Torie, Randy and his wife MaryAnn
Galen, Randy, MaryAnn and Sondra
Randy Galloway spoke at our church today.
He has an incredible story to tell. In a small Texas town at age 18, he was working at a job trying to start out young to earn a good living. On the job one day, he was holding the wires of an air conditioning unit on the 6th story roof and someone accidentally turned the power on. The man who was working with him was thrown off the roof to the ground and died. Randy said the power surge of high voltage electricity passed through his right arm and out his left arm, tearing off both arms and setting his clothes on fire. In addition he was thrown from the roof to a lower roof, but somehow survived until help arrived. After a year and a half in the hospital and 38 surgeries later, he walked out with no arms and a determination to do God's bidding.
His physical tragedy did not stop him from completing his undergraduate and then doctoral studies. It did not stop him from going around the world in service to the Lord. Presently he is part of a group from Lubbock, Texas, that goes to China to partner with government agencies to help them in their social programs and education. The country of China is ripe for the gospel and hundreds are coming to a saving faith and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of our best friends, Torie Anderson, just recently came back from a trip in which she had been asked by Randy to meet with the victims (teachers and educators) of the great China earthquake of a few years ago. It has been evident that both the teachers and children were so traumatized and had no way of expressing their fears, grief and pain. The children began to be behavior problems, which is never an issue in the governmental system of education there. It was because the children were acting out their inner emotions and did not know how to deal with it constructively. Many teachers committed suicide in the face of this classroom problem, as they felt they could not cope and go on because they must be "bad teachers." How sad.
Torie was the first Westerner (and American) to come and be able to present ways of coming to terms emotionally with the tragedy, and she presented this from the educator side of life. Torie is a retired teacher, and she had been a co-worker with Sondra at the Myers Elementary School in Rialto for many years. As a side note, Torie and her husband (Bob) attended California Baptist College (now University) with me back in 1968-1969, before I dropped out and got drafted!
So, today Randy was scheduled to be at Magnolia Avenue Baptist Church in Riverside at 11 am this morning, so we had him come to our worship service (which starts at 10 am) and speak for 30 minutes. So, you see, we flip-flopped the worship service to accomodate his schedule. We had the preaching first, and then the singing at the end of the service! We are just not very traditional every Sunday! It was a wonderful day to be at church. God touched our hearts as Randy challenged us to think about being a partner on a wonderful adventure to share our faith in China later this year.
Sondra and I are praying to see if God is moving in us to go in August of this year, as we have been asked to help in this mission effort as teachers and educators.
For more information about Randy and his ministry, go to http://www.pidw.org/ which is the site for Partners in Development Worldwide.