CHAPTER 9


                              THE MINISTRY






               Using my  cane to  find the building,  I pushed  through the
          double doors,  and made my way to my new study room.  It had been
          moved to  the other side  of the building because  a second blind
          student had been added to the public school program.   We needed,
          therefore,  more room  for our  equipment.   I  was a  senior and
          though I felt the  tug of the ministry on  my life, I now had  no
          interest to move  in that direction.  I  couldn't picture myself,
          however, going any where but a  Bible college.   Sitting down,  I
          opened  the lid  of  my  tape  machine and  plugged  in  a  blank
          cassette.  One of  my readers was going to take  the machine home
          tonight and read an assignment for me.
               The doors  swung open and  Maureen strolled in.   "Hi Phil,"
          she said in her cheery youthful voice.
               "Hi Maureen.  "You're sounding happy this morning."
               "Oh,  sure," she replied,  "had a wonderful  weekend.  How'd
          your first week of school go?"
               "All right  I guess," I  said shrugging my  shoulders, "it's
          school is all I can say."
               Maureen and MaryAnn  were resource teachers who  traveled to
          the  other schools  in the  Omaha public  school district.   They
          talked with teachers to solve any book or material problems blind
          students might  be facing,  and they picked  up future  exams and
          either recorded them on tape for  us or had them Brailled.   Once
          they even had my geometry book put into Braille for several weeks
          lesson-by-lesson  until the Braille  copy could be  obtained from
          the Braille publisher.  How the Braillist had gotten the diagrams
          in raised lines was a mystery.  It didn't matter, though, because
          I never liked geometry even if I did receive B's for the year.
               Setting down, Maureen said,  "How are you and david  getting
          along?"
               "fine," I said.  "Dave is ok  really, a little odd, but he's
          ok.   Besides, we were  in school together  down in Nebraska City
          for over three years.   I only have one class with  him and I can
          live through that I guess."
               Maureen laughed.  "Anything you need done today?"
               "Yea, I said, "I'm going to have a test in an English class.
          Could you get a copy of the test and put it into Braille for me?"
               "Sure," she said, opening  her purse and extricating a  note
          pad.  "What's the teacher's name."
               I told her.
               "OK, I'll  see her today and see if  the test is going to be
          ready a few days in advance.  If so, I'll get it done for you."
               "Thanks," I said and picked up my cane and atocia case which
          carried my small  cassette recorder and Braille slate.   "I gotta
          get to my first class now."
               "School  doesn't start  for  another fifteen  minutes,"  she
          protested, studying her watch.
               "I know.   This class is clear  on the opposite side  of the
          building though.   It'll take me almost ten  minutes just getting
          over there; especially with the building filling up with kids."
               Finding the door to my class, I checked  my watch and wished
          there  had  been more  time  left to  the  summer vacation.   The
          effects of the drugs no longer  seemed to bother me but the  life
          style  did.   I  stood  listening  to the  chatter  of the  other
          students in the hall as they prepared  for the first class of the
          day.  Girls  laughed and bang lockers  shut.  Boys discussed  how
          drunk they  had gotten over  the weekend, how  poor the  band had
          played, the party  which lasted all weekend, and  the people with
          which they had spent it.   I listened carefully to see if  anyone
          mentioned  using drugs  but  I  heard no  such  conversation.   I
          suddenly felt strangely alone again, as I had a few months before
          meeting Sharon...and what  was I going to do about Sharon now.  I
          couldn't just cut her off.  I owed her some explanation.  She had
          been a  good friend; a  close friend; almost  my only friend  for
          many months.   If I continued to associate with her, could I keep
          off  the drugs?   Could  I  bring Sharon  to Christ?    Would she
          understand?  She had never forced me to do anything I didn't want
          to do; she had always stayed close to me when I had tripped;  she
          had always  respected my feelings.  As the  bell rang and I moved
          through the  doorway, I  still was uncertain  how I  would handle
          this difficult problem;  not to  mention what I  was going to  do
          about college.
