|James E. Dyck - Santiago, Nayarit, Mexico|
-A story of what God did for me-
James E. Dyck - Santiago, Nayarit, Mexico
Thirty-one years old, a hard work’n farmer, smoked like a chimney, liked the feel of the bottle in his hand. He was religiously active at church, believed that God only hears and speaks in German, had a family of eight children, six rambunctious boys and two little girls that where to young to tell what thy are going to be like. Had a Christian neighbour that prayed for God to show Pa that he could go to heaven, and was plum and plain scared to die and meet God. That’s my grandpa all wrapped up in one phrase before he came to understand what he knows now about God.
The neighbour that he had, drove him nuts because he prayed for him all the time, but not only that, but my Pa thought that he lived a “holier” life than his Christian neighbour because Pa didn’t have a TV or a Radio like his Christian neighbour, it was a religious thing that the church taught. The church said: you gotta live a good life, stay away from the world, don’t do anything bad and God will put your good stuff and your bad stuff on a balance and if the good outweighs the bad, then God will let you into heaven.
One day in the summer, and the summer isn’t all that long in Manitoba, Canada, it seems to me that I could never really tell when it had come and gone it was so short, Pa was making hay bales along with his pray’n neighbour. The “Christian” got mad and Pa thought to himself “told you I was better”. However, a short while later Pa couldn’t find his friend, so he went looking for him, there he found him in behind the stack of bales on his knees crying out to God for forgiveness. This time Pa thought, “This man knows God”. Grandpa will tell you, if you sit down beside his old chair with the sheep skin on it and listen to him, that that day out in the field, got him to thinking about God and Pa’s sins.
Not to long after that day in the field, Grandpa’s good pray’n neighbour died, and Pa went to the funeral. For the first time in his life her heard a preacher stand up and talk about God loving Pa so much that he sent His only Son to die to pay for Grandpa’s sin. Pa came out of the church and “lit up” and stood in a circle with a bunch of his drink’n buddies. One of whom Pa thought, was the worst, spoke up and said: “If you want the truth the preacher preached it today”. Grandpa slipped away from the group and went home without being able to stop thinking about what he had heard.
At the funeral service the preacher said that there would be some special nightly services to which all were welcome. After talking it over with Grandma, they both decided to go and hear the preacher. A few nights later the preacher opened his Bible to John 19:30, it says: “IT IS FINNISHED” he went on to explain that Jesus paid for the sin of all who believe when he died on the cross. Neither Pa nor Ma talked to each other but they where thinking that they would go home and check and see what the German bible said.
Pa climbed up stairs, sat down on the old bench at the kitchen table with the wood stove off to one side, opened up the big old German bible, and read the same thing in German. He understood for the first time in his life that Christ paid for all sin and that all who believe can go to heaven!
Ma went down to the basement, read the same thing in German, and came to the same understanding that Pa did upstairs.
Pa quit drink’n, quit smoking, bought shoes for his kids, always had enough food for his eight kids and wife, and to this day, it is real hard to find him without a smile on his old face with big long white eyebrows and, white hair slicked back over his head.
I had to tell you about Pa in order to tell you about me, because I came along a good twenty some years after Grandpa came to understand that Jesus came to die for the sinner that believes.
My Dad was Grandpa’s fourth rambunctious boy and well Dad always brought be and the rest of my six siblings to hear the preacher every Sunday evening. I heard the message of Gods love preached every week and then a whole bunch more at home from Dad and Mom. I was a little sinner and I knew it, and not just because someone told me. I knew that if they knew all that, I knew about me, that they would have called me the “biggest sinner”.
However, one day, April 1st, 1988, after service we all, that’s like everyone one of my 30 plus cousins and their parents, went over to Pa and Ma’s house for “night lunch”.
I was being bad again, and I’m not telling you want I was doing, so my cousin went in and told my Mom. Mom came outside and called me in for a talking and if needed a “tanning”.
Mom told me that Jesus died because I had sinned. She explained that the bible says: Romans 6:23 “the payment of sin is death”. She also told me that Jesus died to pay for my sin, and that if I accepted Jesus’ payment for sin I could go to heaven.
I understood for the first time as a young boy that, Jesus died to save me from my sins and a lost eternity. After I understood what Jesus had done for me, I got down on my knees beside the bed, in the bedroom at Pa’s house that has blue carpet, and thanked God for sending His Son to this world to save me from my sins.
Today I have my own little family of three little boys and a baby on the way. I sit down and tell them about who great grandpa was, and who he is now, and about how God showed me that all who believe on the Son of God can have their sins forgiven and go to heaven. Not a day goes by that I have to worry about dying, because the bible says that all who believe shall have everlasting life. Now that’s what I call a worry free life!
James E. Dyck
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