Excerpt from CHAPTER 6 LOST IN PARADISE page 118

Published May 11, 2017

I woke up early the next morning. I lay quietly, remembering where I was. I felt troubled by what I had done with my life up to this point. I silently wondered if indeed the hand of God might actually be guiding me, saving me from myself. I prayed for guidance. I was a fugitive. All I had to do was turn myself in to make things right. But I was a troubled and confused young man who needed some time and a place to sort things out. Was this the place?

At 8 a.m., the six men who slept there were summoned to morning devotions in the chapel with the limited mission staff. Arranged in a small circle, we listened as Brother Johnson read a bible passage and explained what it meant to him. Other staff did the same, and we all recited the Lord’s Prayer. I delivered it forcefully and fervently. I wanted to find the God of the Lord’s Prayer and get to know him. I wanted to change my life!

After devotions, we ate breakfast. Brother Johnson asked if I’d thought about Brother Brett’s offer. He seemed pleasantly surprised when I said that I wanted to stay and help the ministry for a while. Brother Brett joined us, and they welcomed me.

I was introduced to Emil, the cook, who put me right to work. Martin Brett said that I would be paid a stipend of two dollars per week. I noted the date of the morning newspaper on the counter: February 21, 1967. It was my birthday. I was eighteen-years-old.