“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” (Isa. 54:17)
We weren’t able to paint the entire bus, but the Lord had given us a name for our ministry and we had painted “THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD” in huge letters on both sides.
The Lord had revealed where He wanted us to go first, so I had called Bro. Sonny in Weatherford, TX and told him what God had called us to do. He was thrilled and wanted to be a part of our ministry.
He asked me to come preach and said that we could park our bus at the Church while we were there.
I called the nursing homes that were in Weatherford and set up service times when we could come and minister. We now had our first stop on our missionary journey.
Our relatives were apprehensive, to say the least, about what we were going to do (actually, I believe they thought that we had gone a little crazy), but they came around and wanted to do what they could to help send us off.
They filled our bus with food and supplies, gave us cash donations to get us started, and we were set to leave on the following Monday. There was just one other thing that I wanted to do before we left.
I had often read in the Bible that before a battle was to be fought or a deed was to be done, the saints of old would seek the blessing of the man of God. There was something special about that blessing, and I wanted to have it before we left.
That Sunday morning, after the morning service, I approached our Pastor at the back of the Church as he was shaking hands with the members who were leaving.
“Pastor”, I said, “May I tell you something if you have time?”
“Of course. What is it Bro. Candy?” he replied.
I said, “The Lord has called me and my family to go and hold revival services in nursing homes throughout the Southwest.”
With a surprised look on his face, he said “Well, that’s wonderful, but the Church is not able to support another missionary at this time.”
“Oh no, Pastor!” I said, “You don’t understand. I’m not asking for any support. The Lord has already provided us with a bus and we’re leaving tomorrow. I’m just asking for your blessing before we go.”
As a big smile spread across his face, he said, “Well, you have that.”
He asked those who were still standing in the foyer to join in prayer as he laid his hands on me and gave his blessing, asking God to bless and prosper our journey. I don’t think that this white haired man of God ever had someone just ask for his blessing before.
A few months later, I received a letter in the mail from him, along with a check, stating that the Church had appointed us as their home missionaries and would be supporting us on a monthly basis.
The Bible says that God knows what we have need of before we even ask.
The Lord had shown me that when we went into a nursing home, we were not to skimp on our service in any way, but we were to sing and preach as if we were conducting a revival service in a football stadium.
Our little curly haired daughter was a doll, and even at four years old had become a very good singer. The people in the nursing homes just adored her.
God had made a way for us to get an electric guitar, an amplifier, microphones, and stands; and we would set everything up. We would dress, sing, and preach as if we were in the largest church in America.
It didn’t matter whether they put us in the cafeteria or the TV room, whether there were 4 residents that came to the meeting or 40 residents that came. We wanted to always give our best.
We arrived at the Community Church south of Weatherford, TX and Bro. Sonny welcomed us with open arms.
The nursing homes seemed eager for someone to come in from out of town and hold a special service, so we agreed to hold additional services as long as we were in the area.
At the first service we held in Weatherford, I noticed an elderly man in a wheelchair that came to the cafeteria and sat in the back. He had a fly swatter with him and a scowl on his face.
He stayed for the singing and the preaching, but left in a huff when I began to give the altar call.
I always wove the need of being born again into whatever message the Lord would give me to deliver, and was always excited to see the hands go up to receive Christ no matter what the age of the individual.
A well-known Evangelistic organization had come out with some statistics, which stated that after the age of 50, the chances that a person would accept Christ were virtually insignificant. They concluded that by the age of 50, the majority of people had already decided what they were going to believe.
Consequently, we found out that although the nursing homes had multiple religious services for their residents, most of them were comforting sermonettes without a call to salvation.
No matter how many church services that I would see listed on the bulletin board, I never assumed that the people there had already heard the message of salvation and did not need to hear it again.
That’s why, during our time of holding revival services in the nursing homes, we saw over 600 people accept Christ and be born again.
The Lord began to open other doors for us to minister in all of the surrounding towns. Some of the towns had one nursing home, while other towns had several, but we were able to have multiple services in each one.
When we arrived the second time to hold a service in the Weatherford nursing home, I noticed the little man with the fly swatter had returned, but this time he was a little closer to the front and stayed for the entire service.
The third time we returned, he was on the front row.
After the singing and the preaching, I said that if there was anyone that would like to pray and receive Christ into their heart and be born again, to please raise their hand and I would pray with them.
After a few moments, he slowly began to raise his hand. We prayed together and he asked Christ to come into his heart and save his soul.
Not long after, the nurses told us of the wonderful change they had seen in his life.
He had been so cantankerous, that if there were no room for him to play checkers, he would knock the board and pieces off of the table so no one else could play. He would often hit the nurses and attendants with his fly swatter out of spite.
However; since He had accepted Christ, he was a totally different person. He was becoming friends with everyone, going up and down the halls telling people about Jesus.
Instead of a fly swatter, he now carried our Gospel tracts and would hand them out. If he knew that we were coming, he would go to all the rooms and tell the residents that they needed to come to the service.
We came to call him “Pops” and he was a dear friend to us all the time we were there.
We also visited the rooms after the services to pray with the people who could not attend. We witnessed the Lord touch many that were sick and infirmed.
We saw dazed and confused eyes come to clarity at the name of Jesus, and dementia patients could speak with us rationally as we shared the love of Christ.
We were privileged to be a witness as those in their 80’s, 90’s, even 100 prayed for the first time in their life and ask Christ to come into their heart and were wonderfully saved. But the adversary, the enemy of God, the devil was not happy about what God was doing.