Mt. Peaks of Nostalgia
--By Ben Gilmore
Each of us have major life-events that are significant in our life-adventure.
Last Thursday, I drove 700 miles (round trip) to attend the memorial service of a great man of God, Jim Dawson [11/21/1922 – 2/24/2013]. The nostalgia resulted from being immersed in a sea of giants, in the worldwide Christian missions family.
For the cynics who label this “The post-Christian era,” I suggest you Google “Jim and Joy Dawson and their association with world mission groups like YWAM (Youth With A Mission).
I chatted with people who are introducing Christ to people in hundreds of nations, including the most “anti-Christian.”
Among the hundreds of memorials I recommend that of YWAM founder, Loren Cunningham
Since I am an old geezer who still has trouble understanding telephones without wires that take pictures (!!), someone please send this along to the precious Dawson family members.
During our time in Southern California, it was my honor to be a prayer partner with Jim Dawson. Together, we started a “Friends of YWAM” group using a pamphlet Jim asked me to write, “Come and Die”. Jim Dawson’s stories have been shared with our Biblical Principles students for 3 decades now.
Easter week in 1975, Jim’s son, John Dawson, lead 185 college aged youngsters from all over the west to our small home-town, Morgan Hill. They stayed in 85 homes for the week and ministered to every church in town (save one). Each morning was a time of prayer and praise in a different sanctuary. Each afternoon two-by-two they took a religious survey of every home in town. Each evening they hosted a standing-room-only event.
One evening M.H.’s only theater hosted a worship service that prompted the (then) Mayor Daley, to label that week, “The most significant in the town’s history.” On another evening, they filled the Roman Catholic sanctuary (the largest room in town) with a service held in Spanish with an English interpreter! That service opened with the Baptist youth choir singing, “Sing Hallelujah To The Lord”. They were singing in Spanish!
Three generations of Jim and Joy Dawson’s family are in full time Christian missions activities. They have inspired thousands with their example and insight. Fran and I are part of that fruit.
The Memorial Service held in Jack Hayford’s “Church on the Way” in Van Nuys, was captured on TV. If the DVD or YouTube becomes available, I encourage every pastor and parent reading these words to view it.
“You will be missed, Jim!
We look forward to our next reunion!”Ben Gilmore