Thursday, April 28, 2011

In Memory of David Wilkerson

I knew something was out of the ordinary when the e-mail sitting in the Inbox had the title... Press Release.  Instead of coming back to it later in the day, I followed the link to his website only to read the news that a very beloved Christian leader had suddenly passed away.

Now... the news has hit the mainstream media with numerous stories available online to read.  David Wilkerson was killed in a head on car crash near Dallas yesterday.   The pastor voted one of the 100 most influential Americans had gone to the Reward for which he had worked for so many years... now meeting the Lord whom he had served.

I can't think of any pastor, Bible study teacher, or Christian leader who had a more profound and long lasting affect on my life.  I first heard of Rev. Wilkerson in the book The Cross and the Switchblade (later made into a movie starring Pat Boone).  His ministry in New York City and subsequent founding of Teen Challenge may have been my first introduction but it was in his decades of sermon newsletters that I came to really "know" him.

When the familiar envelope would arrive, I would open it and slip the latest teaching in my Bible... or on the coffee table... or perhaps make a cup of coffee and take it with me to the front porch to sip coffee (or tea) and soak in the teaching immediately.  Quite often it found its' way into the most recent book I was reading as a bookmark to be reread over and over.

David Wilkerson taught about suffering and God's faithfulness.  He was also, what my husband called this morning, "America's prophet Jeremiah".  Truly one of the few voices even among Evangelicals who were raising concerns over the moral decline of America decades ago.

Below are the final words of his last blog entry...

To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.”

Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.

He will be missed...

My prayers go out to all those touched by the tornado outbreak last night.  We had numerous warnings but from what I have heard on local news, only one or two very small tornadoes touched down and no injuries.  Serious flooding continues, though, and we can definitely use a change in this wet and stormy weather.


Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

My hubby and I always considered David Wilkerson to be our mentor. He was a great man used mightily of God and he will be missed. Thanks for your post.


Becky K. said...

David Wilkerson impacted so many lives...both directly and through the movie The Cross and the Switchblade. I remember as a teen going to Philipsburg, PA to see his Teen Challenge Group witness.

That last blog post is amazing. His family will likely hold onto that for a very long time.

La Tea Dah said...

It is a great loss. I had the privilege of visiting the Teen Challenge Center as a teen. And his books have always blessed me.

Vee said...

Oh no. I had not yet heard this news. We, too, admire/d and respected David Wilkerson. Like you, I first knew of him through his book "The Cross and the Swithblade." A brother-in-law, in a whole peck of trouble, was helped immensely by Teen Challenge. What powerfully prophetic words in his last blog entry. He often shared the hardest words I've ever heard, yet I do feel that he was always led to say them.

Mrs.Rabe said...

Ken Ham posted this information on his facebook page. A dear friend of ours used to attend Times Square Church and had not heard the news, yet.

We are having severe storms here today. Praying for all those affected.


Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Sad news for this world--he was a voice crying in the wilderness. I'm sure his heavenly reward will be greater than we can imagine!