[Caption: Valley Farms, Arizona, USA—1950!] I built a little missionary church there with my own hands in a churchless mission field, & it was thriving when I left!
13. ANYHOW, WHEN A WOMAN HAS A YOUNG HUSBAND with four very young children struggling to survive, this is one of the most difficult & trying times in her entire life—I know!—Because I went through it with my wife! She had been definitely called to God's work & had been in very active service as a teacher, preacher, youth leader‚ founder of several youth works, pianist‚ church secretary & accustomed to being extremely busy full-time for the Lord.
14. THEN ONE DAY SHE FOUND HERSELF MARRIED to a very poor struggling-to-survive young preacher with four very small children—almost exactly the ages of yours—& so busy taking care of just her children & the house & her husband that she hardly had time to even participate in the church work of their own church!
15. I CAN REMEMBER TIMES WHEN SHE BROKE DOWN & WEPT OVER HER "LOST" CALLING, HER "LOST" MINISTRY, & wondered if she would ever preach or teach again!—Would she ever be able to serve the Lord full–time again, with all these children & a trying husband & a whole houseful of dirty jobs on her hands? How could she ever do anything for God again!—It looked like an interminably hopeless situation to her, & she frequently broke down & wept over it & mourned the loss of her "lost" ministry.
16. SHE HAD BEEN A REAL LEADER IN GOD'S WORK‚ & to seemingly lose this position of leadership was a great sorrow & heartbreak to her‚ & to be so involved in the everyday mundane workaday–world tasks of housework & cooking & washing & cleaning & care for four squawling little rascals & a very busy husband was a real trial to her, & several times she nearly gave up!
17. SHE EVEN BEGAN TO DOUBT IF IT WAS GOD'S WILL THAT SHE'D GOTTEN MARRIED, thinking that surely she was suffering for her carnal sins of marrying a man & having sex with him resulting in four children! They seemed to her more like the judgments of God & the penalties & punishments for her sexual sins, rather than the blessings of God! So she sometimes murmured & grumbled & wept over her "lost ministry."
18. LITTLE DID SHE REALISE THAT THOSE FOUR CHILDREN & THAT HUSBAND WERE HER MINISTRY‚ particularly at that crucial time of his & their training for the future great ministry that they were to have—far greater than anything she ever dreamed of! In fact, that was the last great ministry that she had, & the greatest ministry she ever had!
19. THE GREATEST JOB SHE EVER DID FOR THE LORD WAS TO HELP THAT POOR HUSBAND MAKE IT & REAR THOSE CHILDREN in the nurture, fear & admonition of the Lord & His Word, into a tiny family that was going to be the little atom that would split other atoms & cause such an explosion that the echo & the impact of it would be felt around the world in over 100 countries by millions! Her former little jobs of church secretary, youth leader & pianist seem almost ridiculous & insignificant by comparison.
20. BUT THAT TOO WAS PART OF HER TRAINING FOR THE TASKS AHEAD, particularly to make her fit to be my wife & co-helper in the labours that I was doing then in the churches‚ & to make her a good faithful mother to four fine children—all of whom grew up to serve the Lord full-time as dynamic preachers of the Gospel who won hippies & the youth of America to the Lord, & then branched out into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature!
21. SHE & THOSE CHILDREN WERE BEING PREPARED TO DO SOMETHING SHE NEVER COULD HAVE DONE BY HERSELF, something so great & far beyond any ministry she had ever had or any ministry she could ever have even hoped for, that beside it, her former ministry & any possible future ministry on her own was virtually infinitesimal! She's never had such a great ministry, neither before nor since then, than that husband & those four children! However, she is still trying to have one all her own, running about on her own & still trying to be a teacher & leader & raise up her own following, & she's doing a fair task of it.
22. BUT EVEN HER PRESENT MINISTRY IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE MINISTRY SHE MIGHT HAVE HAD if she had obeyed me in these last years & had done what I told her to do & what I am doing: To sit down & write her experiences, her memories, her faith trips, her knowledge of the care of children & their training, & giving the benefit of her abundant experience to the entire world, instead of a little handful of personal followers that she is now leading about amongst Mediterranean countries, Arabs & whatnot.
23. FOR 25 YEARS SHE WAS FAITHFUL TO THE MINISTRY THAT GOD HAD GIVEN HER TO BE HER HUSBAND'S & HER CHILDREN'S HELPMEET until it was time for me to really blossom forth & the Family to be founded & explode! But she was still not satisfied without her own ministry, so often left me with others to go out on her own to do her own thing independently, have her own way & do as she pleases, have her own following & be her own leader, until today she's not accomplishing anything near what she could have accomplished if she had remained obedient & faithful to what I told her to do: Write!
24. SO, LITTLE DID SHE REALISE THAT THAT POOR STRUGGLING YOUNG HUSBAND & THOSE PITIFUL FOUR LITTLE CHILDREN WERE HER MINISTRY, & THE GREATEST MINISTRY SHE WAS EVER TO HAVE in founding the greatest Family in the world today! Praise God! Hallelujah! Nevertheless, God used her for her time, & she was faithful to her job for 25 years, until those children were grown & her husband was over the hump & had launched into what was to become his truly great ministry & the fulfillment of why God called me to His service. Then she was not put away, but left of her own accord voluntarily to go elsewhere on her own in ways that she pleased to go.
25. AT LEAST SHE DID WAIT UNTIL THE CHILDREN WERE FULL GROWN, married & had children of their own before she left. But for years she had groaned that I was nobody & accomplished little & would apparently never be anything nor amount to anything nor ever do anything great for God that she dreamed of. She had hoped that if she couldn't be great, at least perhaps she could help her husband be great.
