Fishers of Men
Care For All International  2008-04-29
Fishers of Men

Sunday, April 20, 2008, after church my son had been insisting I take him fishing.  He was excited because of all the high water from the Mississippi River flooding the area Game Reserve.  So we packed up the fishing gear, life jackets and the boat and went to the Game Reserve to try our hand at catching some fish.  
After we launched the boat we decided we would cross an area that was once a small pond.  Now it was covered in 20ft of flood water.  When we arrived on the other side we noticed something in the water.  It looked like a black shooting house had fallen over and floated up onto some logs in the water.  Obviously some hunters failed to get it out before the flood came.  As we got closer we notice that big black shooting house began to move.  It wasn't a shooting house at all but a 16ft alligator!!!  The biggest alligator I had ever seen.  We fished a little longer as we boated back towards the place we had left the truck.  I decided I would give this alligator all the room he wanted considering we were only in a 12ft aluminum boat.

We got back to the house in time to clean up and go back to Sunday night church.  I dropped the boat off but left all the fishing gear in the truck.  Later that evening, I was telling a couple of guys at church about the alligator… and one of the guys said "That's big Al.  He's world famous.  He's the biggest alligator in the world."  
After work the next day my wife convinced me we should go the
Vidalia Riverfrontand take some pictures since the Mississippi River was at its highest ever.  We left work still dressed for business and went to the Riverfront.  We took a few pictures and were walking around and ran into Lee and Teresa Miley, Pastors of Praise Cathedral Church of God in Meadville Mississippi.  They had come over to Vidalia with a church member to celebrate her birthday.  

Bro Lee and Teresa are some of the greatest people you would ever want to know.  Not only are they Good Shepherds of the church flock and a great preachers, they are the most generous, kind, and caring people you would ever know.   Bro Lee is a big ole guy, about 6'5" and about 260lbs and a retired Highway Patrolman.   He's a little bigger than I am.

As we were talking, my son Michael turned to me and said, "Dad, look at these two crazy kids swimming in the river!!!  I looked and saw two teenagers trying to swim to a Channel Marker Buoy about 70 yards off shore.  God immediately spoke to me and said, "Run to your truck and get the life jackets you left in the truck from your fishing trip yesterday".   I ran to the truck, which was parked in the parking lot right in front of the Channel Marker Buoy, got the life jacket and the boat cushion out .  As I was running back to the walkway were I could see the boys, one of the boys lost his hold on the Buoy due to the torrential current of the river.  He went just a few yards and the current pulled him under.  He came back up just long enough to yell for help and was pulled under again.  My heart just sank. I prayed "God please don't let this boy drown.  In a fleeting moment I thought about what it would be like if that was my son.

What if he was drowning?  For a moment I could feel how devastating that would be for me and I knew this would destroy the boy's parents.  "Please Lord don't let this happen."  Then he popped back up again.  I threw that boat cushion along with a prayer.   "GOD, GET THIS THINGTO HIM!"   I know I can't throw a football 70 yards, let alone a boat cushion, but that boat cushion sailed through the air, all 70 yards and landed within 6 inches of the boys face.  He reached out and grabbed that cushion and I knew then we had a little more time to get to the boy.   I know God is the one that made that boat cushion sail through the air that far.  It was a miracle throw.  The real problem now was the risk of hypothermia.  The river temperature was 50 degrees.  We had to get to this boy fast.  And he was drifting further out.  At this time he was about 80 yards out.  

As Lee and I were running down river side, we were kicking off our shoes, throwing our cell phones, car keys down on the ground.  Someone handed Bro Lee one end of a garden hose just as he jumped in, to swim to the boy. As I was zipping up my life jacket, I dove in right behind Bro Lee. I was two strokes behind Bro. Lee.   When we got to the boy I said "Lee why are you out here?  You don't have a life jacket!!!  He said "I know, I have a garden hose."  At that point I knew then we would be back on shore in just a moment.  I looked towards shore and saw a doctor I work with,
Dr Boka.  He had jumped in the river to give us enough of the garden hose to reach the boy.  We yelled at him to pull us back in.  Dr. Boka along with others managed to pull us back to shore.  

