By Raymond Bodley
His name was Larry, a 20-year-old soldier who came into the church in Frankfurt, Germany, in the 1980s.
When he arrived, he seemed to be running from what he thought was expected of him, while also searching for where God could use him. I wondered how he fit into the U.S. Army mold, though he was really smart.
When I met Larry, he was a “gun bunny” who carried howitzer shells from point A to point B. After he dropped two or three shells, however, the command decided to make him a driver for a captain. That lasted a few trips before the captain decided he’d drive himself, thank you very much.
Larry was passed on to company headquarters where he was put to work filing papers and typing up memos. His supervisors discovered he was gifted as a writer and could type quickly and get the filing done, so for the next 18 months Larry served as the company clerk.
It seemed like Larry always knew in the back of his mind he was destined for ministry (but just couldn’t admit it yet). He came from a family full of missionaries, ministers, and Christian workers, so he had big footsteps to follow. He had a heart for the Lord and wonderful gifts of voice and musical talent that he used for the Lord at the church in Germany. Through his time in the church and in our home, it was amazing to watch him grow and gain confidence in himself and his faith.
After leaving the Army, he returned to finish Bible college and went on to become a worship leader. We were reintroduced when he took a ministry in Ohio. He eventually moved on to Florida, and now has come full circle back to Germany to minister in Berlin through Open Door Libraries.
Raymond Bodley serves as director of engagement at CrossRoads Missions in Louisville, Kentucky.