Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Photo of Charles Cleveland

The Life of a Rich Man without Money

Charles Cleveland


Part 3 of Elder Cleveland's inspirint personal testimony


  • April 30, 2017
    10:45 AM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.


Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

Beautiful morning today isn't it nice we could be together again for this final meeting What's it like to be a rich man without money. I've been in self-supporting ministries for a few years. When this lady came to see me on the campus of one of our institutions. We came to self-supporting ministries with a savings account. And at this time we still had some. This lady came up to me and she was from a Scandinavian country. Her husband was an accountant at the institution who's from America. The family had struggled. All the time I ever knew them. Kind of make things work. But she came up to me and I don't know what her motive was why she picked on me. But she came and she said to me Do you know what it's like. To live without a penny in reserve. And she just looked at me in a penetrating way as if I was to reveal my bank account. I felt a bit invaded I didn't ask for head. But it got me thinking. What is it like. Serve in a ministry when you don't have any reserves. That wasn't my problem at the moment. I was an entrepreneur before I was ever even a teenager. I had a paper route when I was nine years old until I was fifteen and. I was always building and selling things I was a mistletoe expert in the neighborhood. So I always had at least pocket change. And when I was married. I had learned to use my hands I had a little all the way through college I support of myself and my family little Cleveland custom builders remodeling service. When I left the seminary I had a new car and a motor home and no debt. So I was I was blessed. So I didn't know what it might be like some day and not have. A savings account. But I knew this. And it gave me peace not to worry about it I knew I was where God called me and the rest was his problem. I'm not a baker I've always found a way to make it myself but you get in a situation sometimes you have no other choice but to rely on God. And my wife my family and I. Could only focus we were where we believe God called. When I became an Adventist I had made one pledge to the Lord willingly. I've mentioned it to you before and it's a safe one. If you trust God It's a scary one even so Lord I'm willing to go. Wherever you call me. I only ask that you make it clear. To your providence that it is your will. That's been our goal that's been our motto and it's not a crazy commitment and it didn't take me a year here and a year there we've split down roots we never when we had a call to a certain location we never looked left or right we never hoped for when we could leave we never thought of leaving until. We were called. You can't afford to look around when you've been called in ministry you need to focus on what you've been called to do. As I became a new Adventist and I had my dental technician background and eventually by working in our hospital surgical technician background my mother was a nurse my sisters became nurses and as you know I married a nurse eventually. In the sixty's when I became an admin as they were about three categories of what admonition people did. Teacher preacher. DOCTOR that sounds familiar Those are the big three. Well for me it was clear I want to go into medicine. I loved working in a O.R. I scrubbed in everything from tonsillectomies to appendectomies to C. sections to hysterectomy to heart surgery and brain surgery. I loved working with the surgeon and I could just picture some of the following in their footsteps we had some godly physicians in our hospital and they were inspiring to me I'm in a different ways. That was my goal. But when Phoebe and I got married we had one more year for her to finish her nursing degree. At Paradise Valley so I continued to work in surgery. But when she graduated arse it was our plan to go back to Andrews University and I would take pretty medicine. But during that year of her studies I quietly went through struggles. In my prayer time with the Lord. We were happily married we were meeting our budget. I was enjoying my work. We had much to be thankful for we were helping to pioneer a new church. Outside of the Paradise Valley area in Imperial Beach we were busy and happy but when I prayed. I often didn't have peace. And the problem was that god. Was reminding me that he might have a different call from me. And I had a hard time accepting that because I thought I had it figured out. And as I would pray he would say in my mind. Yes medicine and be good we need medical missionaries. But for you I have something different. And I was a hard message to hear because I was so sure I was doing this as an offering why would he question it. He said if you really want to serve me. I want you to be a minister. Lord. Why me I mean you know writers came from. You know my background. Why don't you get these nice admin as boys who grew up that way they don't have all this history let them be the ministers that seem so logical to me. Course I'd had a new birth course of our book at me differently but I was not understanding at all I had a lot to learn. Six months I allowed this struggle to go on I didn't give up if I argued I pled. He was so patient he was like he smiled he said Remember you're glad. It's going to turn out all right. Finally I had to try a few things to get those things. I decided I would take a piece of paper and I was going to put down all the reasons to go into medicine. And I would be fair and put down the reasons to go into the ministry I would try to be as objective as possible. So I got the paper out I put two columns. And with my prejudice I put medicine or column ministry second column and then begin to write. I took the easy part of why I was interested in medicine and then I seriously tried to think well when there are reasons that I could go in and it is. I couldn't tell you what even were today except that I was surprised