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Back Stories
Gerry Baughman
Do They Make Us
Bitter or Better?
Although I am an avid reader, I have always liked old detective TV shows. Columbo was
one of my favorite characters. His top coat looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years,
and his Rambler car was just as nasty. But Columbo had a unique way of seeing a crime.

As scraggly as he was, he would notice the tiniest detail that would dissect and ultimately
solve the crime. Jake and the Fatman were quite the pair. Jake was the bulldog, and the
detective was the “Fatman.” Together they would solve the crime of the night.

When I get a rare chance, I enjoy watching Blue Bloods. The Reagan family is a multi generation New York City police family. In one
episode the commissioner’s daughter-in-law was missing. The entire police force was on the hunt. A burned car was found with a
charred body inside. As the commissioner’s son, also a NYPD officer, made his way to the scene, every emotion that one could think of
was felt. His facial expression told his story of the fear that it would be his wife. However, the body was not that of his wife and mother
of his two sons. With relief, his saga ended. I could identify with that episode having emotionally experienced something similar so
many years ago, except my story had a different ending. Yes, emotions are a part of our daily lives. There are those who cry at the drop
of a hat, while others seem to have no emotional reaction to a given situation. We’re all different.

King Saul had horrible bouts with depression. Those times usually came after direct disobedience to God’s laws or failure to follow
specific instructions concerning King Amalek, the Amalekites, and all they possessed. King David suffered depression after his sin
with Bathsheba. The difference between these two men was how they handled their emotions after their sin. Saul dealt with his sin and
retribution with anger and bitterness. David answered the revelation of his sin with brokenness, crying out to the Lord for forgiveness.

Very few men open up their hearts to the Lord as David did. (Psalm 139:23)
In this issue of the ENCOURAGER, you will read the back story of a young pastor who lost his wife to cancer. He jumped many
hurdles over time, has been blessed with a wonderful wife and children, and is faithfully serving the Lord in a growing church that
loves missions. You will also read about a family serving in a first world country where it is very difficult to see even one person come to
Christ. My younger brother, Clare, has served faithfully in France for 38 years, has refugees from many countries in his church, and is
now in a wheelchair 95% of the time. With every excuse to quit, he has not.

Every one of us has a back story to one degree or another. Do we dwell on it, or do we build on it? Do we become bitter because of it or
do we give it to the Lord and become better because of it?
Life as we live it can bring just about any scenario that one can imagine. Nothing happens without the Lord knowing it in advance.

How we respond after that uncertain emotional roller coaster ride can give us strength and closeness to the Lord that will enable us to
minister to those the Lord allows to come across our paths. I know this to be true because we have walked in many of your shoes, felt
your pain, wept with you, and prayed for you.

Here are three familiar words that can help you make your journey with joy.

1. Grace. The grace of God is sufficient at all times no matter what trial or heartache you are facing on your journey toward Heaven.

“And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is
made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II Corinthians 12:9
2. Wisdom. The wisdom of God is always available. “If any of you lack
wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth
not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5
3. Faith. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is
the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4
Joyfully Serving,
CAMP BIMI * SMART: Dr. Gerry Baughman/Founder & Director
Diane Baughman/CAMP BIMI Office
CONTACT: • • 423.322.3790
ENCOURAGER: Jeremy Benbrooks/Editor • Ken Catoe/Design • Jonathan Bergen/Design
MISSION STATEMENT: The ENCOURAGER is a magazine written by and for CAMP BIMI
alumni since 1993 to encourage anyone with a love and interest in missions.

Cover Photo by: Luiza Sayfullina