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December 27, 2020 12:36 am
In our final episode of our Christmas series, Eddie shares another experience he and his wife had while stationed in the UK. This story is another reminder of how painful the Christmas season can be for some- and as Christ followers, how can we be a light to those in darkness?
Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life will come back to words of life. I'm Bernie Dake and Cheryl Cheryl how was your Christmas. It was amazing. Always good to be with family did you get everything you could have wished for almost well and I know that this was was special for my mom because just having her children close is all the gift we could ever give her the best gifts which makes it easy to shop for her. While that's awesome Bernie, this is our final episode of our Christmas series with Eddie Hobgood, we pray this is been an extra special blessing for those listening around the world this season. In this episode Eddie shares a powerful story of someone's cry for help while he and his wife were stationed in London were very much aware that especially during the holidays. There's a sense of loneliness or a sense of despair for a number of people and we want you to know that there is still a hope line active in the Salvation Army if you're finding yourself alone or feel depressed and just need someone to talk to pick up the phone, dial 1844458. Hope that's 1-844-458-4673 next week. We launch our first ever highlight real serious. This is a nine week series sharing some of our favorite and most memorable interviews from the past few years.
Next week we are re-airing our interview with Colonels Charles and Shirley white. I think a lot of our listeners might know the influence of Colonels Charlie and Shirley white. But they are particularly noting the Salvation Army community because they are the couple that invented our Angel tree program and so many kids around.
At least the United States are adopted by people that are shopping and find these angels at the mall or the store or through their businesses and then they buy gifts based on the Angels sizes and it's a beautiful way for the Salvation Army to help a family make their Christmas even more special is a real practical way of bringing hope to families who are in need with with physical items but also we have an opportunity to minister during this time, sharing the hope and the love of Christ. Charlie is no longer with us. Unfortunately, he's gone to heaven or what we like to say in the Salvation Army. He's been promoted to glory. But we know for so many people around the country that their influence in the work of the Lord through them has made so many people's Christmas even brighter. So we thank God for their service. Yeah, this is gonna be a very powerful series.
So we just want to pray a blessing over our listeners and our partner stations fatherly so I give you thanks you are good God who gives your children good gifts and you've been so very, very good to us and we thank you for the privilege to share on this radio program around the world and the message of hope, the message of Emmanuelle God with us and stepfather. Right now we just pray blessing upon our listeners and those who partner with us around the world to get the message of hope to the world and we pray Lord Jesus that you would be so very close to them and that Lord God as they enter into this new year 2021 that Lord your blessing and your care would be upon them. In Jesus name Amen men. Happy new year everyone. It was a beautiful crisp autumn morning. My wife and I who serve us Salvation Army officers were stationed in London England at the time we lived about 12 miles outside of the city and commuted on the train to work every morning we would typically ride the train to the end of the line at Cannon Street and then walked the four blocks to the office. On rare occasions we would get off the train at the next to the last stop London Bridge station and walk for about 25 to 30 minutes along the Thames River to the office.
It was a beautiful walk through the Borough market where even early in the morning. The aroma of fresh baked bread and bacon sizzling on the grill would permeate the air next would come the Golden Hind a replica of a ship that was captained by Sir Francis Drake in the mid-1500s. Then came the Globe theater.
Another replica Globe is famous for being the place where Shakespeare's wildly popular and enduring plays were performed after that we would continue along the Thames to the millennial bridge that crossed over to the office we didn't take this walk often because of the distance and the unpredictability of the weather, but this particular morning was just perfect for walking. So as we wound our way through the alleys to the river and made for the bridge, we heard a faint call. Help me help me. We looked around. The morning was already busy with commuters scurrying up and down the riverbank trying to get to their offices to begin the day's work.
Help me help me. We heard it again and then we saw her standing on the edge of the concrete wall that kept the Thames River within its banks to the young woman. She was crying and trying to make up her mind she should jump into the roaring water or step down off the ledge. Our eyes connected and I could see that she was crying out to us for help. I asked my wife to call 911 order in the UK. It's 999 for help. She stepped to the side and hurriedly call the emergency number.
The girl and I locked eyes and I slowly walked toward should stepped off the ledge. Periodically, something would startle her, and she would quickly climb back up on the ledge and motioned as though she would jump so I stood still and once again she lifted my eyes and cried. Help me please help me. Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity. I made it to her and helped her down off the ledge she fell into my arms.