that when I got done I had as many for one as the other and I didn't expect that. It made me think some more. A few days later. Little Miss Abby Dunn never had married at all or eighty years I think she was about that she'd been a missionary in China she was one of the last ones to leave China God had to send a cloud over her ship so they wouldn't be bombed and the cloud moved with the ship she had marvelous stories and when you'd see Abby done. Her eyes would sparkle of love of Jesus she was a volunteer chaplain there at the hospital in her retirement years and she said to me one day we were living near each other and I was B.B. and I were living in that hospital apartments and she was as well. And she said to me she says for the Cleveland this is not my business I know this but have you ever thought. To be. A minister. My mouth dropped open I thought this time I didn't say anything I was dumb. For a minute I thought to myself this done. You're talking to someone who works in the operating room I live in the hospital apartment my whole life is about I'm marrying a nurse and you asked me this question I didn't say those things but my mind did. I just smiled at her and I said well that's interesting. About it all she ever said to me the only times your friend mentioned it. It wasn't too long after that after a week of prayer for the nurses that I attended. I had to realize this was the fourth call and I accepted that it was interesting I thought when the men the doctors learned oh are that I was changing my mind I wondered how they'd respond I wonder if they'd urge me not to do it it was just the opposite I was so surprised I remember one surgeon I often assisted and he said I'm so excited to hear that you've decided to go in the ministry I wanted to go into ministry but years ago I had a staggering problem and I just couldn't cut it so I took medicine. And the other one told me I loved her he said I can't get up in front but I love to write you'll see my articles in the review from time to time I want to I want to serve Jesus this way now one of discouraged. It's just interesting how good works everything out. And I got to Andrews University and I was a girl does the Elegy major religion major to prepare for the ministry as I mentioned to you I had a wonderful experience and good teachers. And. I was active in evangelism both for the campus I held my first evangelist to campaign in Michigan it was not a school assignment I just had to do it I had an evangelist team. I had young people going out the next year Al going in self and in the end a nearby again not for credit just because I was on fire to serve them more so I had a great experience. When I finished the seminary I told you I had kind of a hard time with six years of training. Took me a while to get my feet back on the ground with the Lord. It was just. A little bit of burnout. But the board was there to help me through it I had two good churches up in the northern Upper Peninsula other lot of Finland hers up there good solid people I had really good Adventist church members but it was hard going to get a Bible study it was hard to do evangelism then one your people you know they have their aptest all the Lutheran Church of the Lutheran Church or the. Evangelical churches. They were too interested in and isn't. And I did very best I could for the first two years I was there I was there for years in that district but at the end of two years I asked the conference if I could take a short leave of absence and go to Loma Linda I had started at masters of public health care while I was still the seminary I say that all my electives and I took him at Loma Linda so I could get some health background I had by this time I got into reading the spirit of prophecy and to read that a minister should be as well trained in how to do medical missionary work and simple natural remedies as it is to preach the gospel and I thought that meant fifty fifty but it just wasn't in the curriculum. So I worked out my electives to be well Melinda. And I went out there and start of the Master's of public health but I hadn't finished it and the conference said OK and my church has said OK we'll wait for you. If you'll promise that when you come back you'll stay two more years and we agree we were happy in the open and. This time we had two more children we have four now and we headed out to Loma Linda in my motor home. And. Had a tremendous experience in the seventy's or Hardy was there we had Shar from birth to register who actually discovered some of the B. vitamins ascension as it was a tremendous team of teachers there and very spiritual class I took nutrition and physiology things that are important when you're trying to help someone change their lifestyle so it was such a blessing when I came back to my two churches and I began to do help programs it transformed our whole image of our church and we became known in the community as they help people and we were filling up the banks training rooms and seminars I was drawing cholesterols a pastor it was unheard of people back then in that time they did not believe that you could reverse cholesterol that at that time and I didn't know that you could or couldn't but I knew my cholesterol was low and I knew people that didn't use dairy products Lester all those low and there had to be some relationship and it seems to me it would reverse something and I needed to find someone to back me up with a laboratory and so a local physician not an Adventist in one of my towns said he was willing to get my blood work process that I was taking in screening programs and he told me something very interesting he said as about all of just when I'm dealing with people who have cancer and I look at their medical records and they end up going in the latter stages of their cancers often on what we might consider starvation diet and they cut their calories down and often cut their cholesterol down there are very clean up. He says I've observed of that in G. and that was ahead of his time. I was so encouraged. I had so many bible studies I had to go to OK Vinny get a self-supporting worker