Story told by Randy Grebe, VP Strategic Partnership, OM Ships International
The question was rather unusual. It was several hours into the opening of Mission ConneXion Northwest 2015 when a businessman walked up to my booth. We briefly discussed the vision of OM Ships International and it’s current status and upcoming country visits. It was then that he asked me a direct question. “Randy, can you please share with me a God story from the Ship Ministry?” I hesitated thinking to myself, which one of dozens should I share. With that, the Lord put on my heart an event that took place in a creative access nation.*
Over 4 decades ago one of our ships visited this nation and had many visitors come on board. There was a lot of excitement. As each person left the ship, we offered them a piece of “technical information” which was a portion of Scripture. After we departed this country the President found out that we were passing out Christian literature and was angered. To the point that he recalled all “technical information” to the city square. He had put out a warrant to arrest anyone who was found with any such literature. He also assured the Ship Ministry they would not return to his country.
Now, many years later God opened the door for OM Ships to return. This time we did not pass out “technical information” out of respect for the local authority, but had great impact for the Gospel in others ways. On the last day of the visit a high-ranking official invited our Director to his office. The official went on to describe the setting he witnessed as a boy when the President of the country recalled all the “technical information” that we distributed and consequently lit it on fire in the city square to destroy it. He said “I was just a young boy and I watched it all burn and will never forget it”.
At that point the official opened his desk and from the back of the drawer he secretly pulled out a piece of this “technical information” and said “but I kept mine!” There were the very Scriptures that were distributed many years ago that he kept as a treasure. It was he who was instrumental in allowing our ship to return.
As we completed our conversation at the Exhibitor area, the businessman explained he was Ed Dressel, Chairman of the Board of Mission ConneXion. He went on to say that some 20 years ago he pointed to a world map at a mission’s conference and committed to pray for whatever country he pointed too. He prayed that someone would bring the Gospel to that country. Amazingly, it was this very country as told in this story.
*Due to security issues we are unable to name the country mentioned in this article