Friday, September 4, 2009

He Is Free Indeed

This post is from the blog of Tony Miano. The last Ambassadors' Academy of the season proved to be a memorable one for all involved.

It was Saturday afternoon and Ambassadors Academy #12 was drawing to a close. I sat down near the top of the amphitheater at Huntington Beach, next to one of the participants. His face was a dark red as a result of a full day in the sun. The look on his face expressed a combination of deep thought, determination, and sorrow.

The man, sixteen years my junior (almost to the day), had made his first-ever trans-continental flight to come to the Ambassadors Academy. It was his first trip to California. It was the first time he had seen the ocean. It was the first time he had ever experienced the open display of immorality that is commonplace on Hollywood Boulevard and on Huntington Beach. He had traveled from the small community of Honey Brook, which is located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The road he traveled to get to the Academy is an interesting one. I first became aware of the man when Ray Comfort asked me to watch a BBC documentary about the man and his family. I was moved to tears as I watched the man's story and heard his testimony of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I was also shocked as I learned about the persecution he faced from his own community. The story reminded me of what Martin Luther and the other great reformers faced at the hands of a religious system that had become corrupt, legalistic because of adherence to man-made traditions, and morally bankrupt. What shocked me is that what I was watching was not taking place in 16th century Europe, but in the farming communities of southern Pennsylvania.