to come help me. It was a blessing I was my one of my connections to self-supporting work and God blessed us my last evangelist to campaign was so successful and that little power. That when we baptized. The choir director from one church in the organ director from another church the ministerial committee the minister will associate deep rock me from the Association. Because I was very active with the local minister also season because we're supposed to reach out to them. And they appealed to me to stop trying to take their members Well I didn't do it correctly I said to them I said Brethren. If you can preach the gospel of Jesus to my church members better than me help yourself. I have to preach what I know is true and if your members are attracted to it you should be praising the Lord not criticizing. And that was the end of the conversation it wasn't long after that that we were ordained to the gospel ministry it can't meet in the air in Grand Ledge it was at that time we begin to get calls to go overseas in the General Conference. And as they gave us those calls we said there's only one hesitation to another hesitation there's only one per record it very correct with that. I have four small children will go anyplace in the world God makes it clear but it needs to be family oriented I can't just put my family in the middle of some huge strange country with a foreign lane. Would and I TAKE IT department opposition and Travel travel travel I said Find us a call where we can be together and we'll go over every one of our calls us they agreed and they came back with us to a call to the Amazon to take over one of them as the area was big enough that we could live on it with a crew and my dental technician skills would be useful that my surgery skills could be useful that Phoebe's nurses skills would be useful my ministerial background could be useful it seemed to be OK for our family and we accepted the call they didn't tell us. Until quite a bit into the time that we'd already announced to our churches the transition they didn't say by the way it's going to take six to nine months to get your work permit result takes a long time to get the paperwork we get it for you but it's going to take time. What should we do in the meantime we had other calls temporarily but we thought about it if we're going to minister indigenous people along the Amazon they're not going to want to M.P.H. lecture on your tradition we need to know more simple natural remedies while I had a good training at Loma Linda we weren't real allowed to touch anybody I wanted to get closer How could I do this and I thought a while good I thought of you two pines and the Lord opened the door both places we ended up choosing to go with the rashes who were pioneering planes at that time they were very much inclined to to mentor you other people who are wanting to learn simple natural remedies so we went there for those six months that we were waiting for our visas. During that time we begin to get some strange messages from the M inside. It it was like Don't worry about it but come anyway. Don't worry about what. Coming in we wrote the ME. President could you clarify how things are going or are coming there he never answered. We knew some people on the Amazon we'd write them what's going on oh don't worry come anyway. Well. The barn in Providence allowed had allowed me to serve as a recent graduate of Andrews University why they selected me I don't know but anyway I was a member of the Board of Trustees of Endor University for two years as a recent graduate at that capacity I knew all the church leaders from the drama caucus to the union conference elder Neil Wilson Ted's father was heading to personal and I said to him would you check this out for us we don't understand what's happening. He came back a week later and he said I am sorry to tell you but things are a mess the loser you are to take over is not even in existence they stopped working on it two years ago it's half built they're out of money and there's administrative difficulties yes they want you to come take a departmental position I understand your family's needs we have other calls for you to have Vice President get a hold of you. It was interesting. Over the next few weeks. Where we received other calls. Three of them in fact. Interesting places around the world. Why wasn't even a one of the. Family oriented. The message never got through it got lost in the. Somewhere. And I puzzled as several weeks were going by we were nearing the end of that six months they're working on visas we're not going to use. What was that aren't doing. You ever get in those kind of corners and you're not sure. We didn't panic. But we prayed hard are we are we being too. We be holding up this way should we just take the cause that the next call we should take is the Lord's call and I look back at the counsels it wasn't many that touched on this point but there was counsel that a young family that a father should be sensitive about training up at this children that was part of our ministry you know I think we were on the right course and they said it was not a problem there were plenty of places we could serve and still be together on a campus or something like that. Dr crash came to me he heard we were close Dr Calvin thrash was a wonderful mentor he was older than I was he got his mph at Loma Linda about the same time I did. But he was a gentleman he was a Southern gentleman gracious and his wife of course as well. And he said pretty Cleveland we're sorry for what's happening I don't know that's. The Lord's allowing it but I go and I've been praying we need an administrator our institutions growing rapidly our education program is just in its infancy you're a natural organizer would you consider staying here and joining us. Oh I smiled it felt good to be invited in a way that I sort of shook my head and I thought no I can't do that I could at least pray about it I can't do this this is not I didn't train her to go into self-supporting ministries I'm a good nomination to work her I have I've had a great experience so what I've done I wasn't looking