               Each day of  the new semester seemed more  sluggish than the
          one  before.  As time slowed I  found myself hating school.  As I
          looked down through  the coming months, I couldn't  see the light
          at the tunnel's  end.  I  was afraid of  college, I was  afraid I
          wouldn't be  able to get  a job and support  a family, and  I was
          afraid of life.   It is difficult  enough for any senior  in high
          school trying to  decide what to do  for the rest of  their life.
          For a  blind senior,  it is  even worse.   I had  no idea  what I
          wanted to do.
               One night, after deciding to  get stoned, I pulled a plastic
          bag over  my head,  and began  to inhale  fumes from  a household
          aerosol.   When the dangerous  chemical began to buzz  like angry
          bees in my head,  fear gripped my heart and I  jerked the bag off
          my head; flinging it to the floor.  I fell on my bed and began to
          cry out to God.   I was afraid.  I wanted to honor my word to the
          Lord I had made just a few months earlier but life seemed too big
          and too impossible to negotiate alone.   I felt isolated from the
          world and from people.  I was blind and I hated it.  Why wouldn't
          God do something?  Where was He in my life?
               At  the end  of that first  semester, I talked  with my good
          friend Ryan about the classes he was taking.  I was getting tired
          of  feeling  blind,  walking the  building  through  the maze  of
          students, bumping  into people, and  feeling half lost  each day.
          Ryan told me  of all his classes  and their teachers.   I checked
          with my counselor  and he  agreed to  help me get  my classes  to
          coincide with Ryan's.  He had been  a good reader for me and this
          would make my last semester in high school just that much easier.
               At the end   of Christmas vacation, I called Ryan  the night
          before school to  confirm our arrangements to ride  together.  As
          we talked, he told  me that the last day of school he had decided
          he didn't like the schedule he had made for himself.  He had gone
          to his  counselor following the  final day of school  and changed
          all his classes.  Now we would not share a single class.
               The phone suddenly became too heavy to hold.  Cradling it, I
          collapsed  on my  bed and tried  to blink  back the tears.   Life
          seemed not  only impossible but so unfair.   I hadn't asked to be
          blind but I  was faced with  experiencing life crippled,  broken,
          and  less than  a  whole person.    I couldn't  see  how I  might
          possibly make  it beyond this school year.   What would I do when
          the last semester was over?
               Drying my tears, I got to  my feet and checked my watch.  It
          was  11 P.M.   I made my  decision and climbed  the stairs to the
          kitchen.  Walking through the  living room and passed the stereo,
          I heard Mom's  little TV playing in her bedroom.  Since she never
          went  to bed early, I  walked to her room and  called her name at
          the open door.
               "What's the matter  Philip?  It's getting late.   You better
          get to bed so you can get up early for school tomorrow."
               Stepping just inside her  door, I said with  finality, "Mom,
          I'm not going to school tomorrow or any other time.  I'm quitting
          school."
               "Philip?   Why?"   I  had already  turned and  begun walking
          toward the stairs.  Mom  followed me; hurling questions one after
          another; attempting to  discover why I had made  such a decision.
          She followed me all the way down the stairs and into my room.   I
          again  retreated to  my bed  and  lay down  before answering  her
          questions.
               I explained how I had gone through all the trouble of lining
          up my  classes with Ryan.  I began to tell her of my fear of what
          I would  do for  a  living and  how I  would  cope with  life  in
          college.   Eventually, through my  tears, she began to understand
          how frightened I was to walk into life blind.
               After some talk, Mom got me to agree to talk with our pastor
          the following morning.   Though I agreed, I told her there wasn't
          any  way I  would  ever return  to  school.   She  agreed not  to
          pressure  me, and if  I was willing  to talk with  my pastor, she
          would be satisfied.  I slept restlessly; not wanting to  face the
          morrow.
               Seated in  the living room,  he said, "Phil, listen,  I know
          this is really a difficult time of life for you and I am not even
          suggesting I understand what it must  be like.  I know I  haven't
          been hear long as your new pastor but I'm asking that you give me
          a chance."
