Get the picture?  This guy has never been in Church and his first introduction is a bunch of people sitting on a porch washing one another’s feet.  What must he have been thinking?  Each of us knew someone was going to have to explain to him what was going on, and why no one had washed his feet.  The silence was deafening…Crickets began to chirp, if you know what I mean.  Suddenly, Ed Joyner said, “Kenny.  I know you don’t have a clue what is going on here but I would like to have the privilege of washing your feet.”  Kenny spoke not one word, but began to take his shoes and socks off and let Ed wash his feet.  It was a holy time.  After that precious experience, our leader asked, if anyone had anything else on their heart.  One of the ladies grabbed her chest near her heart and said, “I must get to that mountain.”  Behind the mission station is a range of rugged, barren mountains.  Haiti  means “the land of many mountains”.  When she made her proclamation, a number of us agreed that the Lord had been dealing with us as well about getting to the mountain.

After our dismissal prayer, Steve Coder and I began to pray about the possibility of walking to the base of the mountain.  We were told it would take an hour and a half to just get there.  Since Haiti is extremely hot, we knew we would have to have special help from the Lord with the weather in order for us to make the journey.  Besides we didn’t know what we were going to do once we got there.  We decided to wait to see what the morning brought.

Wouldn’t you know!  The Lord sent a cold front through with a cloud cover, and after breakfast we started our journey toward the mountain.  A group of pilgrims from various age groups began to hike, and as we did I had the feeling that Jesus’ disciples must have felt just what I was feeling at that moment.  You see, for them their  f irst   experiences at Church were not in stone buildings with seats lined in rows, but on a Gallilean hillside, or camping by the side of the road, listening to the master teacher.  As the dust from the person in front of me covered my face, I rejoiced and cherished the moment.

valley-of-dry-bones.jpgOnce we reached the base of the mountain, Steve looked at me and asked me to read from Ezekiel about the valley of dry bones.  This passage has great significance for Haiti, since it is a dry and forsaken land.  Another brother sang, “We’ve come this far by faith.”  Then Steve looked at me and said, “Brother, which of these peaks does the Lord want us to climb?”  As I prayed, the Lord seemed to stir within my spirit on a certain one.  I said, “This one”, as I pointed.  Several of the brothers, exclaimed, “That’s the same one the Lord told me!”

PROBLEM #2: Kenny had a heart problem and had recently had surgery.  Steve told him to wait at the bottom and we’d climb and return after we had obeyed our assignment.  But nothing would do, but Kenny insisted upon climbing that mountain.  I was around 50 years of age at the time, and one of the men, who was 20 years my junior challenged me to race to the top.  I should have known better, but I still feel young inside.  Anyway we took off.  Steve decided to walk with Kenny and told the rest of us to go on.  After climbing about half-way up, my racing buddy and I paused to catch our breath.  Please understand!  There was no foilage on this mountain, only gravel, rock, and very loose sand.  It was a trek you’d want to be sure about, if you had a good heart.  climbing-mountain.jpgWhile we were resting, we looked over the side of the mountain and saw Kenny and Steve stopped and talking.  My friend said to me, “Wouldn’t it be something if Kenny met Jesus on the side of this mountain?”  When he said it I had something happen to me.  I tell people that I’m a baptist and we don’t have visions, but I can’t help it, I had one any way.  This is what I saw.  I saw in vision, Kenny pushing open a door and smiling.  I did not tell anyone what had happened.  Once we all made it to the top we waited some time for Steve and Kenny.  Kenny was struggling to breathe.  However, when they reached the summit, Steve announced that Kenny had opened the door of his heart and met Jesus on the side of the mountain.  Hallelujah!!  It was even as the vision had been.

While on the top of the mountain we felt the Lord would have us take Communion together.  Have you been following this story? This guy, Kenny, had never been in Church in his life, and within a few hours he had been in a footwashing service, been saved, and now he was taking communion.  You couldn’t have scripted it, if you had tried.  We then built a Cross out of the rocks on the mountain.  It can still be seen all the way back to the mission station today.

We hiked back to the mission station and told Phyllis about our journey and Kenny’s salvation.   She encouraged us to clean up and go to a local beach not far from the mission where we could relax.  Steve Coder said, “That’s right we have to have a baptismal service.”  God wasn’t finished yet.  So we went to Wahoo Beach and Ed Joyner and Steve baptized Kenny Dale.  We then had a good meal, and reviewed all the Lord had done that day.  We drove back to the mission house.  Earlier, I had stated that it was our habit to meet out   under the stars each night.  Steve asked me about it, and we both agreed we had already had our devotions, in fact, we had been doing ‘Church’ all day.  We told the people to relax and get ready for bed.  Steve and I sat down on the porch to talk, and before long several of the people came and sat down in the circle with us.  We shared a little and then Steve and I went down stairs to Phyllis’ living room.  Before long here came the rest of the group.  Steve and I finally figured out that the Body of Christ was wanting to meet.  So we began to share, sing, and pray as God led us.  While sitting on the couch next to Steve, God began to deal with me about singing a song from Les Miserables, the Broadway musical.  jean-valjean.jpgThe song is called, “Bring Him Home”, and is a prayer of Jean Valjean for a wounded soldier, the man whom his daughter loved.  In the song, Jean Valjean crys, “If I die, let me die! Let him live! Bring him home”.  Suddenly, Steve looked at me and said, “Brother, could you sing, “Bring him home?”  You’d think it would be “Amazing Grace”, wouldn’t you?  I could hardly believe my ears.  I began to sing.  When I finished, Ed Joyner,who had brought Kenny to Haiti, was sitting across the room.  Steve picked up a pillow and threw it onto the floor, and said, ” It’s time!”  Ed joyner fell face forward on the floor and began to cry, “I’ve been running from this for years.”  God was calling him to preach the gospel.

Some of us had been concerned about Kenny.  Remember, the only type of Church he had ever known was what he had experienced that day.  How are you going to take him back to Florida and stick him in a church pew staring at the back of someone’s head and call that church?  In a 24 hour period God had led a small group of trusting pilgrims from footwashing, to salvation of a soul, to communion, to baptism, chose his pastor, and we ordained him….Oh, by the way, we named the mountain after Kenny as well.  Every ordinace of the Church and then some was performed without any program or human plan.

In sucessive trips we have returned to  Mount Kenny, and each journey has been special with worship beyond words, but none quite so ‘perfect’ as that first journey when God gave me a perfect day in Him.  My experience upon Mount Kenny has fired my spirit to not rest until I reach the unreachable stars.

 

January 6th, 2009 Posted by | Biographical | one comment