to join them I was thankful for what they shared with me so it was beyond me. And yet we were at this. Unusual situation with the general ha. So we prayed about it. And as I prayed. The Lord told be reminded me of something I loved the nomination history I love history. And he reminded me of something in sort of a prophetic way. He said if you'd be willing to. Stay here and use your medical missionary skills to train others because we need many more medical missionaries. In time I will use you to do the work like Elder John Bird did her Ellen White when we got Loma Linda Lendale Paradise Valley sanitarium. I didn't really know what that would mean. But I never forgot it. And Intel I could. With my brother in in the ministry heard that I was leaving the umbrella the denominational umbrella I got home call I got letters. It was like I was going into apostasy. They mental Well they warned me I would never have a decent car again. Then they told me they wouldn't pay us hardly anything. They said I would not have health insurance and all this was true. They said that they'd be in the embroil all my children wouldn't have the advantage of discounts and added as the education through. Everything they said had some truth to it. And I couldn't argue with them. But all I knew is that when we asked God to make it clear where we should be it said you choose pine. And we had to take the call because we believed it was his will and. We were at peace I had to worry I and my kids were too little to worry about Academy they were too little to worry about college we were too healthy to worry about health insurance who doesn't want health insurance if you can have it of course but we had to leave that aside because it wasn't provided but before us was a work we could identify with. And it was a privilege to be there we had no debts. We were fortunate for a young family we had savings a reasonable amount and we made a plan and we said here's the plan because we want to be wise enough to avoid what people have said might happen and we're going to put aside five thousand of what we have as the bottom line and it's our cushion. And we can time to time we'll dip into our savings above that when we need them after all we are raising four children. And we're going to stretch it but we'll keep that little reserve. And that just made us feel good we had a plan. That's how it started. Our children were three years old. Four years old six years old eight years old we love the work at your coupons we help develop the education program. We saw amazing healing results too I remember what denomination a leader came one time. And his wife. And he had twenty years. Of migraine headaches that were debilitating. And yet he had a really large responsibility in the church. We intensely worked on a whole to says I mean we rep that poor guy in charcoal and an. Ace bandage is I mean he slept with them and we got him on an exercise program. We got him to changes diet got him to go to bed at a recent reasonable time got him drinking water many of these things were not being practiced. He left you cheap pine three weeks later with our migraine after twenty years of and I saw him in Russia several years later and his wife came up and said to me you know you never know how much you cheap finds chickens and my husband's life has been free ever since but a testimony I remember the man from Florida a multimillionaire that had been to our hospitals he had actually been on the board of some of them because of his of his interest in our work and he was a large donor. But he got pancreatic cancer. Back then it was just about very little you could do for our hospitals gave him the best they had available they tried to help him but the time came but eventually they said we've done all we can. We feel so bad that we could do so long. But you have six weeks maybe six months. And he heard about you by. And he came. And we said to him we're not a cancer center yes we've had cancer patients here frequently but we've never claimed to be a cancer center. We have helped some people with cancer and others we haven't we can't we we have a protocol we can do fever treatments for you we can help you with your diet we can help you with a being of the country in the atmosphere and we can pray with you. And we'll hold you up to God but we can't promise a cure but you're welcome to come this I'm coming. A lot of people have come under that basis we give a disclaimer you got to be honest. And he came. And his. Blood chemistry improved under the treatment. His energy came back he got caught walking again. And yes he did eventually die of his cancer six years later. Six years later he had some quality of life. I remember the Mormon missionary they came into the Better Living Center in downtown Columbus with terrible asthma. They have to come to buy two you know that this partner came with them and he stopped at the health food store and he said to have anything for asthma the drugs that I take are just debilitating and he was really against taking them he'd been through this for years with as he was struggling in his mission. Our drug of his says you could take this or. This herb or easily. And do this and this. But he said. We can do one better he says because you're a missionary we have a policy and you pines that we take missionaries without charge you need to come to you guys. And his partner looked at him like. I don't think so. And they went aside and talked and came back and said. That was right then and I was working with the crashes and taking care of patients and I was assigned a grant. And I gave him hydrotherapy treatment. And that night he slept all night long. The next day was out walking you breathed more freely course we've given several ideas for the day he was making good progress until the bishop. He was there and the bishop was angry. And he says Brant you. No business being at that Adventists place I want you out of there in an hour and he wasn't of the he says you know what to take for your asthma. And you're tying up this other missionary you need to get back to work it wasn't handled very nicely. He