               After discussing  my feelings with our new Pastor, Tom Hall,
          I  agreed  that  I  would  consider returning  to  school  if  my
          conditions were met.  Those were, first  I wanted only a half day
          of  school.  Many  graduating seniors only  needed a  half day of
          school to achieve graduation status.  If I had to  finish school,
          I wanted  that half day.   My other condition had to  do with the
          number of classes I would be  required to take.  Talking with  my
          counselor earlier had revealed I only needed two class credits to
          graduate.  That's what I wanted; two classes, one study hall, and
          permission to leave for the day.
               "Phil," Pastor  Hall said, "I'm  sure I can get  this worked
          out  with your counselor.   Will you  allow me to go  and see him
          personally and to discuss this situation with him?"
               "Sure," I said  willingly, "but unless these  two conditions
          can be agreed upon, I won't return."
               "Fair enough,"  he said.   "I'll call your counselor,  go in
          and see him, and I'll call you later today with the results."
               Later  that day  the pastor  called and  said he  had worked
          everything out with  the counselor.   The  pastor asked  me if  I
          would go with him to school to  sit and talk it over.  He assured
          me that the counselor  had agreed to my terms but  he just wanted
          me to come in and confirm it.  I agreed.
               "Phil,"  the counselor  began, "I'm  really  sorry all  this
          happened.  I thought we'd  worked everything out with your friend
          and his schedule but I understand the whole thing fell apart over
          the holidays.   If  you'd  come and  discussed it  with me  first
          thing, I know we could have worked  it out."  He paused for me to
          speak  but since  I  remained  silently  passive,  he  continued.
          "Listen, you are correct.  You  need only two credits to graduate
          but I'm asking you for a favor."
               "What," I muttered suspiciously.
               "You're not the  first teenager that's faced this  kind of a
          dilemma and  here's what we normally  do.  You  need two classes,
          that's true, but I'm asking you to agree to one additional class.
          Now wait just a minute," he said, holding up his hand in protest.
          "You'll still be allowed to  go home at 11:30 with other  seniors
          on  half days.   You'll have  three classes,  one of which  is an
          early  7:35  class, then  a  study  hall,  and finally  two  more
          classes,  and then  you'll be  free  to head  home.   How's  that
          sound?"
               "Why a third class?" I wanted to know.
               "Well,  it's for  insurance purposes.   If  for  some reason
          you'd  fail  one of  the  other  classes,  we would  be  able  to
          substitute that third one for your needed credits."
               That sounded reasonable to  me and I said so.   As it worked
          out, Ryan  and I would  share the 7:35  A.M. class so I  was once
          again  able to ride  with him to  school.   The arrangements were
          finalized and the following day, I was back in school.
               The first couple of weeks I enjoyed my free afternoons.  Mom
          buzzed over each day from her nearby job during lunch and dropped
          me  home.  I fixed lunch and carried  it down each day to my room
          in the basement.  During the late 1960's the ham radio bands were
          alive  with signals from all over  the globe.  I worked Europeans
          and  African's every afternoon  both in voice  communications and
          Morse code.  The late  afternoons brought in the Pacific stations
          and Japanese.   I thought  very little of  graduation and what  I
          might do with my  life.  The radio hobby became a  drug and I was
          addicted.
               MaryAnn and Maureen were concerned,  however, and eventually
          discussed with  me the  possibility of getting  a job  during the
          afternoons.   I agreed, thinking  no one wanted a  blind teenager
          for  an employee, but  I was fooled.   They secured  a job at the
          Good Will work  shop.  I  soon found myself  catching a bus  just
          outside  the high school each day,  eating my lunch either on the
          bus or on the bench  waiting, riding forty-five minutes downtown,
          walking four blocks,  and setting  behind a  work bench  scooping
          three nuts, three bolts, and  three washers into a small envelope
          which  I stapled shut  and tossed  into a  cardboard box  all for
          $1.65 per hour.  The job lasted about a month before I decided my
          afternoons were more important doing nothing at home.
               "Hi  Phil,"  Maureen  said one  morning  coming  through the
          double doors into the study room."
               "Hi Maureen," I said, lacking enthusiasm.
               "What's happening?"
               "Not a thing," I reported.
               Sitting  next to  me she opened  her purse and  took out her
          note pad.  "Are you still interested in taking drum lessons?"
               I had purchased  a used  set of  drums from a  friend a  few
          weeks  earlier  and had  mentioned  my  desire to  take  lessons.
