II Timothy 2:2
The things which you have heard from me in the presence
of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men
who will be able to teach others also.
In 1954, I – Bob Prall – enrolled at the University of Oregon, majored in business, and had plans for a life as a professional golfer. During my junior year at Oregon, I qualified for and played in the 1957 U.S. Open at The Inverness, in Toledo, Ohio. In 1958 I was commissioned by ROTC, and that mandated a short detour for me in the infantry of the United States Army. After my active duty, I was confident my life plan as a golfer was still right on track.
But God had better plans for my life. In the fall of 1960, a girl friend insisted that I attend church with her every Sunday evening at Bethel Baptist Church in Aumsville, Oregon. After several months, I met with Bob Luther, the church's young pastor, and I trusted in Jesus as my Savior. Following the instructions in II Timothy 2:2, Bob invested a lot of time ministering to me, and we became good friends.
In the fall of 1961, Bob enrolled at Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary (now Western Seminary). So six months after I became a Christian, I enrolled in seminary with him. I was still thinking of professional golf, and won Oregon's State Amateur Championship both summers between my three years in Seminary.
But when I graduated in 1964, I knew that God had called me to join the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru). Its only ministry in those early years was on college campuses, and I like its strategy; “Win the Campus Today – Win the World Tomorrow.”
In my second and third years on Cru's staff, I started a new ministry at Western Washington State University in Bellingham, Washington, and the Lord blessed it. So in the fall of 1967, Bill Bright, and the other leaders, sent me to lead the launch of the Cru ministry in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Campus Crusade was still a young ministry, so my team, for three states, had only five other staff members (one newly married couple and three single girls). My senior staff girl, Jane Fletcher from Georgia, had her name changed to Jane Prall, and she was my help mete for 46 years until she went to be with Jesus in 2014.
During the first couple of months in that new start-up, Rusty Wright, a freshman at Duke University, trusted in Jesus Christ as his Savior. Rusty really wanted to grow in his new found faith. Personal time with a new believer is an important part of a II Timothy 2:2 ministry. So just as Bob Luther spent a lot of personal time with me, I spent a lot of personal time with Rusty. The following is from an article Rusty wrote for the April/May 1999 issue of Moody Magazine:
I still remember the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was a university student, a young believer, and my faith in Christ seemed like a house of cards that had just crumbled. For awhile, the Christian life that had been so exciting and joyful became a myth. I felt rootless, adrift, and confused. One of my fraternity brothers had just asked me some questions about Christianity that I couldn’t answer.
This bothered me deeply until Bob Prall, a pastor and campus Christian worker, answered them for me. “Always remember,” he advised as he finished, “just because you don’t know the answer, doesn’t mean there is no answer.”
For the next two years I followed him around, watching as he shared Christ with skeptics, listening to his speeches, and observing how he dealt with non-Christians. Bob’s loving, learned example and teaching helped me sink my spiritual roots deeply into God’s truth and provided a foundation for three decades of interaction with unbelievers. I shall always be grateful to him for equipping me in this way.
Fast forward to 2013. Rusty visited me in Houston, and over dinner he asked me, “Do you remember speaking on The Resurrection of Jesus Christ at one of our meetings on the Duke campus in 1968.” I responded, “I don’t remember the meeting. But I know what I said, because I have shared that message many times.” Rusty replied, “I remember that meeting very well, because it was the first time in my life that I grasped that Christianity is actually true and that solid evidence supports it.”
That message, and my personal time with Rusty, helped prepare him to fulfill the II Timothy 2:2 promise God gave to me in the Word of God. The following is an article Rusty wrote for the ASSIST News service:
"Why doesn't somebody do something?" Ever ask that question? Maybe that "somebody" should be you. The results might surprise you. Perhaps this story of God at work will encourage you.
A few weeks before Easter in 1971, I began to wonder why no one had published an article on evidences for Jesus' resurrection in our university newspaper, the Duke Chronicle. I was in my final year at Duke and had been following God for about three years. Our campus considered itself intellectually sophisticated, I reasoned. The resurrection evidences were sound; students and professors needed to know this.
"Why doesn't someone write this article?" I grumbled to myself.
Then, after several days I began to wonder, "Maybe I should write it." What a novel idea!
Incorporating insights from my mentor, Bob Prall, and others, I wrote the article and took it to the editor, who was Jewish. He read it as we sat in his office; I prayed silently that he would run it. After a few minutes, he looked up and asked, "Can we put this phrase in italics?", referring to the punch line at the end of the evidences: "Christ is risen." While I had been praying, he had already decided to use it.
It ran opposite the editorial page. … God had used my efforts to spread His word – and the truth that Jesus lives – via the mainstream, secular media. This excited me. But I had no idea what lay ahead.
