Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Missionary Stories: He Wasn't Crazy

We are reading through the Millers Series for our read alouds this year, as I have previously mentioned.  One of the things I like about this book is that the kids are getting a small taste of some ways God moves and shows His power around the world. Some are stories of how God has protected his missionaries while others talk about how some missionaries have given their lives for Jesus' name sake. I have not read all the stories yet, but I have not found one that was too graphic for my elementary aged children, 2nd and 4th grade, but that is my own opinion.

I need to let you know that I am not being paid or rewarded by the author nor the publisher of the book in sharing this with you. I simply want to share how awesome God is in the lives of real people and encourage everyone to put their trust in Him. 

So today I wanted to share one of my favorite stories from this book.

Ludlow Walker

     Ludlow Walker was a wealthy man who lived in Hattieville, Belize in 1980. He was obsessed with making more and more money. Someday he believed he would be one of the world's richest men! But one day, Ludlow realized that money wasn't bringing him happiness, only greed and fear. In his torment and disappointment, he reached for his father's old Bible, where he found the answer.
     He was the owner of a local motel and bar. One day, he was reading that Bible behind the bar while his customers looked on in uneasiness and disbelief. "That's a Bible!" muttered someone. "He's crazy, for true!"
     The crowd offered him a cigarette, begged him to turn on some dance music and even offered him to take a drink of liquor. "Here, man," said a customer dressed in an expensive suit. "Drink this quickly; you need it worse than I do!"
     Ludlow Walker raised his head and looked full in the face of his friend. "No," he spoke deliberatley. "I won't drink that. I will never drink liquor again."
     "Crazy," someone muttered. "What's going on? Let's get out of here!" He headed for the door and one by one the other drinkers followed him.
     Alone at the bar, Ludlow prayed. Lord, help me! I want Your power to change me! I've had enough of sin and darkness. He sought out a couple of missionaries to talk to and they led him to the pastor of the church, Brother Gilbert Stevens, who explained more to Ludlow about the way of salvation. His life was never the same after that. How the Christians rejoiced as they spoke with this new brother in the Lord!
     Ludlow's motel and bar was famous throughout the country. His friends and customers were disappointed and angry about this change in his life. Many people laughed and mocked at Ludlow. "He won't last long," they scoffed. "He loves money too much. He can't give up that nice business. Surely not!"
     One afternoon a rowdy group of men came and demanded rooms in the motel. They were drunken and dangerous and their leader began to threaten Ludlow. "I'm going to get you if you don't give up your crazy idea of being a Christian and closing this place!"
     Ludlow shuddered, This was serious! "Lord," he prayed. "I'm scared. Help me! Show me some sign that you are with me."
     The evening sky had been perfectly clear before Ludlow prayed, but suddenly it was full of black clouds. Thunder boomed and lightening struck down close by.
     The hostile man was astonished and frightened. "You did that, man!" he gasped, looking at Ludlow with eyes full of superstitious fear. "I saw you pray!" Picking up his liquor bottle, he backed away.
     Ludlow laughed triumphantly. "No, I didn't do it," he replied. "God did!" Crack! Lightning struck again and huge drops of rain began to fall. The angry man suddenly seemed quite sober. Turning away, he ran to his room and slammed the door. He and his friends switched off their lights and huddled fearfully in the darkness together.
     Ludlow knelt alone and gave thanks to God. At once, the rain and thunder stopped! All the black clouds slipped away, revealing a fresh, beautiful moonlit sky. Rejoicing at the way God had protected him, Ludlow went home to his bed.
     The next day, Ludlow asked the Lord what he should do with all of the property and everything he owned. He didn't want to keep it nor did he want to sell or give it away; it would cause other people to sin. Even before he was done praying, he knew what to do.
     He began to dump all the expensive liquor out. As hundreds of dollars worth of expensive liquors  gurgled out onto the ground, a crowd of curious people gathered to watch. "What is he doing?" "He's crazy!" they muttered. Ludlow Walker laughed happily. "We are getting rid of the devil's poison," he explained to everyone. "It will kill the weeds, so what do you think it does to the folks that drink it?"
     A few days later, the people came back to stare again at the strange sight of Ludlow and some workmen tearing down the whole building, brick by brick, board by board, piece by piece! "We will sell it all for scrap," the owner said with a satisfied smile. "Poor folks may use the pieces to build houses, but no one will ever drink liquor here again."
     A few years later, the villagers learned that Ludlow Walker was now a minister. "We all said he was crazy," said one man, "but I guess God changed him." Wistfully he added, "Wouldn't you sort of like to have what he has?"
     Today (as of 1993 anyway), Ludlow Walker is the pastor of a church in Southern Florida. He also runs a mission called "Ship Watch" in the great seaport of Miami, where merchant ships come from all over the world. Brother Ludlow and groups of volunteers preach, sing, witness and give away Bibles and tracts in many languages to the sailors.


Note: Some parts of this are directly taken from the story in the book and some parts are summarized. 

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