          Setting  up, and suddenly  showing interest,  I said,  "Sure, I'm
          still interested.  Why?"
               "Well," she began, "MaryAnn and I had lunch with someone the
          other day who gives drum lessons.  She..."
               "She?" i interrupted.
               "Yes," she  continued, "she gives  lessons out of  her home.
          She's also a very attractive lady, too."
               "That's  pretty unusual," I observed.   "Not many women play
          the drums."
               "True, but this lady is pretty unique."
               "How old is this lady?" I asked.
               "She's twenty and she's blind."
               "Blind?" I said incredulously.   I didn't finish my thought.
          The  last  thing in  the world  I  wanted to  do is  connect with
          another blind girl.
               "Yeah,"  Maureen  said  suspiciously, "anything  wrong  with
          that?"
               "Oh, no," I said satirically, not a thing."
               "Somehow I  get  the feeling..."  she  stopped.   "Well,  no
          matter.  Here's  her phone number.   I think you should  call her
          and talk with her about taking lessons."
               I  pressed the  keys  on  my  Braille  writer  mechanically;
          writing down the numbers as she recited.
               "Now  give her a call tonight,"  Maureen said invitingly, "I
          think it'll be worth your while."
               I agreed but knew I would do no such thing.
               "have you called Sandy," Maureen prodded me two weeks later.
               "Sandy?" I said totally at a loss.  "Whose Sandy?"
               "You know...she's the drum teacher."
               "Oh, yeah," I muttered.  "No I haven't called her."
               "Come  on Phil.    I  thought you  wanted  to take  lessons.
          Sandy's really a neat lady."
               "Yeah, yeah, I know...I will."
               "When?  When you gonna call her then?"
               "Well," I said hesitantly, "I'll call her tonight I guess."
               "Good!  Let me know what you find out."
               That night  I sat at my ham radio desk  with the phone in my
          hand, dialing Sandy's home number.  The last thing in the world I
          wanted to do is take drum lessons from a blind girl.  Those I had
          known at the school  for the blind were not all that sharp.  They
          were scholastically ok but socially...
               Suddenly someone was on the other  end of the line.  "ahhhh,
          hello," I stammered, "is this Sandy?"  For the next ten minutes I
          did all the talking  to someone who barely spoke.   They were all
          yes and no answers with nothing in between.
               Hanging up  the phone,  I walked from  my basement  room and
          climbed the  stairs to  the kitchen.   "Well,"  I said  out loud,
          "I'll never talk to that blind girl again as long as I live."
               By  the end  of  the week,  Sandy  had realized  I had  been
          calling for drum lessons and had to contact MaryAnn for my  phone
          number.   She  had been sound  asleep when I  called and couldn't
          even remember my name after my phone call.  Since she  needed the
          extra money for the lessons, she obtained my number and called to
          see if she could convince me  that she was the right one  for the
          drum lessons.
               As I  talked with  her over  the  phone, I  found it  nearly
          impossible to believe this was the same person to whom I talked a
          few days earlier.  She was bright, cheerful, sharp, and fun.
               During  the next  four hours,  I learned  that she  had been
          raised on an  Iowa farm and since my home was  Iowa, we seemed to
          have  much in common.   I likewise  found out the  reason for her
          lethargy a few days before.  She  had been on tranquilizers for a
          few weeks  and she had  just taken one  an hour before  I called;
          making her sleepy and drowsy.
               the following night we visited again for almost another four
          hours.   We finished  our conversation by  deciding we  would get
          together  at her  apartment within  a few days.   I  found myself
          strangely drawn to her even though she was blind.
               "Sandy, how long have you been blind?" I asked.
               "I've never seen," she replied candidly.
               "Never?" I said dubiously.
               "No, never," she  said firmly.  "I  was born two and  a half
          months  premature and  weighed just  two  pounds ten  and a  half
          ounces.  They put  me in an incubator for oxygen  and that caused
          my blindness.  I've never seen in my life."
