Impact Week 2012

A small elderly gentleman came by our office two weeks ago.  He spoke a little English but not enough to fully communicate.  We finally discovered he was an Armenian Christian from Egypt.  He had a notebook which he said was the Bible in handwritten Arabic.  He asked if we would make a copy for him.  We told him where Kinko’s was located and he replied that he was a poor man.  After a little consultation among ourselves we had one of our youth interns make the requested copy.

When the copy was given to the little man he immediately pulled out another small notebook with the same request.  Before I could tell him that we could not do anymore, the youth intern had already begun the process of making copies.  Before he left the man thanked us repeatedly, kissing our hands.  The next day he returned with yet another notebook.  Having no way to know how many notebooks he might produce I told him we were not going to make any more copies for him.  He begged me repeatedly, but I stood my ground.  I told him that I would buy him an Arabic Bible and got his name and address.

The Bible arrived during Impact Week so I grabbed a crew of workers to go with me to deliver the Bible.  We knocked on the door and heard people inside but nobody would open the door.  When I asked him about it later he told me that he was scared.  I should have known better than to take that many people but thought it would be a good experience for our teenagers. 

I went back later in the afternoon by myself and was pleased to see him outside his house.  Another group of Impact workers were doing yard work in the house across the street from where he lived.  He saw what they were doing and had taken them some crude tools to use.  He later took them some pudding cups and sliced apples. 

He invited me into his simple home where I met his invalid sister.  She spoke no English.  He was happy to receive the Bible and took joy in explaining who the various family members were in the pictures on display.  He had numerous religious icons reflecting his faith as an orthodox Christian.  I prayed with he and his sister in their den.  As I left the house the man asked me for bread.  Having seen his house I could tell he very well could be in need of food.  Another service group working with Impact went to the grocery store and purchased about $60 worth of rice, eggs, fruit, vegetables, and other healthy items.  He and his sister were overjoyed when we made the delivery and all of us prayed together once again. 

This morning one of our teens told me the man was at church.  Sure enough, he was sitting in the very back at the end of a pew.  I spoke with him for a moment before the service began.  He was gone before the service ended.  I assume he did not want to leave his sister along for any longer than necessary.  I was glad that he came.  Our service to him was done with no strings attached.  However, his coming to church this morning communicated something that needs no translator.  I hope we see him again.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


One Response to “Impact Week 2012”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    I'm glad he found the Clear Lake Church! Thank you for sharing that story — I like knowing that the reverse tithe is able to be used for someone like this family.

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