Let me tell you about my friend, George.
George’s boyhood days were spent in a little coal-mining town. He used much of his time roaming the great outdoors, but his Christian mother and grandparents taught him about God. Every morning and night the Bible was opened in their home, and they would all get down on their knees and pray. George learned that he should pray for God to save him.
One day George’s family told him that they were going on a 300-mile trip to Portland, Oregon. They were heading for an Apostolic Faith camp meeting. How excited George was! When they arrived at the campground, the thing that he noticed particularly was how happy everyone was. He wanted what they had! He prayed that God would save him too, and God answered that prayer.
He sought the Lord and was sanctified and then baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. At the church, he noticed that someone was needed to help pick up the hymn books after the church services. Not a very fancy job, but he did it.
George had been taught that he must read his Bible and pray every day. Both were needed to help him grow as a Christian. His mother gave him a Bible and some Bible-story books, and every evening he would read some chapters or pages in each.
God kept George true to Him, even though he had no Christian friends at school. Sometimes his classmates teased him. One of the teachers made fun of him, letting everyone know that she thought it was foolish to be a Christian, but Jesus was a true Friend to George. He didn’t let it upset him.
George learned to play a musical instrument. Not just enough to barely get by, but to play very well. That meant giving up some fun things in order to practice. Of course, you know what happened—he was asked to play in the church orchestra. His voice developed into one of those “way down deep” bass voices. Soon he was singing in the choir and then in a male quartet.
He did things to help others too. That’s how I learned to know George—he gave me music lessons. He found out that doing things for others and helping in God’s work made him feel good inside. And he helped others—kids like me—to understand that too.
Now, don’t think that bigger jobs came fast and easy for George. They didn’t. But after years of playing in the orchestra, he was finally asked to direct it. That was quite an honor, but it also meant more work, more responsibility, and less free time for himself. But George did it!
Not only that, he also took time to pray and study the Bible until everyone knew he was a person they could go to with their questions. Even people he didn’t know very well figured that out. One time, when he was in the army, a soldier came to his tent after everybody else was asleep. He woke George up and said he couldn’t sleep; he was feeling guilty and sad because of his sins. That worried soldier knew George was a Christian, and he wanted to be one too. George prayed with him, and the soldier was saved.
George became a preacher. Soon after that, he was in a terrible accident and was almost burned to death! Some people would have quit, but George kept on going, even with terrible scars on his neck and hands. Later he moved to another city to help in the church there.
Did he become a pastor then? No, he never did. God had something else for him to do. He sent him to be a missionary in Africa. He lived among the African people, teaching them the Gospel. That meant living without the comforts and conveniences of home—things like running water, refrigerators, or electric lights. But many people are saved in Africa today because of the faithful dedication of my friend, George.
One day, flying in an airplane over the continent of Africa that he loved so much, George had a heart attack. George gave all he had—his life. The African people buried him in their country. He was as special to them as he was to us at home.
Would you like to be another George?
What is stopping you?