The Christian magazine article trumpeted, "The deaf are one of the largest
unreached people groups in the world."
Rubbing the right temple of his forehead while waiting for the plane to land in
a snowstorm, Brother Parker whispered, "Yes Lord, I'm here. I'm late,
but I'm here..." Brother Robert Parker carries a heavy burden in his
heart for the lost deaf souls around him. He is a 'hearing' person but
learned American Sign Language at a very young age from his grandfather,
who was deaf.
When God presented the opportunity, Brother Parker eagerly accepted the
invitation to preach at the largest Deaf Ministry conference in North
America. "But I'm late..."
Robert felt elated as the plane finally landed and taxied to a freshly
plowed area around the terminal.
As Brother Robert stepped into the terminal building, he powered his cell
phone on and saw he had several voicemails. He quickly found out that the
brothers who were supposed to pick him up were not coming.
Frustrated, he made his way to rent a car.
All they had left was a large SUV.
"I'll take it. I need to leave right away!"
He programmed the route into the GPS satellite navigation system, and sped
off through the heavy, wet snow.
"Turn right at the next intersection..." the GPS unit monotoned.
Suddenly headlights flashed bright-low/bright-low behind Brother Robert.
Just as he glanced in the mirror, a large passenger van instantly swerved
around the driver's side and started sliding toward him in the snow. To
avoid certain impact, he cranked the wheel hard. His rented SUV bounced up
the curb, narrowly missing a fire hydrant. The nearby traffic lights went from
green, to amber, to red.
"Unbelievable! Idiots! I don't have time for this! I really need to get
there." Furious now, Brother Robert saw the red light but didn't care. He
was going to catch up to them. He jammed the truck in gear, and--
WHAM! Another vehicle slid on the same icy patch, hitting the back bumper
from the side and spun his truck around.
Brother Robert just got more irritated. "Get out of my way!"
The snow spun behind the truck like a broken parachute as he went after the
the van. The GPS was still on: "Turn left at the next intersection..."
"Shut up!" He tried to thumb the GPS power button to the OFF position, but
missed. "Caution, Winter Storm in progress. Travel is not advised."
Squinting through the snow, he had to slow down and stop for a traffic jam.
Brother Robert could see over the cars in front of him--about a block away
there was an ambulance and fire trucks--their emergency strobe lights
reflected eerily in the snowy night.
"Oh, WHAT NOW!?!" he yelled, slamming his hand on the steering wheel.
He saw a way out--on the sidewalk. Irrationally, he drove up on the
curb--too close to a parked car. Unexpectedly a door opened, but he
couldn't avoid it. The SUV smashed into the door, breaking it off, causing
the SUV to run up onto a large snow bank and fall over on one side. Robert
hit his head on the driver's side window and started bleeding.
GPS: "Travel is not advised."
"Shut up! Ouch...Ohhhh....what a mess!" He pressed his head with his
preacher's handkerchief and crawled out of the truck through a back door.
The blaring sound of a siren rushed by as a second ambulance rushed to the
"Help! Help! Help!" A little boy ran toward him on the street, bounding
through fresh fallen snow.
"Sir, I need your help. There's a big van over there and it spun out. It
has a bunch of deaf people are in it. A bunch of 'em are hurt. No one can
talk to 'em. Can you help?"
Brother Parker's intense anger and rush to get to the Conference all
vanished in that eternal moment--a God-ordained moment.
"I can help. Let's go!"
Together Brother Parker and the boy went to the van. The once-angry
preacher with a bloody head became a magnificent minister, translating for
the deaf victims to the Emergency Medical Team.
Meanwhile, the Deaf Conference transformed into an intense prayer service.
Three deaf victims were saved, but two were severely injured for life.
Brother Parker received two things that icy night: a permanent scar on his head
and a 'GPS' revelation. Everywhere he goes now he preaches, “Caution, when
an anger storm is in progress, travel is not advised.”
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