The Lord began to use other versions of the short article. Campus Crusade for Christ published it in a newspaper distributed at their Explo '72 music festival in Dallas featuring Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Billy Graham. An estimated 150,000 attended. Later CCC (now called "Cru") used it in a nationally-circulated university outreach publication. Students and campus workers worldwide used reprints as conversation starters.
Local newspapers small and large in the US ran it – from the North Myrtle Beach Times to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Over time – now four decades and counting – it's taken on a life of its own.
The fact that Easter keeps rolling around each year certainly helps. The Manila Bulletin, in the Philippines, published it in their Easter Sunday edition (250,000 circulation). The Salvation Army ran it in their Easter War Cry magazine (1.2 million circulation). The American Tract Society turned it into an outreach pamphlet in English and Chinese.
Now it's on the web and – by God's grace – has been used by websites and publications based in nations including the US, Canada, India, China, Abu Dhabi, Australia, the UK, Brazil, and Mexico. A Chinese website uses it in text and audio formats to help Chinese speakers learn English. People send it in e-mails to their friends and acquaintances.
Like the Energizer Bunny®, it just seems to
keep on going, and going and going.®
God gets the credit for all this, of course. He did the raising; I simply told the story, as have many others. You can use it, too.
You can use the article, too, gratis. It's here in English, Spanish and Portuguese: at www.RustyWright.com/Topics/Holiday-and-Seasonal/Easter. Maybe it can help someone you know understand that Jesus lives, loves them, and wants to meet them.
So, the next time you find yourself grousing about "Why doesn't somebody do something?", be careful. God may have a task ahead for you. You never know where it might lead.
Copyright © 2014 Rusty Wright
This article is from: www.assistnews.net/Stories/2014/s14030104.htm
Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. Rusty makes his articles available for anyone who wants to use them with attribution, and links to his articles are now on over 1,700 web pages. His website is: RustyWright.com.
An e-mail Rusty sent me in August of 2018 is a fun read:
The events described below happened after you left Duke, but your influence certainly played a part:
Lessons in managing public-speaking fears. Fear of public speaking haunts countless people. I'm one…a shy introvert whose career – oddly – has involved lecturing worldwide. Presenting in a tense situation during my final Duke class taught me invaluable lessons. That speech topic – racism and religion – evokes today's headlines. (Duke Magazine article)
My prayer is for this web page to encourage others to spend more of their time ministering person to person to new believers. A II Timothy 2:2 ministry takes a lot of time. But as Rusty put it, “You never know where it might lead.”
In January of 2018, God took my ministry to a new level. I got a phone call from Sam Gaffney, who had been active in my ministry at Western Washington in 1966-67, and remembering my ministry, he also attended Western Seminary. Sam asked me for some copies of my book The Master Plot of the Bible, and shared some of them with missionaries. They liked it, and asked for permission to translate it into French, Spanish, Portuguese, and several other languages, and to print it for use in training pastors in mission churches. I gave them permission, free of any royalties. That's more fruit from a II Timothy 2:2 ministry.
At 82 years old, it is a blessing to know that my ministry will continue after I go to be with my Savior -- through men I mentored. One more was added late in my life. You can read about it at: www.easterpresents.info/lu.pdf
All of my books are available as eBooks from Amazon.com. Just do a search for Bob Prall, and ignore the pictures of me when I was skinny golfer. Amazon Prime members can borrow and read them at no cost, and others can get them for a few dollars.
Please take a few more minutes, and consider the unique evangelism tools and strategies the Lord has lead me to develop. The information is on my web pages at www.gospelgiftbooks.com and www.easterpresents.info. I am setting things up so both will remain live, after I go to be with my Savior.
Much of what I shared with Sam and Rusty when they were in college, is in audio files at www.evidenceforskeptics.com. I'm trusting my Lord to use it -- in and through others who will have Second Timothy 2:2 ministries.
Late in my life the Lord gave me another believer to mentor. Lu was born and raised in Shanghai, China, and trusted in Jesus as a student at Texas A&M. Read the unique story about his calling to help fulfill the great commission at www.easterpresents.info/lu.pdf
Because Jesus is alive,
Bob Prall, M.Div., Now an old Evangelism Encourager
I do not have a staff, or an organization people can join, and my ministry does not need financial donations. eBook royalties cover the expenses for hosting my web pages. My tools and strategies will not compete with church ministries for time or money – they merely supplement.
Royalties are paid by Amazon when an eBook is borrowed by an Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited member. Your eBook purchases or borrows are appreciated, and will help support this ministry.
Bob Prall, M.Div. Author & Evangelism Encourager
PO Box 73486, Houston, TX 77273-3486
I can also be contacted by e-mail: bob (at) gospelgiftbooks dot com
But at 82 years old, I may not answer all e-mails.