Top Rated Testimony!!! (a little long, but you'll like it)
This last week, I spoke at Tim's Jr. High camp up in New Hampshire. He brings his leaders in on Sunday night. We had a meal together, went through details for camp, and then had a little service. The first leader he introduced me to was one of his newest youth pastors, a guy named Sterling, originally from Texas.
The next night, I was talking to him after the service and I realized that I had seen him before.
Back when I first became DYD, I went to my first National Fine Arts Festival in Denver. I was in a short sermon room with a Nebraska student, waiting to perform. We sat down to listen to the student going right in front of her. It was a young man from Texas. He had a good look, great sermon, complete with the nice southern accent that we all love. Suddenly, about 2 minutes in, he lost his place and stopped. He walked back to his podium and tried to recover, obviously shaken. He started again and then quickly, lost his place one more time. This time he didn't recover. He suddenly grabbed his notes and Bible, and ran out of the room, down the middle aisle. Quickly, his family got up from the front row and followed him out, crying.
I tried to encourage my NE student not to worry about it, and she did do a great job, but I couldn't shake the image of that young man giving up. When we got back to Grand Island, I was sitting in my office, still thinking about him. I pulled my Fine Arts manual and found him. I looked at the city where he was located and looked up the church in the Assembly of God directory. Then I wrote a letter to the pastor. I explained who I was and what I had witnessed. I asked him to consider giving the letter to the young student and his family. In the letter, I encouraged him not to give up because I felt that he could be a great preacher someday if he keeps trying.
Well, back to Tim's camp, I was standing with Sterling after the service, when suddenly, I knew I had seen him before. I think I remembered his name - Sterling. I asked him how old he was,
'Did you ever to go to National Fine Arts'
'Did you do short sermon'
After a long pause he said, 'Oh my goodness, it was you!'
Believe it or not, Sterling was the young man I had seen leave that room in Denver. He was the young man that received the letter from his pastor. He had just moved to his church in New England after graduating from SAGU earlier in the year. It was his first camp in New England, and our paths crossed as I spoke there. He said that the letter was an incredibly source of encouragement to him. He had kept it and pulled it out whenever he felt like quitting and giving up. Amazingly, he actually had the letter with him in the glovebox of his car, where he kept it regularly. Later, he pulled it out for me to see.