Who despises the day of small beginnings. Zechariah 4:10
Luiz Graf, a German born American, was transformed during the Azuza Street Revival. After World War I he returned to
to share his experience. Traveling through East Prussia, an area hard hit by
the war, Luiz’s Mercedes touring car, complete with a sign “Jesus is Coming
Soon, Are You Ready?” readily captured people’s attention.
On the unfamiliar roads, Luiz became lost. The hour drew late and he happened upon a small village. Perhaps he’d find something to eat and a place to stay the night. He pulled to a halt in front of a bakery. The owner quickly emerged, intrigued to see such a fancy car. The baker confirmed Luiz’s suspicions, he was indeed lost. This wasn’t a problem. The residents of Trunz needed to hear the Good News Luiz had to share. The baker’s initial response was, “I told you, we’re all Lutherans.”
Luiz sensed resistance and tried another approach. He believed in healing. Did the baker know of anyone in the village who was sick? If the baker saw someone healed, would he listen to Luiz’s message? The baker smiled and nodded yes.
While the two men conversed a young boy on a bicycle stopped to admire the Mercedes. The baker instructed the lad to take Luiz home with him in order to pray for the boy’s sick father. When they arrived, Luiz found the man in excruciating pain. He laid hands on the invalid and healing came. The man was made completely whole.
As a result of this miracle, the boy’s parents received Christ as their Savior. Despite this documented wonder, no one else in the village responded to Luiz’s message. That’s not the end of the story; it’s just the beginning.
Herman, the young boy with the bicycle, became a pastor after the Second World War. He and his wife had several children and Herman’s dream was for his eldest son to follow his footsteps into the ministry. The boy had very different plans for a career and he resisted all attempts to steer him in that direction. The youngest son did demonstrate a desire and heart to serve God, but Herman was determined the eldest would be his successor.
Finally it was painfully apparent that Herman’s wishes were not to be. Reluctantly he agreed to allow his youngest boy to study for the ministry. Over the years this son attained a measure of success. He became known for his evangelistic zeal and held crusades under a large tent. At times his father ministered along side him. They often joked between themselves about Herman’s misgivings concerning his youngest child’s call to preach. Herman’s son is Reinhard Bonnke who now ministers to crowds so large there isn’t a tent big enough to contain all the people.
Sometimes it’s those little, seemingly insignificant episodes of our lives that produce the greatest results. Could Luiz Graf ever have guessed the end result of making a wrong turn? Because he got lost, millions of people around the world have heard the Good News of salvation and have a relationship with God. The Word of God reminds us to never despise small beginnings; they can be the seeds of bigger and better things. Start planting!