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Saved in the Nick of Time

2008-10_1

Ron preaching in Ukraine

During the last few days of my itinerary, I was scheduled to travel to Kiev for a couple of very important meetings and to distribute my second theology book to Christian colleges across the city. Almost without notice, the meetings were cancelled or never materialized just before our departure. We cancelled this portion of the itinerary and I was momentarily discouraged.

Remembering the mission’s adage, “Always remain flexible,” I gathered myself and began making additional appointments with people whom I was unable to visit earlier. Almost immediately, the Lord impressed upon my heart to preach at the Baptist’s Drug Rehabilitation Center in Kharkov. It was the strongest sense of conviction I experienced during the entire trip. I knew God was planning something special at this rehabilitation center. Because of the limited amount of time before my plane’s departure, I squeezed in this ministry event several hours before takeoff.

When I arrived, the men and women were anticipating my arrival, patiently waiting for me in their chapel. Without hesitation, I removed my coat, gave a short introduction about our ministry, and directly entered into the sermon, discussing the different perspectives of biblical faith I had parsed from Hebrews 11:1.

The crowd listened intently, but showed little emotion. At the end of the sermon, an alter call was given for anyone wanting to repent. By God’s grace and somewhat to my surprise, nine people came forward, repented of their sins, and gave their lives to Christ!

The director of the facility was very pleased with the results. He remarked to me, “I have been preaching the Good News to them for several months now, and no one had come to Christ.” Apparently, SCM was the vehicle through which God chose to bring these precious souls into his eternal kingdom. They were saved just in the nick of time—hours before I departed for home. What a perfect end to my trip!

All-in-all, sixteen people accepted Christ during my travels (each person’s first time)—nine during that meeting and seven more as a result of an earlier sermon I preached.

Ron Putnam

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