               The reason I found this  difficult to believe was do to  her
          keen  perception.   She  seemed  to  be  able to  understand  and
          comprehend things once described  to her.  I had  found that most
          blind  people  who had  been  born  blind  were often  unable  to
          perceive things they  had never felt.  I  eventually decided that
          such ability was due  to her parents.  They never  isolated Sandy
          from all they did on the farm.  She was allowed to do chores with
          them  including feeding the  animals, gathering eggs,  riding and
          driving the tractor with her father, and tending garden, cooking,
          and washing and  house keeping with her  mom.  All this  made her
          ability to comprehend seem innate.
               As we continued to talk  on the telephone over the next  few
          weeks, I shared with Sandy my past involvement with drugs.   As a
          medical  transcriptionist in  a local  hospital,  she had  unique
          insight to such  drug involvement.  I went  further, however, and
          began to  tell her  of my  Christian life.   To  my amazement,  I
          discovered that she had  just been led to Christ by  a friend who
          began taking her  to church.  Her friend was a fellow employee at
          the hospital and  felt drawn to Sandy because  of her loneliness.
               Sandy had been working  in Omaha for nearly two years by the
          time we  were introduced.   She had lived  most of her  life away
          from her family  and home sickness was  almost a way of  life for
          her.  She had been separated from her parents at the  age of four
          to attend the  Iowa School For The  Blind.  Because they  lived a
          hundred and fifty miles from the school, she only came home every
          third weekend  and, of course, on  major holidays.  Now  that she
          was working, she  again was separated from  her family.  She  was
          very lonely  and began  drinking.  Though  she was  only eighteen
          when she  first moved  to Omaha and  was thus  under the  state's
          drinking age, she often asked cab drivers to stop on the way home
          to buy alcohol.   Eventually she was old enough to make purchases
          herself and often drank herself to sleep at night to ward off the
          awful loneliness.   Most weekends she frequented  bars with those
          with whom she knew to keep from being home alone.  She was also a
          hyper active  person and  eventually was  prescribed three  heavy
          tranquilizers to be  taken daily.  It  was in the middle  of this
          that she came to know Christ as her Lord and Savior.
               The end of my last  semester in high school was approaching.
          I  was spending more time with  Sandy and one night while setting
          in  her living room, I  said, "Sandy, I can't  say I like you any
          more.  What I feel for you is something much more, much stronger,
          than the word like can described."
               "Don't say it," she said.
               "I love you," I said, ignoring her warning.   She agreed her
          feelings for me were  equally strong.  I told her that I felt the
          Lord was calling me to full time ministry and that such was quite
          a different life than her up bringing.  She, however, was growing
          in the Lord  and had no problems  excepting what I was  trying to
          say.   A few  weeks later  I asked her  to marry  me and  we were
          engaged.
               We had agreed to at least a year, if not two, years of Bible
          college before we married and in the fall of 1970, I  enrolled in
          Bible college.  Since  the school was in Iowa, I  often came home
          weekends to  spend with Sandy.   I  found school, however,  to be
          very lonely and once again I was faced with the reality  of life.
          I  had  no  problems soliciting  volunteer  readers,  taking oral
          exams, and functioning in the every-day routines of college life.
          My two years of high school experience had helped me acclimate to
          such  circumstances.   The  question,  however, that  continually
          haunted me was,   "You can graduate from college but can you make
          a living  and support a family?"  Because  of this, we decided to
          get married following the third semester of Bible college.
               After   getting  married  in  January  of  1972,  I  shortly
          thereafter  obtained  a   job  working  in  the   county  welfare
          department of  Omaha as a  case assistant.   My boss  was totally
          blind and  had started a  special department  within the  welfare
          agency  which was  especially designed  to  help the  handicapped
          secure  jobs.   My responsibility  was to  assist  another social
          worker  in obtaining jobs  for forty-five blind  welfare clients.
          Much  of  our  days  were spent  visiting  factories  and offices
          attempting  to educate  sighted employers  to  the abilities  and
          advantages of  hiring the blind.   I had never  directly felt the
          effects of  rejection due to my blindness until I began trying to
          help other  blind people  get jobs.   I  was amazed  at how  many
          employers simply  didn't think  the blind could  do the  same job
          others did.   I  was even told  by one employer  that if  a blind
          person and a  sighted person both applied for  the same position,
          and even if they both had the same previous experience and skill,
          he would hire the sighted  person instead.  Why?  He  said it was
          because the sighted  person posed fewer problems.   He was unable
          to explain  himself further  and because I  poised myself  like a
          wild  mountain   cat  ready  to   spring,  my  partner   cut  the
          conversation short and removed me from the building.