left. And there's a lot more I could tell you to the story. But one time he finished his missionary endeavor after two years and he returned back to California to home he was no longer really a Mormon. In his heart. Because he hadn't been understood and he felt. Abused really over the situation. I had a trip to California for a seminar and I thought I would try to look him up and I did. And I learned he wasn't even going to church and I said Brant you ought to come back to mission to. Take our medical missionary course he said I'd like to I don't have a penny I'm living here at home. I said Can I talk to your parents. I said you know I think your parents might be open to it I never met him. But I knew he couldn't be happy that there missionary son wasn't even going to church. So I I reasoned with him and I know you're disappointed about Grant. I said your son has a natural interest in simple natural remedies and we learned that it worked for him. But if you sponsor him to come back to you pines and take our course. I play back in three days you can fly with me please pray about it. Three days later Brant was on the plane and they sponsor in the coming. I. I tell you we have so many experiences in this kind of ministry. For years went by and she finds very quickly. At the end of four years I wasn't looking left or right I got a call to come to Mount missionary institute up in New Hampshire a new institution that had been pioneered from the wildwood group to bring work back to the east into New England. I said no after praying I said now we're busy here we love it here my family is happy here. Two weeks later they called again would you reconsider we need you here we need someone. The man who's pioneered this institutions have been some health challenges. He needs an assistant. Please pray about it I said I'll pray again. Prayed for two weeks I couldn't get I said no. Two weeks later I got another phone call from out the nation. We're having a board meeting we bought a ticket for you Would you please come and at least meet with the board I mean talk about Christine somebody whose arm How would you like that Kodi. And I didn't like that at first I but I thought I'm going to pray. And I thought well here's the thing that bad. Maybe I could at least go there and work. My wife was in agreement. So I flew up there. And within about twenty four hours of walking that little campus on the beautiful now and there's mountain missionary on a mountain it was an old mansion that had been beautifully built the SO nice homes around it it was a beautiful place over. Mountain and that doc. And. Of our gave me peace that it was as though. I didn't really want to leave you behind but I felt the call. Back and talk to the Thrashers and my executive. I've been mentoring a young man to work with me at U two pines and they voted that he could take over and it's always good to train other people period this mentor people whenever you can. And so we went to mountain missionary. It was the hardest institution I was ever connected to. You don't easily Shepherd New Englanders. I was a Westerner. And besides that I really don't know that I was ready to lead the institution in fact I didn't go there to lead the institution but only weeks or month or two after I got there the leaders the leaders and the Sima which was aggravated by the Country Life natural food warehouse business he had helped pioneer and his wife the flower and the dust was getting to him and he was I almost thought he would die one night. And I was trying to help him this and treatment and he had to leave and go back to Wildwood hope to come back soon but it didn't happen and eventually I was voted the president of that institution and I serve there four more years but it wasn't easy I wasn't ready trained. To work with New Englanders. And whatever else I needed and the challenges it was a mountain missionary. That I mean it was broke when I got there trying to survive and and though I know I'm the harsh winters we have plenty of wood but you had to get out and cut it and stack it and dry and split it and we did all that but we didn't have water we can't run. Now to water the wells they had a history of well problem. What are we going to do we've got to have water. And so I had an idea to go to the Bible and I looked for all the text in the Bible to talk about the importance of water and I called the campus together in our chapels we began to pray and we claim the promise to have water. And we made it a matter of prayer and fasting until we came up with a plan. That made sense of how to approach the geological structure of mountain missionaries mountain and got some counsel from surveyors and chose a place to drill the well. And God gave us water in abundance and it never stop flowing since then. But while that happened and I had to figure out how to pay for it. And God bless we ran out of money person it was a new day I mean it wasn't that we reached the five thousand level we had quietly used it up also. And Phoebe and I had never had a sit down talk and said. That not only five. We were too busy but this guy and even think about it but little by little it went down. Until it was gone. We never missed a heartbeat. We were gone and called. It was then that I was at a meeting at Wildwood. And we got a call well we were praying together. In the upper room of a school hall with other leaders of an annual reader's retreat elder for see was leading out and as we started to kneel to pray about fifteen or so of us leaders of institution. Someone said please have special prayer for Riverside Farm in Africa they have the They've done well for her fifteen years it's a premier missionary Institute training young people from all over those African countries and yet we don't have leadership now they've finished their ten to fifteen years they've come back to the states and they haven't replaced them all and the people trying to do it now are older and they're baking her help let's pray about it and I thought well worth the prayer Let's pray. And so we knelt and prayed and as we finished the prayer Dr Hansen with tears in