Gabriel thinks back to how he became involved with Gideon Force…..
Gabriel Morrison is sitting in the same pew he has sat for many Sundays. The pastor is in the middle of his sermon but Gabriel is half-listening and half drifting in his thoughts.
There’s got to be more than this! It’s the same old routine every Sunday and nothing ever changes. What is wrong with me? I have wasted my time just sitting here in this dead church. God, if you hear my thoughts, please do something.
At the end of the church service, Gabriel files out with the congregation. Yet another Sunday and nothing has changed. He politely shakes the pastor’s hand and makes a comment about the Atlanta Falcons game later that day. Gabriel is joined by his wife Jenni who is carrying Gena with Gerri close by her side. Jenni had worked her shift this Sunday in Children’s Church.
“How was the service?” Jenni asked.
“Huh? Oh….it was the same.” Gabriel said sluggishly.
“Gabe….you have got to be more positive. I don’t like seeing you like this. Ever since you retired from the Air Force, nothing seems to interest you.”
Gabriel had heard this lecture before. He knew she was right. He wasn’t being challenged by life anymore. His work with Delta Force was dangerous yet fulfilling. Now, he was having trouble adjusting to civilian life and doing church. He just wasn’t made for this kind of life but he was trying to think of the family.
Gabriel, Jenni and the kids got into the car and merged into the line of traffic leaving Harvest United Christian Church. Jenni was flipping through the church bulletin when one of the announcements catches her eye.
“Hey Gabe, did you see this? They are looking for a family to go to Kenya this summer. They need to set up a medical clinic in one of the remote areas to provide medical assistance and help with a Vacation Bible School there and you can bring the kids to interact with the native children.”
Gabe thinks about that moment now. It was the moment when it looked like the perfect mission assignment for them. The perfect assignment turned into disaster. When Gabe, Jenni and the girls got to their tribe in Kenya, it was fine at first until a rival tribe invaded the camp late one night. Jenni was seriously injured in the attack. The girls were unharmed but have had nightmares since then. Gabe was left for dead. The entire family was rushed back to the states where Jenni was in a coma for three months before she finally let go. The girls were in therapy for years. Gabe was at a loss to make sense of it all.
One day as Gabe visited Jenni’s grave, he had revenge on his mind. How could this have happened? He blamed God. He blamed Kenya. He blamed himself. As he stared intently at Jenni’s tombstone, he was oblivious to an elderly man approaching him.
“Excuse me young man,” the stranger said as he approached Gabe.
Gabe thought he wanted money or needed some kind of help finding a grave. He really didn’t want to be bothered.
Ignoring Gabe’s rebuff, the elderly man spoke. “You are a mighty man of valor. On this day God has commissioned you as an officer in His army.”
“What are you talking about old man?” Gabe was puzzled. The old man continued.
“Do not be afraid. God has commissioned you to avenge your loss by rescuing those who sacrifice for the gospel throughout the world.”
Gabe looked back at Jenni’s tombstone and then back at the elderly man. The man had disappeared. He was gone. Vanished.
A passion was ignited in Gabe. This was the beginning of Gideon Force.
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