BIMI

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While my husband was recovering from open heart surgery, he read to me the story of how the hymn “Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave It There” was written. It was written because of a trial that Rev. C. A. Tindley, a great preacher/songwriter, had experienced. He had traveled many miles with his wife to hold a revival in a church. When the meeting closed, the love offering was only enough to pay for his wife’s fare home on the train. After he had seen her off on the train with their meager baggage, he started walking towards home. He was tired and discouraged, but as he walked, he started making up the words and melody of a song. When he finished the first verse, he began to sing: If the world from you withhold of its silver and its gold, And you have to get along with meager fare. Just remember, in His Word, how He feeds the little bird; Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. I was touched by this story. It brought tears to my eyes as my husband read it to me. All of us have had our hearts touched by trials, and isn’t it great to know that we can turn our trials into blessings as C. A. Tindley did? As the chorus in the song goes, we can leave it there— with Jesus. Leave it there, leave it there, Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there; If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out. Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. Do you have a heavy heart today? Just take your burden to Jesus and leave it there. continued from page 1…Thankful for BIMI Military Churches weighed the options between the two, I did not have a preference at the time; I liked both. I left the decision up to my wife and boys and here was their answer: “We want to go to the church that sings the old songs like Mee Mee’s church in Oklahoma and teaches us good stuff in Sunday school.” From the mouth of babes, we chose our church, and I can only imagine where I would be right now had God not done two things: 1. Put my mother in a fundamental church that sang the old hymns and preached from the KJV Bible 2. Given my sons a love for the songs and Bible at Maranatha Baptist We started going faithfully to Maranatha. One of the first Sundays, the pastor said, “Boys, raise your hands if you have any carpenter skills or have done carpenter work before.” I had faked a few jobs as a carpenter and so I raised my hand along with several other military men. The pastor said, “You boys meet me after this service. I have some things we need to get done.” Pastor took us over to a partially finished building that a CLAIM team had dried in and told us it had to be done in a month!! He had missionaries coming and staff who needed to move into the apartments. That was the beginning of my ministry work; Pastor put me into the building ministry. I had a demanding job up at III MEF at Camp Courtney and when I got off, I would drive to the church and work until 11 pm or 12 am. The Bible speaks of God sustaining men doing God’s work; I got to see it firsthand! I would not get home till 12 or 1 am, take a shower, and get to bed. I would awake at 5 am to get cleaned up and make the 45-minute to an hour drive back to work. This went on for about a month or so and by the end, the building was finished and I had “skin in the game” at Maranatha. Through that experience God introduced me to the truth of “abiding in Him,” as presented in John 15: 1–11. He also put me into fundamentalism. My family traded my orders to California with a family who was in distress and had orders to Iwakuni, Japan. We left Maranatha on a good track and were welcomed by another missionary in Iwakuni, Japan. Pastor Chris Parker was new to Iwakuni but not new to the ministry. He preached the truth without apology just like Pastor Steve Nutt. Under the tutelage of Pastor Parker and after being convicted by the Holy Spirit, I was baptized. Later that year on New Year’s Eve, I preached my first sermon because once again I was “voluntold” to become a preacher by Pastor Parker. I can tell story after story how abiding in Christ has taken us places we never imagined as a family. I have retired from the Marine Corps and now use both skills I obtained from BIMI missionaries and my military experience. I work for MAGPUL Inc., do a little home improvement, and do evangelism. If you need a broken down old Marine Corps Colonel (Ret.) to help with meetings, revivals, or military services, I usually can make myself available with a little lead time. I am not a Bible college graduate, but I have sermon after sermon on how God preserved me in life and death situations in combat and training exercises. I praise God for BIMI putting a missionary outside every overseas base to be a lighthouse to the military community! I may be reached at tontof18@yahoo.com or (843) 290-7921 with any questions. Colonel Ardese’s personal awards include: The Bronze Star with Combat “V,” Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with nu- meral “13,” Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V,” Navy Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. —The Official Website of Marine Corp Forces Reserve