After we got the young man to shore, we laid him down on the warm sidewalk.   Several nurses that had run over with Dr. Boka had brought blankets from the medical center just across the street.  Dr. Boka gave the boy an examination to make sure he wasn't suffering from Hypothermia.  As the boy was laying there, Sister Teresa knelt down by the boy and began to tell this 16 year old how Jesus saves.  The boy received Christ as his personal Savior.  What a fitting moment to find the Love and salvation of Christ!  In Matthew 4: 19 Jesus said:  And he saith unto them," Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."  In that moment Bro Lee, his wife Teresa, Dr Boka and I all became true "fishers of men".  By the way, the other boy (17 years old) managed to swim back to shore on his own.  He arrived completely exhausted but safe.  

In all of this that took place, I realized that God is in control. Things don't happen by happenstance or by chance.  God loves us so much he is willing to manipulate everything around us to save us from death, hell, and the grave:  Normally I would not go fishing on Sunday. There is just not enough time. Big Al, the alligator cut the fishing trip short. I would not normally leave my fishing gear and life jackets in the truck.  There wasn't enough time to take the stuff out before church that night. There was not enough time Monday morning to clean out the truck.  I was in meetings all day Monday. 

I didn't want to go to the Riverfront after work.  Monday for me, is usually a rough day.  But my wife and son insisted. The Riverfront was packed out with people site seeing, yet there was a parking place in front of the Channel Marker Buoy.  We had been a quarter mile away from my truck taking pictures along the walkway.  When we walked back towards the truck we ran into Bro. Lee and Teresa  Miley, and within 100yards of the
place were the boys jumped in the river.  My son Michael saw the boys jump in, and spoke up and said something. I was miraculously able to throw a boat cushion 70 yards and it land within 6 inches of the boys      face. Out of the 200 plus people on the Riverfront, no one was willing or too horrified at what was going
on to do anything. Bro Lee and I were it, and we both knew it.  We were willing and we were there by God's divine will. Someone came up with a garden hose. A huge barge had just traveled up river exactly where the boy passed on his way down river. The boy would have been killed if that barge would have hit him.  By God's grace, they didn't meet.  

All of this, by Chance?  I know better.  Anyone who knows God, and God's character knows better too.  God saved this boy's life for something great.  I learned a valuable lesson from this experience.  I had felt something completely different than I had ever felt before.  I was not fearful of the river.  I have done white water rescues before.  I knew if we could get to the boy, we could not swim back,  we would have to dodge barges until a boat could be dispatched to get us.  Hypothermia is dangerous, but in that temperature I knew I could survive, hopefully, long enough for a boat to pick us up.  No, it was not any of that.  I knew I had to turn throwing the boat cushion to the boy over to God.  I knew I was completely incapable of throwing it that far and with the accuracy required.  If I had been off by even a few feet, I knew the boy would not be able to get it and would drown.   He was completely exhausted and could not swim anymore.   In that moment, I gave God everything.  It just felt different.  It was a moment when faith takes over and God moves.  

In the book of James, verse 2:26: For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.  In this scripture we can see that we must put effort behind our faith in order for faith to be fulfilled. I knew I couldn't throw that boat cushion that far, but I had Faith that God could make it go that far and He did.   Peter never would have walked on water if he hadn't stepped out of the boat.  Blind Bartimaeus never would have seen again had he not been so persistent in calling Jesus to heal him. The women with the issue of blood never would have been healed had she not touched the hem of Jesus' garment.  Faith moves mountains.  

