This is my story.
Late one night in 1967, I decided to leave Miracle Valley, but before I could leave, it was like I needed permission. I sought Pastor Wooten for council and prayer. As usual Rev. Wooten understood as he talked to me, and we prayed.
As I pulled my car on Hwy 92 and headed east, I looked in my mirror to see Miracle Valley lights for the last time. I felt the mind-cuffs loosen, and yet I kept looking in my mirror to see if Rev. Wooten had changed his mind and was chasing me down. I felt free, free at last, and yet at the same time, I did not realize Miracle Valley would never leave me.
I felt I had escaped. I was desperate to sort my Christianity, Miracle Valley, versus an immense desire for just a normal and comfortable life. I felt I had to sort what was real and what was not real. After all, I had married a beautiful girl from the Valley, and we had a new beautiful baby girl. I had responsibility now. I felt I had paid my dues, and I deserved normal and comfortable. I wanted a place where my name did not start with Brother, and my wife’s name did not start with Sister.
NOW FORTY YEARS LATER -
I’ve been blessed, and yes, I’ve found the comfortable and normal life. Oh sure, I hold all the values. My Corporation is of high morals, and I give. I give to street bums; I contribute when it’s convenient. I even have gotten up early Sunday morning, to have coffee and donuts ready when the congregation arrives. I work with Christian organizations. I felt I had done all the right things for all the right reasons.
Recently, I had a week of Golf in Tucson. My brother Charles and I decided to visit Miracle Valley. After all we had contributee, wished, and hoped that that ground would come back to its destiny. As we drove, the desert felt comfortable as it holds a beauty that is all of its own. Then we pulled into the Valley.
It was too late to turn around.
THAT DAY LEFT ME WITH THREE FEELINGS THAT COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED ME.
#1 BETRAYED - HOW THIS PLACE GOT LIKE THIS?
DOES THIS CONDITION NULLIFY ALL THE MIRACLES, THE SIGNS AND WONDERS, ALL WE FELT, AND ALL THAT WE WERE TAUGHT?
ARE ALL THE PROPHECIES NOW VOID?
Just let me leave, and call in the bulldozers, for I do not want to see anymore. 1967 came rushing back. I needed to get back to golf.
#2 WHY WOULD GOD SEND A TOTAL STRANGER TO RESTORE MIRACLE VALLEY?
Was this not the job of the big organizations like the Assembly’s or someone with a lot of resources and endless contributors?
Did Dr. Harter not know this massive undertaking?
Did Dr. Harter not know the endless legal battles, did he not know the whole world turns against you if you say “Miracle Valley Bible College.”
We toured the grounds and had lunch with Dr. Harter and Roberta.
So much has already been done, and it looked wonderful but what was left to do was overwhelming to me, and I am just a visitor.
We found two of the most sincere people that I have ever met.
I thought I had seen blind faith, but this was off the charts.
This humble man said, “God sent me here and God has not told me to leave.” I’m thinking, “There goes logic.”
#3 WOW, HOW DO I WALK AWAY? DO I GIVE UP COMFORTABLE?
Then it came to me, maybe I could give up a little comfort.
Maybe I could donate more.
Maybe I could help restore a building, and maybe I could make a difference.
Maybe I could take a chance, like my father and mother, actually step out on faith and stand with this man, Dr. Harter, who has given his own money, and seven years of his life.
I believe with him that YES, we’re against all odds, but God’s plan never went with odds.
Maybe I could get off the side-lines and get involved more.
Miracle Valley was not founded upon logic, it was founded with deep faith, and a belief that a school was needed to send people to all parts of the world to spread the good news.
Nothing logical explains why Dr. Harter would see the vision, except that the Holy of Holies called his name.
So, I ‘m standing with Dr. Harter, I pledge to do more.
I pledge to pray, support, and help any way that I can.
I believe this land and these buildings are consecrated by our Savior, knowing he has walked that ground before, still is at this time, and I know He will continue to visit, for you see, I believe our Savior is familiar with the desert.