Joe L Holt- testimony
Growing up in a home where there was love & integrity, nevertheless regular church attendance did not bring me to Christ. There may have been foundational and important instructions there that prepared me to hear the gospel. The context where I
first heard and understood was exposure to the Bible and the Living Word was when I began to attend the local Young Life high school fellowship group. Hearing the Bible in this fashion was different to me because I had grown up on Christian ethics, doing the
right things and managing my sin.
A short time later in the fall of 1953 I again responded to the call to come to Him. Angel Martinez had come to town for a series of meetings at the First Baptist church. When the invitation was given, I said "Yes" again and reaffirmed my decision. Then a few
months later when Billy Graham came to town for two evening meetings at the Tyler High School football stadium I again reaffirmed my decision the midst of my high school buddies. Salvation being the mystery and miracle that it is, somewhere in that time Christ
came into my heart. I shared with my Young Life leader, Phil McDonald (a seminary student at the time) and he began to meet with me once a week to help me get my feet on the ground and grow in some of the basics of walking in fellowship with the Lord
(Personal victory, Confession/forgiveness, Prayer, Being a witness, Scripture memory). The first verse he gave me was I Thess. 2:8. What a joy it was to me to put that one in my heart. I began to memorize many more of God's precious promises seeking to make them practical in my daily life. I struggled with temptation and sin and found the Lord to be filled with grace and mercy.
My time during those days was consumed with playing football and studying engineering. After two years at Tyler JC then a transfer to play at Oklahoma A&M College my heart was ready for the Christian fellowship I found there in Stillwater. The Lord gave some lifetime friends who at that time took an interest in me and my growth in Christ. The Lord raised up some pretty neat people, some who have been in mission work and still are, and some generational ministries. I was involved with other students who
were actively growing and sharing their faith on campus.
This was attractive to me and the Lord was continuing to draw my heart to Him in such a way that by my senior year I had lost all interest in engineering, my course of study, because I had begun to see the Lord at work changing lives. One of the
verses that had an impact on my life at that time was Mk.4:19, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."
Upon graduation the Lord opened an opportunity to live in a Navigator home in southern California. What a privilege that was, to live, share and fellowship with men with a heart for God who had a focus on missions and the world. I felt that I couldn't measure up to being with men of this calibre but God stretched my heart and continues to do so, always asking me to believe Him for more. I then moved to Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs where for two years I grew in my walk while again being exposed to and fellowshipping with men of like heart.
When Pam and I went back to Oklahoma State University in the fall of 1962, we were filled with faith, and fear, faith because we wanted to believe God and fear because we felt so inexperienced - and, we were inexperienced. I had heard it said somewhere
that God most of the time uses those not necessarily are gifted or talented or experienced but rather those who are faithful and available.
We were available, and we committed ourselves to be "found faithful." Since those two and a half years at OSU working with students, we have invested the last 40 years in working with and discipling US Military people. in all branches of the military
(Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines) in places like Kaiserslauturn, Ger., NAS Pensacola,FL , Heidelberg, Ger., NAS Patuxent River,MD, MCCDC Quantico, VA & FT Lewis, WA.
We moved to Columbus, OH for the purpose of being near our children and grandchildren
while seeking to work in the community ministry "fishing for men" and making disciples. Reaching out and praying for our neighbors and those around us..."As you go through life, make disciples." What a privilege to see generations through men and women like like Dave Perry continuing to be faithful to what and to whom they know.
In all of these men we usually have only a part, a portion, a contribution we can make to serve them. Each part is vital and each must do his God given share. (God brought Sandy along later) God is the one who gets all the credit but just lets us co-labor with Him and see him fulfill all of those precious promises. He is the great shepherd of the sheep. He loves each of his sheep with a passion, and
is jealous over you. You belong to Him and He wants to live His life in and through you.
You too can be involved in this ministry of seeing each lost one return to his Lord. We're not all evangelists but we have all been entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation. (I.Thes 2:4 ; II Cor.5:19,20)
John 3:16 (KJV)
I John 3:16 (KJV)
II Cor.13:4 (NIV)