Nov 7, 2007 - OF DRAGONS AND HORSES    7 Comments

Arise, Take Flight

The filly came to the water’s edge and began her take-off, but just as she was about to leave the ground, the Great White Mustang turned to look back at her.

No, he neighed. You must stay!
The filly was shocked and surprised. All the other horses who had come with her where now in the air with their new wings and headed toward the Dragon’s Lair across The Great Water. Why should she have to stay?

You will go, but when I say – and with that, the Great White Mustang turned away leaving the fiery little filly on the shore and seeming all alone in a land where she knew no one. Now, she wondered, just how long would she have to stay?

I wrestled with telling this part of the story as I didn’t feel it was that important, but the more I wanted to keep it out, the more necessary it became to add it here.

I left my hometown and came to training in Southern California. At the time I did this, I had just finished college. My father was unemployed and had been for some time. My mother was working to keep things going for my three other siblings. And the people we had known all our lives seemed to be turning away from us, just when we needed them the most.

Just prior to leaving my home town, I had begun raising the limited financial support required to sustain my mission trip when I ran into problems. The church I had grown up in reviewed my mission board and decided that they did not want to support the group with whom I was being sent. This dealt me a psychological blow. Why, God, why – I wondered. But the Lord works in VERY mysterious ways as I was soon to quickly find out.

The church I had been attending when I wasn’t attending my home church immediately adopted me. In addition, the pastor there had me give the congregation a presentation about the future work. I was given a large donation towards my support that was wholly unexpected. Then, a newspaper in town did a story about my trip. I was invited the next week to give a talk at the town’s Rotary Club meeting and also to meet with the Chamber of Commerce. These people also were generous in donating to my trip to insure that I would get there and in giving me items and photos to take with me. This town now has one of the largest and longest Chinese commerical relationships within the US. The University I attended in that town has a very respected Asian studies and language exchange program now.

But when training was coming to a close, my mission board met with me to tell me that all of this was still not enough. I was still running a deficit and a decision was made by the board to have me remain behind while another teacher, Steve Akenbrandt, who had come to training with all his support and no place to go, would be added to my original Zhengzhou team in my place.

You can imagine how much of a psychological blow this became. Why would God bring me this far and not allow me to finish the job? What kind of a God was this?

Faithful is He who calleth you, who also will do it.

Although it was too late to allow me to leave exactly with everyone else, one day something very exciting happened. I received word that a church in the Danville, VA area had heard about me and wanted to help out. In addition, businessmen in the Danville area also were stepping in to make things happen. It wasn’t long before I received word that I had all I needed to go and now it was just up to the Beijing government to decide upon a new placement arrangement.

I stayed in Southern California and worked in the Mission Board’s office until it was time to leave.

The filly waited a long time on the beach at the water’s edge for the return of the Great White Mustang. And one day, after a long wait, she saw him in the sunset.

Arise, take flight. Your time has come to fly! And the filly ran at a gallop until before she knew it, she had sprouted wings and was in the air among the clouds and onward towards the Dragon’s Lair.


  • I like the twist in the story. It is actually to my surprise, part of the story, is it not? I like it very much.

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