his eyes before we could get up our knees said. We were praying brother and. I was impressed that the Lord to be pleased to Cleveland would accept the call after. I didn't know there were two Cleveland's in the room at that time and I had to be it couldn't be me. I mean I didn't grow up in Adventists I'm I didn't know about missions stories like some of you do Phoebe did I mean Africa was the mission field but for me send me to London but not Africa. It was a tough call. I wasn't looking for. The brother looked at me I said I've never even dreamed it. But I'll pray about it. I called B.B. that night. She's a childbirth educator and. Not a professional midwife but a nurse a nurse and she did you as well I said Phoebe. How would you like to move to a country where you could deliver all the babies you could ever dream of. Is that I'm ready let's go I will wait a minute I'm not I'm. Just telling you about it I mean we got a call to go there's Mbia the Riverside we knew about Riverside had a wonderful record doing a marvelous work. But. How to put it all together. But our family want to move Yes they did that they were willing. How to raise the money yes they'd pay our tickets over there but they needed supplies it been many years since it had a container with anything and besides that they had a vision to build a boat that could go up the cafe the river we were on the coqui river and it was the highway through to many tribes up and throughout Zambia and they want to have a floating clinic and of course I love the idea but you could even get fiberglass very easily in Zambia and have to import it from South Africa it is very expensive so I'd have to bring everything with me in a container of the engine and the steering wheel and all the parts and build that thing and and launch it and I mean and pay for it. I had opened all the doors and everything happening and we went to Zambia in the more blessed we had a wonderful experience there. When we were at Mountain missionary we had a dental need. Whatever dental needs was races for our teenagers our kids who are just getting into teenage years we had no idea how we could do it so we didn't even try but it was there in our mind. One day. Shortly after we were verbalizing this between husband and wife we got a phone call. I didn't even know there was an admin as orthodontist in the New England area. And he said I've been impressed to call. If any of your young people need orthodontic work I want you to know I'm prepared to do it for free. A rich man without one. And this happened to us over and over and over again. Oh and how they had braces on and were leaving for Zambia. We didn't know what we were going to do. Probably just have to take them off. It wasn't settled in our mind we were leaving in just a couple of weeks we were sorting so many things out. There were two people I needed more staff. And I as I prayed about it God impressed me of two families and I knew once he said it they were the right ones and I knew once he said that they would say yes even though I would not push them to say yes. And they said yes the great about. That again. We were packing the container we were packing our things and I got a phone call it was the earth about oh I needed call you anyway he says no you don't need to call I said yes I do you know we're going to Zambia Yes I know you're going to Zambia. Well we've got to do something about these wires I know you do the adult worry about it we're going to Zimbabwe we just accepted the call ourselves we're moving to Africa to I'll finish the work there in Africa. And he did can you put that together. This is God. A rich man without money over and over again. We had we had three years in Zambia. If you want a little side lesson it's better to go to the mission field especially a foreign culture when your kids are babies. Because then it's natural to I went with teenagers and we liked it we loved it but it wasn't home to them. So they integrated to a point but when it came time. That mom's home school was getting a little. They were. And a little bit more maybe it's a lot of part of their academy age was reasonable they'd like to go to the cademy maybe for a Junior year senior year that was reasonable. But come clear back to America or send them. There we put Marie on the plane to go to Castle Valley nowaday Star Academy and you tell at seventeen I tell you that was a hard day for Mom and Dad for her to fly back. And without family support here. And there but we were providences and opened the door for her to go there and have been the original plan even before we got the call to Zambia that but then she waited a year and a half so she could come with us. We had a good family good children. But Craig would be next and then Michelle and Marcia So when our three years were up and I had a strong team and a great assistant but accepted the call to the With that he came babies we turned it over to him and we came back permanent return on our first for of three years later. We joined Wildwood and I became vice president first administrator got the program. Help the program for a while then became vice president Vice President for overseas and their dog began to fulfil and he told me at the beginning to help establish other institutions. I become the chairman of the board for a project in Norway. For a number of years and we ended up like most people and institutions are like people with some problems. And I had to go there frequently one year in particular I mean every three or four months. But gradually we pulled together we dealt with the personal problems. People were willing to keep trying. And I was hoping to get back to once a year going to Norway. But I had scheduled a board meeting and I was going to Atlanta and I'm argument myself that I don't have time to go I don't want to go I got my ticket my hand up obviously going to go you ever do that kind of stuff you know you just fuss but you do it anyway. And I said to myself as I got to Atlanta it's just a routine board meeting I wished I could have got out of there and the Lord said are right in my mind in my work there are no bored