Now we’re going to share about the area of Indianapolis where the campus of Indiana University, Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) is located. Four years ago, Ryan Hardin had never heard of the People of Praise. He was a senior at IUPUI, looking forward to graduating and probably going to dental school. Now he’s a veteran member of the Missionary Company.
I grew up in Indianapolis and, as Nick said, went to IUPUI. One time when I was sitting on campus, minding my own business and eating my lunch with a friend, this kind of tall, skinny guy with messed-up hair walks up to me and my friend and starts telling us about what the Lord’s doing with him and Rus Lyons and Nick. It was Jon Gapp.
The problem was, I wasn’t very anxious to hear anything from Jon. I was a Christian at this point, and actually I had been praying for a group of guys to get in with who were really following the Lord, but I didn’t make the connection with Jon. I told him that what he really needed to do was to go out and get a job!
Well, 10 months later, in October of 2007, I was sitting on campus minding my own business, and Abe Olson walked up. I reacted to him in the same way. I wasn’t interested in hearing about what the Lord was doing with these poor missionaries who were depending on him for what they got, for everything they needed. But a friend of mine walked up and began saying things like, “Well, what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with what they’re doing and with being poor with the Lord?”
That kind of got to me, and so a month later I got back in touch with Abe—which was a miracle. We got together, had some lunch, did some things together. I came over and did some meditations, ate dinner and eventually came underway in the People of Praise after my graduation. I moved into the Triangle with JT Kelly, Ray and Robin Gonzalez, Trish Brewer and Naomi Caneff. That was great.
I had a job for a while, and then I started praying about it more and more. I made the Spiritual Exercises, and coming out of that I decided that the Lord wanted me to be a poor missionary. So now I’m a missionary with the People of Praise in Evansville and praising the Lord for it every day.
Ray Hickey says:
March 22nd, 2011 at 3:48 PM
Watch out, that's what happens when you rub shoulders with the People of Praise, before you know it you're eating dinner with them, doing the meditations, coming underway and doing the Spiritual Exercises.
Great story Ryan.
Anne Brewer says:
March 22nd, 2011 at 3:56 PM
Ryan, praise God for your YES to the Lord.
Chris Ubanski says:
March 22nd, 2011 at 4:24 PM
It is amazing to me how patient the Lord is while we move to yes...
God bless you Ryan and keep on saying yes.
Mike Rosener says:
March 22nd, 2011 at 4:24 PM
Wow, I am continualy impressed at how Holy Spirit is messin with you guys. Doing stuff to get your attention. Making minds ready to recieve Him. Please continue your race running after Jesus. He is changing hearts and bring our most personal longings for Him to life. Keep running after Him.
Terry Bomkamp says:
March 22nd, 2011 at 6:01 PM
Its really wonderful to see how people are responding to the Lords call, great story,
hopefully you will be able to pray for my dear friend Dr Rick Reidford, that lives in Evansville and recovering from recent back surgery, God Bless!
Joseph Ridenour says:
March 22nd, 2011 at 6:13 PM
Simply Inspiring. God bless you Ryan
Ron Gouveia says:
March 22nd, 2011 at 10:08 PM
thanks for Sharing your story Ryan.
Susan Busk says:
March 23rd, 2011 at 10:24 AM
Great to see your smiling face, Ryan! Your story reminds me that we need to have hope and faith when we come up against resistance because someone else may reap where we haved sowed.
Praise God! sue
Dan Brewer says:
March 23rd, 2011 at 10:46 AM
Thanks, Ryan. Keep up the great work! (By the way, did John Gapp ever take your advice and get a job?)
John Boughton says:
March 23rd, 2011 at 1:37 PM
Ryan, I love how you are going after the Lord as far as you can go, as He leads, no holding back. I'm sure we will be hearing stories from people you talk to.
Carmen Fraga says:
March 24th, 2011 at 5:08 PM
I'm so happy you're in our family and doing great things for the Lord! Your story is inspiring and encourages us to witness over and over again! God is moving!
In Christ-Carmen Fraga
Bruce Wansart says:
March 25th, 2011 at 11:13 AM
Ryan--Most important--God loves you.
Second of all.
All the young adults involved in People Of Praise, should seek you out, as a role model.
Note: Not discounting the work or the particular calling of the other missionaries.
tom caneff says:
March 26th, 2011 at 11:31 AM
wonderful, Ryan, simply wonderful. Sure am glad you have joined us!! Stick around!
Linda Hardin says:
March 27th, 2011 at 7:41 PM
Ry, I love this part of your testimony. I am so thankful you have had this time with the People of Praise and have shared you love of Jesus with so many!! The thing I love most is that it is all the Holy Spirit and His leading; it is certainly nothing Dad and I could have orchestrated for you! What a blessing to know we can trust the Lord with our kids.
Lyn Templeton says:
March 28th, 2011 at 8:48 AM
Love you, Ryan!!
Tom Duddy, Sr. says:
April 1st, 2011 at 9:08 PM
That's a funny story Ryan. In the end you wound up doing just what you criticized Jon Gapp for doing! The Lord has a way of turning things around....God bless, Mary Duddy
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