by Bill Rudge
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by Bill Rudge
Giants and obstacles are like exercise. Exercise works because of resistance. The greater the resistance, the bigger and stronger your muscles become. The more giants we face, the more character and spiritual muscles we develop.
Often, what I have wanted God to deliver me from was what He used to make me stronger. Something happens in the wilderness, the valley, and the desert that does not happen on the mountaintop; God builds character, strength, faith and determination as He molds our lives to accomplish His will.
On the way home from seeing a specialist after my son tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) for the second time while playing soccer, with no alternative but extensive knee surgery, I told him that, “Trials, obstacles, and difficulties put iron in our blood and make us strong as nails.”
For about 10 years during our early Christian lives and ministry, Karen and I lived in extreme poverty. It looked as though we would never have anything. Over the years we faced many hard times, difficulties, obstacles, impossible circumstances and giants. But the Lord somehow always intervened in His time and way to enable us to overcome them.
I often wondered why, throughout my Christian life and in our ministry, God permitted so many difficulties. We seemed to do everything the hard way. Yet, God has taught me the reality that all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I have walked with the Lord more than 45 years, and I can honestly testify to the truth of this Scriptural promise.
I am glad we have persevered through our impoverished beginnings and many hard times. Since the Lord has greatly blessed my life and ministry, no one can say that I only serve Him for all the blessings He has given me. I served the Lord when we had nothing; with no hope of ever having anything, and I serve the Lord when He blesses. I will serve Him if He takes away everything He has given to me.
by Darlinda McDonald
Pulling back the curtain allows me to give you a glimpse of Bill and Karen’s world, hoping to build your faith and encourage you that the God we serve is always faithful. He will never leave us or forsake us. For 40 years Bill and Karen have directed a faith ministry. Many times they did not know how the needs would be met, but in some amazing ways they were. There is no human explanation for how God has provided year after year and enabled them to build three ministry centers on faith without a penny of interest being paid. The Lord has intervened and protected in the midst of some hopeless situations.
Bill and Karen do not own a vehicle or a house. Bill has virtually no retirement and opted out of Social Security in the early days of the ministry because of limited funds. In reality, if Bill walked away from the ministry today, he would be a street person. He has not been wasteful but a wise steward who has chosen to invest most of his resources in a Kingdom that will never pass away. What we see is temporal but what is not seen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Because the God of the Bible has been so faithful in his past, Bill can trust Him with his future. In Bill’s words:
In the 40 years of this ministry much of the time I have not had hospitalization on myself or my family. My wife faced cancer by doing alternative treatments which we had to pay for personally. But once again the Lord was faithful and provided through the generosity of friends and family.
Daily we face challenges and obstacles in life and in ministry, and have a tremendous burden of caring for thousands of people worldwide who contact our ministry and are facing financial, physical, and spiritual difficulties. Only the Lord can sustain us with the stresses we face daily. But He sustains by His Word and by His Spirit and through the support of our faithful ministry friends.
Thanks for being a part of this modern-day miracle as God continues to use Bill and this ministry to impact lives locally, nationally and globally. Bill plans to work in ministry until the Lord takes him home or He returns. Bill trusts Him to keep him healthy until his mission is completed.