Friday, April 21, 2017

Dorsey Wilbanks Tribute: Strong Men of God Can Be Shy - and Effective

Previously written January 19, 2016:
Dorsey Wilbanks is an 88 year old devout Christian who helped me and others greatly when he was active as a Gideon.  When I was the chaplain at Riverside Military Academy for nine years he was the Gideon who served our school.  My conservative estimate  is that in almost nine years he served Riverside as a Gideon he supplied us with over 2,000 pocket New Testament Bibles.   When called upon he would find us a needed Spanish, Korean or even Chinese version of the New Testament.  Some people do not believe in the power of the Word.  He does. Dorsey was and is a very humble and optimistic man.  He was happy when I told him where one of his testaments ended up.

Nine years ago I was picking up a friend returning from vacation in the atrium of the Atlanta airport.  As usual hundreds of people where intersecting at that point.  A young soldier walking by in a pack of camo wearing  soldiers and he yells out “Hey Chaplain Law.”  The soldier was a Riverside graduate from Chicago.  I was a civilian chaplain at the school.  I knew it was Riverside connection when I was ever called chaplain away from school.  The young man had enlisted in the U.S. Army since his graduation.  He told me he was catching a plane to eventually get to Afghanistan. My concern for this friend accelerated at the thought of this young person going to war.  I became almost frantic.  I asked him “are you trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation at this hour?” “Are you praying?” I kept asking more questions concerning salvation.  “Do you have a Bible?” He reached in his backpack and showed me a well-traveled green pocket New Testament.  It was one of the Testaments Dorsey had given me to give to students. The soldier said “Here is the one you gave me.”  "I read it." And he told me he believed the plan of salvation on the back inside cover.   I remember thinking   “Thank you Jesus” and reflecting on Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

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