me. I said Oh I heard. I got to Norway a couple days before the board I met with the executive committee that was talking with them and I said How are things going to update me that things are much better now things are going smoothly the board meetings just going to be routine they used the same word. Innocently I told them my impression at Atlanta they said OK OK it was the fall of one thousand nine hundred ninety you know what happened then. The night before our board meeting the Berlin Wall fell we were sitting right there. Two nights before the board meeting and that night. That day after it had fallen and the Eastern Europeans were flooding there crossed into Western Europe for the first time in decades. The papers and all the information it was such an exciting electric moment that night the Lord kept impressing me that every sanitarium whenever possible should also have a training school Fred I had been off operating a beautiful healthy retreat for a number of years and an agricultural program but never the medical missionary program and I thought wouldn't this be a perfect time. To be able to bring Eastern European Adventists who have never had the opportunity for a Christian education bring them to our schools bring it to a school here and train them and send them back all throughout the former Soviet Union. I could hardly sleep that night. The next morning when the board was due to meet I was coming to the meeting place and I saw the president of the institution coming toward me and I was going to give him. I just was ready to bubble over to him what I'd been thinking about and as I walked up to him I noticed that he had the same problem he looked like he was going to a bubble over about something and as we compared notes guess what. He had the same thought. The same thought and we took it to the board I mean we were flowing with excitement they readily accepted it with just one condition. If I had come and help started. I thought oh. I would love to but I'm I have a position back home Phoebe's director of nurses I see there is but this is a god. And I know while. They will do what they can to make it happen. Because they have a missionary spirit I'll go back and talk to them I'm willing to go on if they'll give me a leave for a year and I'll put a team together. I went back and told them and they said we will work it out go forward I knew of a doctor and his wife from Germany finishing their training. I knew a nurse that was finishing training at U.T. from Austria I went to see them. I knew before I asked them God would help them to say yes I don't know if you've been to. This kind of experience I didn't try to tell them I knew a guy would sell and yes I buy more reserve that have but I knew in my heart that God was the lead we put together a premier team to start the European Bible school for health and agriculture and hundreds of young people went through that training program. Although he's here in Europe and Western Europe as well and some from America. And as we train them I would go out into the field to Russia and Ukraine and Bulgaria and Moldova and Albania and all kinds of places to prepare for them to be able to leave. And I have mercy. I'm getting the time up. Is it can you vote ten minutes. How many will vote a minute. OK mercy. And I would try to go to these countries and meet the leaders the church leaders because when our students finished at Norway they had to leave the country. And we were trying to open the door so that when they came back they weren't treated as offshoots because the leaders would know who European Bible school. I said listen we're willing to sponsor these young people if you know it's that a look at them is Bible workers treat them like a bible work or medical missionary but they can come back and we'll help them. And the ones that have leadership ability our goal eventually is to make lifestyle centers. And God help all of that gather and we will we are young people went back to Romania and became leaders in the conference with help departments and in Russia the division leader was is is currently one of our Harmer students and God just blesses these kinds of programs. And he blesses our personal needs as well I remember when we were trying to get to Norway to start this school it was summertime and our kids were home Murray had gotten married but the younger three were there too were starting college and one was still an academy and Phoebe says I'm not going if the kids can't come for the summer it's OK during the school year go be in school boarding school OK we can handle that but they've got to come I said maybe they'll pay our way over but I can't ask him to pay for the kids for the summer I'm just trying to be reasonable you know I knew she was right of course I want them to come but mechanically how to work it out. But it was our problem we couldn't say to Norway you had to have the whole family at least I didn't think so. So we decided to do something we'd never done before we sent out the newsletter to all our friends and family would never bug people for knocking Cleveland's don't need to do that we usually find a way. But this time we needed help we set it out and preferably and in a few weeks time we just needed tickets three tickets it's all we needed a couple couple thousand dollars might get. We got one hundred fifty dollars from all sources it was pretty discouraging. But it had to happen. We ended up taking them on airplanes with no money. In and. We had a man call us he said I have an excess frequent flyer miles well back then you couldn't transfer them legally. And I didn't want to get into some fishy thing that wasn't appropriate you were not allowed to try to trade them maybe to a wife but to another person but Continental Airlines that just made a new policy that allowed for it and he had that kind of mileage. And we took our three children to Norway for no money. After we were there. Some months went by Craig and Michelle were going to Southern. But living at home at Wildwood. Domestic problems developed. They were best friends normally but without mom and dad around who's