               "Fred, I said with no  little irritation in my voice, "why'd
          you cut me off?  I was about ready to kill that moron!"
               Laughing,  he said, "...And that's  exactly why I pulled you
          out of there.  I was afraid you'd kill him."
               We walked  in  silence down  the corridor  of the  employers
          building, our foot falls echoing off the walls.  Finally I spoke.
          "Fred, you're black and probably have experienced what I just did
          back in that man's office."
               "yeah," Fred agreed, "I've seen it before...you're right."
               "There's only  one  thing,"  I  said, "that  could  be  more
          frustrating than being blind."
               "And what's that," he encouraged.
               "Being blind and black  at the same time."  We both laughed,
          realizing the  force of my  statement, but it wasn't  really that
          funny  because we had  clients who were in  fact blind and black.
          As we left the building that day, I wondered how we would be able
          to help them get jobs.
               After working in the welfare  department for a few months, I
          began to  see how the  philosophy of  the world was  beginning to
          effect my Christian values.  I had never really been in a secular
          work environment.  I  felt the pull of the world  hard against my
          relationship with  the Lord  and decided it  was time  to make  a
          change; one which would bring me closer to perhaps going into the
          ministry.   After discussing it with my  wife, we decided to move
          to Denver where most of my family lived.  They had left Omaha the
          same week I had gone to Bible college.   Mom had taken a job in a
          Christian day school  where my oldest  sister was a  kindergarten
          teacher.  I had visited their  church a couple of times while  in
          college and liked what  I saw.  Their stand for the Lord was firm
          and  they had  a burden  for the  lost; something  I, too,  felt.
          Furthermore, their Christian day school was solid and it would be
          a good place  to raise our children  in later years.   Making the
          arrangements, we moved in the fall of 1972 to Denver.
               After  Sandy obtained another medical transcription job in a
          local hospital, I went into the vending stand program through the
          Colorado Services For The  blind.  This training  program allowed
          the blind to learn how to run and operate snackbar lunch counters
          and cafeterias throughout  the state.  After the  three months of
          training, I began working in a partnership with another blind man
          at the Denver University Law  Center.  Our full service cafeteria
          was opened  from 6:00  in the  morning till  10:00 at  night.   I
          supervised the evening  shift.  Do to  the way the vending  stand
          program operated,  I was able  to obtain  my own  snackbar a  few
          months later and began operating independently.
               During the next two years, we were faithful in the church we
          had joined and I was eventually asked to be a deacon.  I was only
          twenty-one years of age and was the youngest deacon they had ever
          asked to  serve.  It was a  great honor for me  and I appreciated
          the opportunity to serve the Lord  in this way.  It was one  more
          step to full time ministry.  In early 1975 I felt the call to the
          ministry so  strongly that I  quit my  snackbar job and  began to
          travel as a guest speaker; holding revival meetings.
               Riding  home from  high  school  one  afternoon,  Mom  said,
          "Philip, have you thought any more about what you are going to do
          when you graduate?"
               "Well," I said reluctantly, "I've thought about going to law
          school but I  don't know if I could really  handle something like
          that.  I know  a lot of  blind guys have gone  into law and  have
          done well but I just don't feel comfortable about it.   I've also
          thought of teaching.   Lots of blind people  have gotten teaching
          degrees and are able to get jobs in schools.  I really don't feel
          comfortable with that either."
               "If someone were  to ask you," she  said turning left on  to
          our street off of Maple, "what  you really wanted to do in  life,
          what would you say?"
               Without  hesitation, I replied, "I  want to be an evangelist
          and travel; holding meetings in churches."
               "Then," Mom said with quiet confidence, "you  simply need to
          go to Bible college and prepare."
               Leaving the snackbar for  the first time never bothered  me.
