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How a Missionary Was Made

June 15, 2012

Dread, discouragement, and despair—those were the weights I was carrying back in 1988. I was sixteen at the time and was haunted with knowing God would soon destroy the earth. I was raised in a tight-knit family of hippies, always moving from state to state with little more than the clothes on our backs and a box of Mother Earth News. One night the whole family was hanging out in the laundromat waiting for our clothes to dry when we picked up a worn-out, dated copy of Hal Lindsey’s book The Late Great Planet Earth. At that point we had heard nothing about end times. The book shook us up like nothing before. We already had the survivor’s mentality, being faithful liberal tree huggers. We had consigned ourselves to living on a planet being destroyed by its inhabitants. We scrounged around and hunted down a Good News Bible and started searching to see if that was what it said. After asking different preachers, rabbis, priests, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mennonites (all of whom knew virtually nothing about the future and even less of what we should do about it), we had nearly given over to despair. The future was dreadful and lack of interest among professing Christians was discouraging. The idea of growing a mountain of pot and numbing out to the whole situation was becoming more appealing. We were close to giving up and turning back when God gave us a clue. In fact, it was a custom “sign,” just for us.

At the time, our family was house-sitting in Tampa, Florida while my uncle was undergoing back surgery. One evening I was killing time with my little brother and sisters at a neighborhood playground. Since my uncle’s house was on a military base, we couldn’t have any dope. So I decided to go ride the merry-go-round for a cheap thrill. As I spun around, my eye caught sight of a piece of paper lying in the sand. Around I went and I saw the words, “The Beast.” The next time around I was off the ride and grabbing the small booklet that I would later know as a Chick Tract. It was a very short, illustrated, graphic story of end times. It bore witness with everything we had been reading in the Bible. We didn’t have a single friend, relative, neighbor, or ANYBODY who knew anything about this stuff. But this little book! It proved that we weren’t crazy and that others knew as well.

My dad and I read and re-read the tract over and over and then started looking up the Bible verses listed in the booklet, “The Beast.” It awakened in us a real need to know what God had to say. We became genuine seekers of God. God promised that all who seek him should find him.

— TJ, serving in SE Asia and beyond

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8 comments on “How a Missionary Was Made”

  1. I just love Chick Tracts! They are like a walking, roving Bible. I am pouring over them, there are so many, because I want to know just what they say and also to read the information on them and I just love the graphics as well as the stories on each one.

    What a marvelous thing you have done with all of these, with explanations for everything. I had thoughts of putting tracts in our local library area for donations that anyone can pick up for free. I may do that with some but I have other ideas of what to do with them.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful tracts and I pray that all will be saved through reading them. They are great for teenagers and preteens as well.

    God bless you and the work you are doing. I believe He has already blessed you and I pray that His Word will not return to Him void, as the Bible says.


  2. I always think that leaving or giving a tract is the very least I can do. How encouraging to hear how a thrown away tract was God’s tool to win your family to him. Makes me want to keep on keeping on.

  3. Wow. What an encouragement; not to take people at face value; in the 70’s I was a single mom (actually an abandoned wife) with 2 small children 2000 miles from anybody I knew. I was angry, hurt, and friendless. But a bus captain from a Baptist Church cared–looked beyond my sinful life and saw my need for Jesus. Today 2 of my sons are preachers and one other one is a great soulwinner. I love Chick tracts, too. They definitely get read!

  4. Dear T J: Praise God for your missionary work in South East Asia! That area of this planet, most definitely is a ‘Field unto harvest, where the laborers are few’, as the Lord mentions in Matthew’s Gospel, in Chapter 9, if I am not mistaken. Most of all, may the Lord Bless you in your missionary outreach to the Asian people, while God’s Grace still abounds, before Christ returns.

  5. Thanks T.J, for sharing your story how a Chick tract blessed your life. You and those who have made the 7 comments on this page have encouraged me start giving out Chick tract again. To pray for the Holy Spirit to empower me to be bold, consistent, and loving in giving out tracts.

    Will be praying for you and Chick tracts.

    Thanks again.