26. BUT FOR YEARS SHE BEMOANED THE FACT THAT SHE WAS MARRIED TO SUCH A FAILURE! He was such an unspiritual, unsaintly carnal man who wanted so much sex & had so many needs & seemed to be such a flop in God's service, & had not become the great flaming evangelist that she'd hoped for! He had not even become a good pastor, as she might have settled for, & even got kicked out of his first & last & only pastorate! He couldn't even become a missionary, because they said we had too big a family to go to the foreign field, & I was too old & did not have enough education & I was in too poor health!
27. SO WE HAD SETTLED FOR WHATEVER WE COULD GET, including a churchless little village in the middle of nowhere in the Arizona desert that had no church & only a little handful of a dozen people, mostly women & children, to try to pastor & build a church building for them, some kind of a meeting house which they wanted, & which I did.
28. IT WAS THE KIND OF PLACE NOBODY ELSE WANTED, because my denomination told me they had 600 ministers standing in line for churches in California, so there was just no place for a man like me who had such a big family & so little of their education & seemingly not much polish on the ball! I wasn't the flashy personality they wanted, the polished pastoral businessman, a thoroughly company man. I was so independent, fanatical & radical, they were afraid to put me in charge of one of their established churches! So finally I said‚
29. "WELL, WHY NOT JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING NOBODY ELSE WANTS!" He said‚ "Well, we've got this little place out in the middle of the desert with a handful of women & children. Two girl missionaries have started a little Sunday school & they want a pastor & church. But there is no money in it‚ no salary, nothing at all. In fact, the people have nothing, so you'll have to live by faith & trust God that somehow He'll take care of you."
30. SO‚ I TOOK IT, & I WENT‚ & WE LABOURED THERE IN "NOWHERE" FOR SOME YEARS WITH "NOTHING" BUT GOD! I finally built a church & got a little congregation together & managed to survive & accomplish something for the Lord—at least to try to teach them & preach to them, even though they didn't respond very much.—Well, they finally did respond by not liking my preaching & throwing us all out just after Christmas when Mom was just on the verge of bearing her fourth child—Little Faithy! We had come there just before Christmas & just before Hosea was born, & we left a couple of years later just after Christmas just after Faithy was born.
31. WE THEN WENT OUT‚ NOT KNOWING WHERE WE WERE GOING OR HOW WE WERE GOING TO LIVE, so I had to go back to college on the Government's war veterans' welfare, back into the System, back to a job‚ & out of full-time service for the Lord! It was really heartbreaking!
32. IT SO EMBITTERED ME, I TURNED ALMOST COMPLETELY AGAINST THE CHURCHES & denominational organisations, because I saw how hypocritical they were! All they were interested in was the property & building & the money, & they didn't give a damn about me nor the way I had sweat blood & tears to build that building & that congregation! But then when they had it, they simply threw me out without a qualm, & threw out my little family & my pregnant wife with no place to go! They just gave us a week's notice & told us to be out before the next Sunday when the new preacher would be there.
33. WELL, THE LORD DIDN'T FORSAKE US! TTL! God provided, & by a series of miracles I got into University & a house near Phoenix, Arizona, at the University of Arizona at Tempe, & I went back to school. But it was a very trying experience to leave the Lord's work & have to go back to school & the System & a System job, & it left me rather brokenhearted & unfulfilled & very bitter!
34. I KNEW THE LORD HADN'T FAILED ME, BUT I FELT THAT PEOPLE HAD FAILED ME, & I sometimes was persuaded by my wife that I had failed‚ & that was the reason for all of our troubles: I shouldn't have been so hard on the people, I shouldn't have been so radical, I shouldn't have preached such fanatical sermons, I should have been more agreeable with the superintendent, etc., etc. But be that as it may, it was water under the bridge & done, & couldn't be undone then.
35. NOW I REALISE THAT I COULD NEVER HAVE FIT INTO ANY DENOMINATION OR ANY CHURCH! I never would have been a successful pastor. I'm too blunt & frank, & like the prophets of old, I lay the ax at the root of the tree & the root of the trouble, & the troublemakers don't like that! I didn't even make a very good evangelist because I was pretty wild & fanatical at that too! I was sick of preaching to the same old deadheads in the churches, & trying to have evangelistic meetings in churches full of people who were already evangelised! About all it amounted to was trying to revive them, or have a "revival" & I was sick of trying to revive dead Christians! So, I didn't work very well as an evangelist either, because I would come in & chop chop chop, & soon be out!
36. SO, IT WAS 50 YEARS BEFORE THE LORD LED ME INTO MY TRUE & GREATEST MINISTRY! All of you know now what it is: The founding of this great Family!—And it has spread around the world to preach the Gospel to every creature! So what I'm trying to tell you, Little Girl—& all you little girls with little children right now—is what I've said before:
37. THOSE CHILDREN GOD HAS GIVEN YOU ARE YOUR MINISTRY FOR THE TIME BEING! They were not my wife's ministry forever. They eventually grew up & got married & went into full-time service for the Lord themselves. But they were certainly her major ministry for God at that particular time! I thank God that she finally more-or-less accepted that, though somewhat begrudgingly & reluctantly at times. At least she tried to do her best with what she had in her hand.
38. "WHAT IS THAT IN THINE HAND?" (No.315).—I have written on this so many times, about the importance of your children & their rearing & their training & teaching to serve the Lord! They will very likely do a bigger job for God than you have done or ever will do, if you will only train them right, teach them right‚ lead them right, set the right example & launch them into service for the Lord.
(To be continued in Part III!)