Real-Estate Salesman Gains Vision for Sharing Christ
In 1957, a friend in my hometown of Phoenix gave me 2 tickets to a Campus Crusade for Christ banquet.
My wife, Nadine, and I arrived as staff member Elmer Lappen started to speak. He had 6 or 8 students with him, and they gave testimonies about becoming Christians -- mostly through Campus Crusade.
That got my attention. I listened, remembering times during World War II when soldiers talked about God.
It was not unusual that we would talk about God after a hard battle. I had missed opportunities to share the gospel with them because I didn't know how. Sitting at the banquet, I knew then that Campus Crusade was what I had been searching for.
Then Bill Bright spoke. I thought, Man! This guy would make a great real-estate salesman. He spoke of putting staff members at every major college in the world and about realizing the Great Commission in this generation.
I don't think anyone in the room believed that was even a possibility. I spoke with Bill afterward and later became a board member.
Some time later, Bill discovered a former resort and hotel for sale at Arrowhead Springs in San Bernardino, Calif. He invited 17 businessmen, myself included, to hear his vision for developing the 1,735 acres as a future headquarters for Campus Crusade.
"How much do they want for it?" asked a developer from Denver.
"Two million," said Bill.
A period of silence preceded someone else asking, "How much do you have now?"
"Nothing," replied Bill.
I will never forget those minutes. My experience in real estate had not yet taught me you could buy a $2 million property with nothing. I told Bill that if God gave him the property, Nadine and I would devote 1 year to getting it ready.
"That has been my only concern," Bill said, "how to do that and ministry too."
I thought to myself, That's his only concern! Where's that $2 million coming from? But a few months later, we moved into Arrowhead Springs.
I've been an admirer of Campus Crusade and Bill Bright for over 50 years. Through that association I learned to share my faith, to teach, to speak in public and -- most importantly -- to trust God.