          I  was looking forward  to going into  the work for  which I felt
          called.    Over  the  months,  serving in  our  church,  I  often
          considered when I might go full time into the ministry.  Although
          I had  already attended  Bible college, I  had not  graduated and
          that  made some  people  nervous  including my  pastor.   When  I
          discussed my intentions with him,  he was reluctant to indorse my
          desires.  It was generally concluded by many that no one could be
          used  of  God  unless  they  had  graduated  from  Bible college.
          Finally one day I left my place of business for  the last time in
          February of 1975 and by April I was  traveling across the midwest
          preaching.
               My first  meeting was in  Chandler, Arizona where one  of my
          Bible college roommates  was an assistant pastor.   Following the
          full week  of meetings, I remained  in the area, staying  with my
          friend and his  wife, and preached single  day engagements around
          the Phoenix  area.  At the end of  the month, after spending four
          weeks away from home,  I returned to Denver.  Such  began my life
          as a full time traveling evangelist.
               Though it was  extremely difficult to obtain  meetings, most
          pastors preferring guest speakers  able to sing and  play musical
          instruments,  perform carate  feats, or  gospel  magic tricks,  I
          eventually, with  the help  of  my pastor,  began to  be able  to
          support my  family.   Sandy traveled  with  me at  first and  for
          awhile after the birth of our first child, but eventually I began
          traveling  alone because of  the expense involved.   Traveling by
          plane  was  always  expensive  and  to  make  my  trips  pay  for
          themselves, I often had to stay away for several weeks.
               My wife and I always  seemed to face objection and rejection
          by those who felt  blind people were not capable of living normal
          lives.  When people learned we  were starting a family, some were
          horrified  that two  blind people  would bring  a child  into the
          world.  It was too late, however, by the time they found out.
               In light  of such  opposition, Sandy and  I decided  that we
          would not invite anyone to stay  with us upon bringing our  first
          child home from the hospital.  This ruffled a few feathers in the
          nest  of both  our families but  as it  turned out, this  was the
          wisest  decision we could have made.   The first night alone with
          our new son was quite interesting, to  say the least, but he, and
          we, survived the  ordeal.  So did the other two children the Lord
          gave us over the next few years.  The biggest fear people had was
          that we  might bring  other blind  people into  the world  by our
          selfishness  of wanting children  of our own.   All  three of our
          children were born normally and none wear glasses.
               The more I traveled, however,  the more desirous I became to
          minister  with people  on  a  more  personal  level.    Traveling
          preachers are in  a church for a  few days and then  leave; often
          never to return.   I  wanted to  minister to people  and see  the
          changes in  their lives as  they continued to walk  with God over
          the years.  I had never really consider pastoring a church  until
          December of 1977.
               We  had  flown to  Iowa  to  visit  Sandy's family  for  the
          Christmas  holidays.    Traveling  evangelist  usually  have  few
          meetings during  the summer months, except for  church camps, and
          no  meetings are  generally  scheduled for  the  entire month  of
          December for  obvious reasons.   I had become  discouraged during
          our stay with  Sandy's folks.   I  sat and considered  all of  my
          abilities, gifts, and talents one day and listed them in my mind.
          I enjoyed,  and loved,  to sit and  visit with  people concerning
          problems  they faced.    I enjoyed  teaching the  Word of  God to
          people and attempting  to show how it applied  to every-day life.
          I liked  people and enjoyed being  with them.   I felt compassion
          for others when they were facing difficult times.  I loved to win
          the lost to Christ and especially  to teach them the doctrines of
          the Bible.  As I mentally listed all my good qualities, I decided
          I would  return to Denver  and attempt to employ  those character
          traits in my  ministry.  IT NEVER CROSSED MY MIND that those were
          the traits of a pastor.


                            End Of Chapter 9

                             LIQUID PURPLE

                                   BY

                              PHIL SCOVELL




                           Copyright 1991-2004

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved



          Reproduction of the book  entitled "Liquid Purple" is granted  by
          the copyright holder, Phil Scovell,  if such reproduction is done
          in the  spirit in which it  was given.  It may  not be reproduced
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          copyright  holder: Phil  Scovell.    Electronic  formats  may  be
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          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
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