How does God speak and guide you today? We ask members to describe a treasured spiritual experience. Here are reports:
FROM STAN CONNOR
During the Korean War, Stan almost lost his life while on a UN ship in a hurricane off the NC coast. Here is his story of how God continued to add years to his life and life to his years.
“The experience of coming so close to losing my life while in the Armed Services still evokes powerful emotions in me. I was given a very peaceful assignment by the Navy—serving on a United Nations Ship that went from port to port to build peaceful relationships. We left the USA to travel to the Caribbean Islands, but as we reached North Carolina we faced a hurricane. Now this ship, the USS Purdy, was a 2200 ton weather resistant cruiser. This was not a serious situation for this destroyer type vessel. However we were struck on the side by a 60’ wave which nearly capsized the ship, causing us to take on water, injuring a number of men. With 3 degrees more tilt, we would have capsized, meaning death by drowning to the 150 men on board including me. While crewmen were bailing out the taken on water, the captain realized the hull was severely damaged. He ordered the ship back to port. It made it and it was even able to be repaired. God gave me the blessing of a saved life.”
Stan was asked to continue to travel with that ship. So he traveled to many ports where he could be a representative of goodwill for the United Nations and the USA. He was asked to relate to the person on the streets in each port, starting in Cuba with Havana, Guantanamo Bay, and islands in the Caribbean. Then to ports in Italy, France, Germany Turkey and Greece. This experience was wonderful. It affirmed Stan’s good attitude. He says, “Once again, I was blessed by God, this time with a beneficial opportunity of service while in the service.”
When Stan was discharged, still very grateful to God for a continuation of his life, Stan faithfully weathered a period of unemployment, trusting God would guide him to the right job at the right time. And then he was assigned to a project that opened the employment doors for many, many people. He worked with Teflon coatings, even securing a patent for his company on the application to water cooling pipes—making chemically resistant flexible Teflon tubing. It was a joy to be part of the team that allowed that company to prosper from employing 150 people to 22,000 people by a few years after his retirement.
Stan says, “This was God’s doing; not mine. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. And God gave me this additional immense blessing. I am deeply grateful.”
MY FAITH STORY – KAREN HUYSERS FEBRUARY, 2017
I grew up in this church but as a young adult, I drifted away. I had a job that I worked on Sundays, then married and moved a little bit away and then started a family. Some of the really old timers might remember that I was born with a very prominent birthmark on my neck. My parents had it surgically removed when I was very little, but two memories that stayed with me all my life was the fear I felt at the hospital AND a beautiful white frosted cake a church member brought to me after I was home recovering. The cake is long gone but the love that came with it remains in my heart. Fast forward to 1986 and I was due to have a planned c-section. I was in St. Mary’s Hospital, waiting for the surgery to produce a new family member- a really happy occasion, but I was scared to death. A priest came to speak to me and seeing how scared I was, he prayed with me. His words comforted me and reminded me that God is with me every step I take. That moment, I felt God’s presence and peace. I renewed my pledge to be an active member of God’s congregation. And so I have tried to be ever since. The encounter with the priest, whose name I never knew, was God directed.
FROM WAYNE HAUSSLER