going to do the laundry who's going to cook the meal who should drive the car. Little things begin to happen own call begin to go to Norway. And it wasn't long and Mom said I'm going home. That was hard on me yes she needed to I didn't question that. But I didn't want to be there alone either. So we didn't have a ticket for her to go home and we had a return ticket but it was like six months seven eight months away and it was not normal to change date. I had to try I called the airline I said Is there any way we have a family need my wife needs to go back early can you change that ticket and they told me plane we don't do that. I tried a little harder and they said sir we don't generally do that. But was the new word you guys in there happened to you. I said Ma'am may I speak dear supervisor and this is calling Boston at the time from Norway it was expensive it took forever to get him I said sir here's my situation is there some way you can help us. He said just just a moment. It took him forever whatever he did at my dollar. Finally keep back he said we have decided to allow this I had to get it in a computer your wife can leave tomorrow. And everything's arranged we won't charge you anything for a change. I took her to Aso the next morning to board the plane and the computers were down they had no record of her life. And were standing there and the planes leaving in thirty minutes. She's going home. She was going to go home with the day knew it or not she is a mother. Mother bear like the ones up in Alaska when you turn them on. I did have at least a reference number so they could at least know that it fit the airline. But they never could get the computer going. Somehow they gave her a temporary boarding pass to get to London at London she'd get one from London to New York New York to Atlanta. She got to London on her boarding pass no ticket boarding pass an improvised line and went and stood in line to get customer service to get the real ticket issued and boarding passes and I don't know what happen their computers were working but they couldn't find her reservation either. But they recognize she had the number and they recognize also had recognized the letter come that far and after a while they issued her two boarding passes. And Phoebe said to them well when I get to New York should I go to customer service and get the ticket. And the man said Madame the fewer people you talk to the better. And she went from Moscow to London to New York to Atlanta with ever having an official ticket. And no money. Now I'm stuck in Norway alone. I'm a big boy I can get by OK but I love my wife and the family. And you know what I did for no money he flew me six times that year back in America I didn't ask for it six times I never paid a penny. Got is a big God and I'm a rich man without money. You wonder how that happened I'll tell you briefly lifestyle center of America and Oklahoma was trying to put itself together Dr Neil Ned the new me I'd help them if you look at Proof positive My name's in there is the original person helping him with it and he said I'd like you to invite Chuck Leven to come as a consultant. They had plenty of money. And they flew me over every month to meet with their board while they were trying to plan how to get that institution off the ground and it meant I stopped by and we saw my family briefly from time to time and it was timely I can tell you. Well if I had a little longer like the herbalists this morning we could go on three more hours to. Every thing I ever needed. My children's education they went to the Academy of their choice the college of their choice and with God's help we never were beggars but we always found a way to meet our own stewardship. All God's ability are enabling Christ object lessons three three three God calls you to do something. He will help you to make it happen you need to trust him be willing to go were really and don't worry he doesn't throw away. His or hers when they get older Today we're no longer in an institution we haven't been for quite a while we have our own home about an hour out of Chattanooga when we decided to start health education resources we never realized it would become a full time ministry. But I'm now able to work from my home with the Internet we our products go all over the world. And it's not a huge job to do and so I'm able to travel and help other institutions that's why I serve a number of boards. But it's been a marvelous experience when we when we decided to go we lived in a motor home for three years and just did seminars all over the country people how to do health Expos. And then the time came we felt we need to get our feet on the ground and because the days we're living in we need to practice what we believe in that's country living we've got a whore acre property in the country cleared the landed and bought the four acres and that's all the money we had but the day we and we we were able to borrow some money temporarily and start the home and and friends help me build it and we put it up together and it's a story of itself every single board in there I was a story behind it how it got there and paid for and my silver and our independence. And our fruit trees in our greenhouse and you know I'm a I'm a little farmer. And a medical missionary and head elder and a board member and a traveller I don't know how we do it it's a good thing I'm young I wouldn't keep up with. But I'm telling you this and by the way we owe no man anything and I'm only telling you this. Because when you get older you worry about these things so you can I'm here to tell you God. Way over workers when he doesn't need. It he never stop needing us anymore anyway and he's always there to help us thank God be with with you. And guide you when God calls you for something outside of your comfort zone. All you need to know. You know don't jump at every call any call. Be willing to go where he call issue and only hold him accountable make it clear probably tension that is easily and. All of that you'll be a rich man to. This media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


Embed Code

Short URL