Weeping, barely able to speak I knew he would stop. I knew you'd stop. How did you know that I asked. I saw your uniform. You're the Sally Army, I knew you would help me. We moved to the bench. My wife joined us as she began to tell her story. Her name was Alma. She told us that she believed in God, but her life had fallen apart. For whatever reason that she didn't go into her family had disowned her and she had become homeless.
She was in such a dark place that all she could think of doing was ending her life ending her pain. She allowed us to pray with her and then we shared that no matter how hopeless she felt how dark the wasting she could trust God to restore hope and ease her pain. She just needed to call out to him.
I again asked her why she picked us out of that crowd of people who were walking past.
She replied I know you Salvation Army people believe in God and I knew that you would understand.
I assured her that I understood more than she realized that my life had not been all roses and sunshine, but that I had personally proven God to be faithful and I knew with every ounce of my being that she could to buy that time help had arrived.
She was calm and knew that jumping into the river was not the answer, but because she has threatened to take her life. The emergency workers needed to take her someplace where they could observe her make sure she wouldn't hurt herself and connect her with those who could help her put her life back together.
We prayed once more and then I pointed to a large building on the other side of the river and said if you ever want to talk need help just want someone to pray with come to that building and asked for the Americans they'll know who you want.
We kinda stick out when we open our mouths. The three of us hugged and she got into the ambulance and we never saw her again. But since that day I have never ceased praying for. I thought it was interesting that her name was Alma in Spanish. The word Alma means so and I prayed that this precious soul in such pain and darkness would find peace and hope and joy that she so desperately was looking for. As I think about Christmas.
I often think about the spiritual darkness, that the light of the world. Jesus came into John right so beautifully about the slide in John 1135. In the beginning was the one who was called the word. The word was with God and was truly God from the very beginning the Word was with God and with this word God created all things. Nothing was made without the word everything that was created, received its life from him and his life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark and darkness has never put it out when Jesus was born. The world was spiritually dark for hundreds of years, the children of God had been in darkness and throughout this time, they cried out to him help us. Please help us and it just the right time God did just that by sending Jesus the babe of Bethlehem, the light of the world.
As I wake up each morning and I turn on the news or open up the paper I have to tell you that I see and since so much darkness there days. I honestly shake my head and whisper. Help us Lord please help us and is my mind and my heart turns once again to Christmas. I am reminded that God has helped us helped us beyond our wildest dreams and sending Jesus the light of the world to us. He has heard our cries and he is walking toward us, arms outstretched, ready to receive us into his embrace. Here, our cries and dry our weeping eyes. He tells us that he understands our pain he's personally experienced it as well and he assures us that God hears knows and wants to turn our weeping into joyfulness. How do we know that God cares his uniform is the flesh and blood of humanity. He clothed himself in it to prove to us just how much he loves us loves you. The darkness cannot overcome his light. Regardless, your pain, or the depth of your despair. Jesus no longer the Bethlehem babe but the Savior of humankind is waiting to embrace you, and take away the pain that keeps you from knowing the fullness of life, our father, we thank you today how for this Christmas season that is just past disability this chance to to worship you and praise you God incarnate Emmanuelle God with us. And now as our eyes turned toward the new year. We don't know what's going to come our way there still a lot of darkness around us, but we are grateful and we are confident because you are still the light of the world and whatever darkness and uncertainty that might be there.
Your brightness chases it away. And so I pray for those who are listening to this broadcast today that whatever things that they deal with that cost and hurt that cause them pain that caused them to even doubt for a moment worth of their life.
I pray God heavenly father I pray that you would somehow find a way to wrap them in your arms that they would know that they would since in a very real way that you love them that you care for them that Joe you are God over all, and that whatever darkness is there, your light, your eternal light will dispel it and drive it away and replace it with joyfulness and the fullness of life that only you can give. So we thank you for that today we thank you for this new year and we can walk confidently into it because we walk with you and see your name we pray on the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and love to hear from you. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-229-9965, write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 tell us how we can help share prayer request or share your testimony. Would love to use your story on here. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes podcast store and surely give us a rating search for the Salvation Army's words of life. Follow us on social media for the latest episode extended interviews and more. And if you don't have a church home. We invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center will be glad to see you. This is bringing to join us next time for the Salvation Army's life