I have discovered a different principle in how faith works.  I have always had a great measure of faith in some areas of my life.  In other areas, my faith is so small… you could compare it to a mustard seed.  I have come to the conclusion that it's not the amount of faith you have as long as you have a measure of faith.  Faith in God works when you allow God to have His perfect and divine way.  When we hang on to the problems we face in life, we rob God of the ability to receive glory for a work that can only be accomplished and explained by His divine providence which is the privilege of God.  If our hand remains attached to the problem we diminish Gods glory and dirty it up with our claim to His work even if it is unintentional.  

Throwing that boat cushion as hard as I could was my faith in action.  Letting it go, knowing that God was the only hope of it arriving at the boy,  was the release of my faith in God  to deliver this boy from drowning.  God was glorified.  Every person on the riverfront that saw the event unfold recognized God saved the young man.

So, who are the Hero's of this story?  God obviously is the main Hero of this story.  Without God's intervention in the lives of several families the boy would have drowned.  The other Hero in this story is not me.  I took very little risk.  Remember I had a life jacket.  Sister Teresa is a hero for being obedient to God and winning the boy to Christ.  The other hero of this story is Pastor Lee Miley, who at incredible personal risk and complete disregard for his own life, swam out to this boy without any protection at all.  His only link to shore was the end of a garden hose he carried out to the boy.    If you mention the story to Bro. Lee, he will tell you he's not a hero.  He'll tell you God saved all of us.

Brent Adkison

prevApril 2018next
bulletin bulletin bulletin
prayer prayer prayer
As a Christian Ministry venturing in Missions we have become comfortable partnering and ministering with groups and families from so many countries… Well so many and yet never before we had the honor to serve the Lord with a family from Norway. So for the first time we were to host Norwegians and we had no idea what to expect and let me tell you right away that Tormod and Anita Olsen - an army of just two literally filled our van, our towns and villages, our world. Since we have never met them before – we were praying that God was sending us at least some normal people to work with but it was such a surprise to discover that they were far from normal – they were as crazy as we are and folks so in love with Jesus and his flock. WOW! A week started and ended like it was just 7 hours – we felt in love with the Olsens seeing how they jumped straight into the deep waters of the Bulgarian ministry context without hesitation and restrains – they began loving on people, ministering with their unique talents and uplifting the hurting people with a contagious spirit of enthusiasm and Jesus love. WOW!! Sofia, Geman, Petrich, Panaguyrishte, Levski, Teteven – day after day the people of Bulgaria from the various churches found their Spiritual Vitamins, encouragement, specific word of God through prophecy, healings, freedom and salvation through the self-sacrificial, giving and warm ministry of these folks. We can not wait for them to come back in June… I personally am in anticipation to see what Daddy has for us in the future – and I am sure it is special. Thank you God – for bringing those two WOW!!! People in our world. Dinko Zlatarov Mission trip to Sofia, Bulgaria 2014 In February we went to Sofia, Bulgaria with a great expectation, to begin a work with the Care For All Ministries. It has become to be a strong experience in many ways. When we met Dinko Zlatarov we felt welcomed and loved at ones. Care For All, is a good and well-planned ministry with a high focus on humanitarian and evangelistic work, This ministry operates a great deal of time among the Gypsies - the poorest of the poor in Bulgaria. It was amazing to see how Dinko and his team worked among them. Also - it was impressive to see the new established churches that are continually growing, the outreach like giving food and pray for the sick and making children`s street parties give fantastic results. The education work among the children, giving them skills in English and how to use computers will help them increase their carrier development and avoid the mistakes of their surroundings. We can read in Matthew, 25:40 “Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least of these My Brethren, you did it for me.” Care For All is living this, and what we saw was the love of the Father that came true this work. It was a great pleasure for us to see people saved and healed through this week’s work. The people we met, children and the grown-ups were dedicated and in love with Jesus. Through this work we can see the kingdom grow and we recommend Care For All to you to partner with in the Kingdom of God in Bulgaria. Best regards: Anita & Tormog Berg Olsen House On Fire Norway ... more
SamariterDienst ... more
Rose Heights Church of God ... more
Man and Women of Action ... more
Petko Petkov ... more
Church Building for Mokren CoG ... more