Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Danny Martin talked about his past how as a young boy he was sexually abused. He had been in jails for 13 years. As he shared about his time in Vietnam War, I could sense his deep pain. Danny is a big man and he was crying throughout the time when he narrated his story. On several occasions, he nearly died because of reckless driving. He came to Rocky Mountain Community Church and the gospel of grace had impacted him.
Trey too went through traumatic period when his parents divorced. He was only four years old. During his teenage years he rebelled, smoked marijuana, and used alcohol as a form of escape from the reality of pain. He was diagnosed with cancer but God healed him. Then he heard the gospel and responded to the grace of God. He came to Rocky Mountain Community Church and found grace among God’s people. Just as he is getting on in his Christian life, the doctor discovered that his cancer came back and has spread to his lung. His cancer is at an advance stage and the prognosis is bad. I could see his calmness and restedness. He is obviously not afraid of death. He kept thanking God for forgiving his sin and giving him life. He does not blame God at all.
Bill was also traumatized by the Vietnam War. His friend who was suppose to return from Vietnam stood in his place for the last duty got himself killed. Bill lives with great sense of guilt. He hated the government for the war. Since then he withdrew himself from people. A member of Rocky Mountain Community Church reached out to him and extended her friendship. He joins the church and the small group. He feels totally accepted by the people in the church.
Jerry was once a pastor. He spoke with great pain about his marriage failure. He lost his ministry and had since carried the guilt. He is also impacted by the gospel of grace through the preaching ministry of pastor Alfred, the pastor of Rocky Mountain Community Church.
One by one in the room, the twelve men took turn to share their stories. Each has a common thread and a common theme. All have gone through brokenness and all have experienced the healing touch of God through the gospel of grace. Christ came to us at the intersection of life when hell broke loose. Sin is not just a doctrine to be studied. It is real because it ravaged our lives. But God’s grace abounds.
We ended the evening session praying for one another. It is the highlight of my time in Billings, Montana. God showed up tonight.