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Action Conference 2018: A Shot Through the Heart
Our Work
May 16

Action Conference 2018: A Shot Through the Heart

The 2018 Action conference aimed to address, as one participant put it, “universal questions that all teens have been asking themselves”.

Chasing After God

By Chris Meehan

About 6:00 on a Saturday evening in late January, missionaries Rus Lyons, Peter Putzier and Joe Bulger were standing at a gas station in tiny Hartford, Kentucky—64 miles from Evansville. They’d walked 36 miles over three days of hitchhiking and sharing the gospel with people in small towns. The trip had been one of their toughest—at least in terms of catching rides.

Previous trips had always brought them home in time to open the Lord’s Day with their fellow missionaries, to tell stories and rejoice together in what the Lord had done. But it was already too late for that. Darkness had set in, limiting their options. They’d learned by experience that it’s practically impossible to hitchhike after dark.

They had been exchanging text messages with Nick Holovaty in Evansville about their predicament. “Call Evan Reinhardt,” he wrote. As the missionaries sat down to open the Lord’s Day, Nick led them in a prayer for their brothers, asking God to bring them home by 7:45.

With hope and a prayer, Rus dialed Evan. Evan is a 29-year-old Christian who lives in Owensboro, Kentucky, a town about halfway between Evansville and Hartford. On a previous hitchhiking trip, he had stopped his truck to pick up Nick and two other missionaries, telling them that he felt his truck was a gift from God and that he wanted to do something good with it.

To their surprise, Evan was already in Hartford, visiting a friend about a quarter mile from where the missionaries were. He eagerly agreed to wrap up his visit and drive them as far as his gas supply would allow.

When Nick found out that Evan was driving the missionaries, he called and invited Evan to come to Evansville and spend the night with the missionaries. Evan happily jettisoned his evening plans and drove the missionaries all the way back. “You gotta chase after God,” he said.

They arrived in Evansville just after 7:45, after most of the missionaries had eaten. Everybody was eager to meet Evan and hear stories from the trip. (The previous evening, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the hitchhikers had prayed with three college students for baptism in the Holy Spirit.) As he ate, Evan kept pausing to comment on the food: “This is amazing! Five-star restaurant quality!”

The next morning, Nick and Rus showed Evan how to make a Scriptural meditation, and Evan made one before he needed to leave to make it to his church service. Before he left, he commented on the fellowship he’d experienced in that short time, telling Nick, “This is what everybody wants, but not many people have it.”

He hopped into his truck, waved and took off—but stopped after 20 feet, stuck his head out the window and thanked the missionaries one more time.

“We’ve met lots of people like Evan in our missionary work,” Nick says, “Christians who are hungry for fellowship and willing to chase after God, even if that means driving 60 miles to be with us for the Lord’s Day. The Lord is connecting the Christians in the Mississippi Valley. He is building a network of believers.”

Responses

  1. Will DeSanto says:

    Way to go men in trusting in the Lord who is the God of the impossible. I commend you men for your efforts in bringing others to know the true, living and loving God, our Lord Jesus. I will keep you in prayer.

    The truck pick up and blessing brought to mind how good the Lord was to me with a use of a truck from someone I did not know to move my father's belongings from Duluth to Minneapolis in 1985. Glory!

    Please pray for me for work that is flexible and with benefits after being out of work for 1-1/2 years. Our God is the Lord of the impossible.

    Blessings,

    Will

  2. John Boughton says:

    Your willingness to put yourself at risk gives others opportunities to get involved with you and with the Lord, and amazement abounds. They are amazed at you, you at them, you and they with the Lord, and all of us with all of the above!

  3. Edna Malone says:

    Thank God you are down there in southern Indiana doing the Lord's work. What an uplifting story. Glory to God!

    Thank you all for listening to God's call.

    God Bless, Edna

  4. Susan Busk says:

    Dear Friends,
    Praise God-this is just the kind of a story that I needed to hear this morning! Thanks to all of you for stepping out and being so open to moving in the Spirit. When I read the line that said,"To their surprise, Evan was already in Hartford..." my spirit soared. Nick prayed and God already had everything in place-just waiting to be asked. Glory! Keep up the good work and thanks for keeping us posted-it means a lot. God bless you all, sue

  5. Charlie Fraga says:

    Ahhhh! "Network of believers".....has a nice ring to it! And yes, sometimes the "hound of heaven" returns the favor by giving us opportunities to chase after HIM!

  6. Pat Walsh says:

    Great story! Thanks for sharing. Your work gives us all a chance to be reminded of how present the Lord is to us and how he desires to draw all to himself to the glory of the father.
    Blessings,
    Pat

  7. Kim Doffing says:

    This story, each story we hear of a brother and sister reaching out beyond themselves, moved by the Holy Spirit, brings new light into the world. I am refreshed as I bask in this new light. Thank you dear missionaries, dear brothers and sisters in the Lord!

  8. Kevin Rodriguez says:

    Glory to God!

    Great things he does.

    Our God is such an awesome God.

  9. Dave Hrbacek says:

    Inspiring story! Reminds me of occasions when my wife, Julie, and I opened our home to guests who were doing missionary work in our area. One of them was a truck driver who parked his cab across the street in a church parking lot to await services the next morning. We invited him to spend the night in our home and we made a new friend. It's amazing to see how God works to bring people together and meet their needs in the process. Keep up the good work!

  10. Carmen Fraga says:

    What a work you are all doing with the Lord! It's wonderful to have you share your stories and bring us all such encouragement as we work to bring Christ to all we meet.
    Thank you for your witness!
    Much love, Carmen

  11. Karen Heintzelman says:

    This story makes me feel like I am right there with you! May God continue to bless your work and protect you. Thank you for accepting this calling!

  12. Linda Coney says:

    A great story! Thanks for sharing your story which is an encouragement for all of us.

  13. Tom Duddy, Sr. says:

    Inspiring as always. Sometimes I find that asking for help is the hardest thing, but it can be a blessing for others, like this story shows. More Lord!

  14. Tom Duddy, Sr. says:

    Beautiful story - thanks. Mary Duddy

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