Part 2 of the Lions Den testimony
By Michael Ritchie DC
Many say that miracles don’t happen today, as if God has fallen asleep and is no longer concerned about the affairs of men. God may be somewhat silent at times, but he is working behind the scenes to bring attention to his presence for those who are looking and listening. When men are pursuing God’s will, He is available to them in amazing ways. In part one of the testimony for the Lion’s Den MBTC, I told of God’s challenge to me to begin a faith-based rehab in Roscommon Michigan. I admit it is a fearful thing to have God speak to me in such a direct way. It is not that I am anything special, because I am not. I think it had more to do with His compassion for people that are slaves to drugs and alcohol and the devastation to families, our communities and our nation.
I found out that I was not the only one that God was speaking to about starting a center in Roscommon. In 2015 with the help of God’s people, namely the Alabama Baptist Builder’s (ABB), Roscommon Baptist Church built a 9700 square foot building on 18 acres on Sunset Drive in town. Three hundred and twenty volunteers paid their own way, cooked their own food and built us a church in 3 months from foundation to grand opening. Local contractors worked hard to keep the work teams on track and the result was beautiful. When a person walks toward the door, they see the beautiful cross capped steeple, then walking through the door and see the cross laid in the tile. The entire project was estimated at $1.2 million and we moved in with a loan for $260 K. For a congregation of 80, it was a miracle! All of this to tell you that Kent Anderson was one volunteer and it was Kent that laid the cross in the tile in our entry way.
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To whom much is given, much is required, and therefore the next summer found six members of Roscommon Baptist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to help build a new 28,000 square foot church for the Layton Avenue Baptist Church. Who did we find doing tile work in the church but Kent Anderson! “ I have been praying for Roscommon since last year and the Lord has told me you need to start a Mission Teens Center there.” I asked him what a mission teen center was, and he replied, “It is a faith-based Center that introduces people to Jesus Christ, and he helps them to become a new creation. Did you know that I was an ex-drug addict? I now am a counselor at the Mission teen Center in Missouri.” Kent gave me the contact number for Steve Schwarz, the Director of Mission Teens. He oversees all 19 Missions around the US. The cost for someone applying to become a resident is the cost of a bus ticket and a blood test. They are asked several questions, but one qualifier that matters: “Are you willing to let God be the answer to your problems?” Mission Teens has an 87% success rate for those who complete the 8-10-month program. Steve confirmed the need for a mission in the lower peninsula and that was my 3-fold confirmation. Now my task was to pitch this to the Village of Roscommon. Would the community allow us to start a mission right in town in our old church building?
Have you heard from God in a while? In Jeremiah 29:13 it says: And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Hannah was a barren woman and she pleaded with God to give her a child. She promised to give her child back to him if he would grant her prayer. After her first-born son Samuel was weaned, she turned him over to Eli the head priest of the temple to serve God as his apprentice. There had been a great drought in hearing of the Word of the Lord in those days. Samuel who had become a youth heard from God at night. He thought he was hearing things, but finally replied,” Speak; for thy servant heareth”
I wonder how many times God has spoken to me and I have just ignored him? How about you?
a voice in the night
So I went to Eli’s room
This happened several times
Though the dawn was coming soon
Left the home of my mother Hannah
Just a child, given to The Lord
To serve with Eli in the temple
By letting go she loved me more
to me Lord, your servant’s listening
Your voice learning to recognize
Coming in the still small whisper
Able to make the simple wise
blazing flame to light my pathway
A calming lamp unto my feet
When all around nothing but darkness
Other voices will ne’er compete
pleasant words like the honey comb
To my lips just as sweet
Are the strength unto my bones
Bringing life and health to me
speak Lord I will listen
Do my best to understand
I know for me You have a purpose
To be Your voice to fallen man
Lord please speak to me
Michael L. Ritchie D.C. 1/18/2015
1 Samuel 3:10
And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. Part 3 “Finding a home”