Stories From the Road
The bell had just rung as I was entering the public middle school building. I had been invited to speak at an after-school youth event. It had been requested that I share my story that day. The testimony of a rebellious, drug abusing teenager, kicked out of high school and then rescued from that life by Jesus Christ on a day he thought he might drown. I worked my way through the crowded halls as the students gathered at their lockers. When I reached the library where I would be speaking, I was a bit surprised to see students everywhere waiting for the talk. These kids were excited about this event and I imagined that a lot of them had invited their friends that did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I was introduced and I dove into my story. As I stood speaking I looked out over the faces and was so excited that there I was, sharing this message of hope in of all places, a public school library. When I finished, I gave a simple invitation for the students to receive Jesus Christ and God’s grace into their own lives and to be forgiven for their sins. Hands went into the air everywhere. I reminded the students what the date was and told them to never forget their spiritual birthday. God is so amazing!
A few weeks later I stood in front of nine hundred high school students at a camp in Michigan. Looking out over the sea of faces I was filled with a sense of awe as I watched hundreds of hands go into the air to receive Jesus Christ and God’s grace into their lives and to be forgiven of their sins. I reminded the students of the date and told them to never forget their spiritual birthday. God always continues to amaze me.
I received a letter from a young lady that touched my heart, and when I read it, I knew I wanted to share it with you. Here is a portion of it:
I went to camp this past summer. July 28th is a day that will remain in my memory forever. I realized I never got the opportunity to thank you for that night.
I didn’t expect to ever feel that way in my whole life. That night was the first night I ever really talked to God, and I am positive He talked back. I’m not really a big crier, so that was a big deal to me that I cried for hours. I have told many of my friends about my experience and some of them make fun of me, but most want the relationship I have with God. I want to thank you for sharing your story with me. I have always felt unhappy with myself, my life, just everything in general and you made me realize that it was because I didn’t let Jesus into my life. I don’t remember exactly what I said that night, but I will never forget the way my heart felt. For that, I thank you a million times over.
I found out this week that she is coming back to camp this summer and is bringing her friends with her. Isn’t God amazing?
One more story. I was speaking at a camp in Colorado recently when a young woman told me that she had a friend who was strung out on drugs.
For the longest time, she has shared the love of Christ with this friend. Finally, one day her friend told her that she just didn’t understand where he was coming from with his use of drugs. She told him that she didn’t understand, but she knew someone who did and she gave him a copy of my CD that has my story on it. After he listened to it, he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. She thanked me over and over again. I know where all the glory goes. God you are so amazing.
Thank you for loving these students with us. Thank you so much.
— Brett Ray
A note from Carol
I want to quickly update you on some of the events that occurred in our lives in November. We started off the month with a bang, literally, when a tree came crashing
through our roof and into our family room. No one was hurt, except the roof and the ceiling. A couple of days later my brother, Jim, died of a massive heart attack. This really shook up our family; as you may remember, my father just died last summer. Brett presided over Jim’s funeral. A week later I spent the day in the ER because my autoimmune disease had come out of remission. Brett was home with the kids. Josh had strep throat, Kelly had a rash on her face and scalp, and Mareah had a bladder infection. Needless to say we postponed a vacation we had planned for six months and Brett was not able to speak at the funeral of a dear friend. The next week, Kelly a
God Bless You,nd Josh were having fun wrestling in the family room when Kelly broke both of her arms completely in two. It was so gruesome that I (the nurse) thought I was going to pass out. For seven weeks Kelly had two casts that went from her knuckles almost to her armpits. The whole family had to chip in to help her through that time. I say all this to say that we are doing much better now, and that we did grow closer to one another and to God through this time.