Did you know there’s treasure hidden in Wilmore, Kentucky? By treasure, I mean staffers at Asbury Theological Seminary (www.asburyseminary.edu ) who you wouldn’t believe me unless I told you. My friend Sherry’s daughter Laura, and Sherry’s future son-in-law Stephen, a graduate of the Seminary, uncovered the treasure. As a result, Sherry and I had the road trip of a lifetime!
Now, I do have several friends whose kids are attending Asbury University (www.asbury.edu ), so they of course know of Wilmore. Upon relaying to one of them our first meeting of the day was to be at Solomon’s Porch (www.solomonsporchwilmore.com ), my friend Fay’s daughter, Sarah Grace, suggested the Pumpkin Pie Latte which was to die for, whipped cream and all!
While sipping our coffee, Sherry and I met a wise-beyond-her-years young Mom who is the new Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Seminary. Her name is Jessica LaGrone. (More on this very fun meeting in another post.)
Next up, Sherry and I dashed into Lexington (all of about ten minutes) to Ramsey’s Diner (www.ramseysdiners.com ) to meet what we’d both call a Modern Day Saint. You’ll be astonished to know that Dr. and Mrs. Bob Stamps have been at Asbury Seminary for four years. Bob’s been the Dean of the Chapel all the while he and his wife, Ellen, have ministered to, nurtured, and fed countless seminary students and their families. Bob and Ellen are returning to Richmond, Virginia in early July.
You’ve got to read Ellen’s book, My Years with Corrie, about her nine years as Personal Assistant to Corrie Ten Boom. It’s jaw-dropping fascinating, filled with story after story of how the Lord met and provided for them wherever in the world they happened to be ministering. You’ll see where God stretched Ellen so far out of her comfort zone, her only choice was to rely on Him.
One of my favorite parts is where Ellen said, “God can use us even when we feel unusable.” When she first began working with Corrie, she didn’t speak much English, nor German, and didn’t know how to drive. Yet one of her many duties as Personal Assistant was to be Corrie’s driver. You’ll be amused at how this unfolds. Ellen is extremely candid. She reveals many wonderful lessons we can heed today.
During their nine years together, Ellen said she and Corrie read and re-read Oswald Chamber’s devotional My Utmost for His Highest every morning. She said of her time with Corrie, “In many ways I had to learn to be like a child again in learning a new language and feeling comfortable in a new culture. I was trying to make sense of a new world—wanting to be a part of something I didn’t fully understand, relying on the help of friends to help me discover this new land.”
“The first chapter of James speaks about learning the new life of a Christian:
When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance.
But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of integrity with no weak spots. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem, he has only to ask God—who gives generously to all men without making them feel guilty—and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him.” (James 1:3-5 Phillips)
We read The Hiding Place for Book Club a few years ago and it was a favorite for all of us.
Sherry and I were a bit late arriving to Ramsey’s. We worried when it became 12:15 and still no Ellen. Sherry contacted her and somehow we had our days wrong! Ellen was already with a young mom whose husband was about to graduate from the Seminary. She prayed, “Okay, Lord, what shall we do with these two opportunities?” She called Sherry back and said, “We’ll be there in a few minutes!”
Ellen brought Beth who is precious along with two of her four children. We sat outside and were completely mesmerized by Ellen and her stories of adventure, as well as Beth and her exciting future of their family moving to Michigan to pastor not one but two churches!
The Lord blessed us with quite a party overflowing with stories of His goodness. Beth’s future and Sherry’s daughter’s future are similar with both being married to pastors. This God-incident wasn’t lost on any of us!
Beth left to pick up her school-age boys and Ellen sat back down with Sherry and me and said, “How may I pray for you?” Stunned, and speechless, we held hands and listened as our Modern Day Saint, who’d traveled the world and learned from one of the best evangelists, yet another Modern Day Saint, Corrie Ten Boom, began to pray.
The world stopped while tears flowed. Awed and blessed, we stood to say our goodbyes. Sherry and I had a foretaste of heaven that day. We wish the best to Ellen and Bob on their next adventure. God’s blessings! (And Ellen, thank you so much for your gift of time!)
Bob and Ellen have one son, Peter, who turned thirty-six the day we met for lunch and one daughter, Johanna, who’s thirty-two. Peter is in Colorado while Johanna is in South Africa. Please keep them all in your prayers!
As Corrie would say, and as Ellen signs each of her books, “Jesus is Victor!” (This encouraging phrase came from Blumhard who was a minister from Germany. “Jesus ist Sieger”. Ellen attended Blumhard Fellowship gatherings where the theme of Blumard’s ministry was always “Jesus is Victor”. Corrie first heard that phrase from the Blumhard people. She adopted it and made it famous world-wide.)
‘Til next time!