Maine has been a wonderful experience this week, and we have been in some wonderful churches. God is using these men in a great way in an area of our country that remains highly unreached! It has truly been my honor to get to know several of the pastors serving our Great God in Maine.
I have also had the privilege to meet a very unusual man; Jeff Malloy! When I first met Jeff, I’ll be honest and say that I felt a bit of pity. However, it was not very long before that pity turned to admiration!
You see, Jeff is a quadriplegic. Jeff is not unusual because he is a quadriplegic, but because of the attitude he displays! Ten years ago, Jeff was in Bible college, engaged to be married, and was doing some work on his home for his soon-to-be wife. While pulling some nails out of the roof, only about twelve feet high, Jeff lost his balance and fell head first into the ground below, breaking his neck.
I sat and listened to his story and was so ashamed of some of the menial things that I choose to complain about. I began to be convicted when Jeff stated, “God has used this accident to open doors in ways I never imagined for myself! I have been able to speak and teach about our Savior to wounded warriors, and others that have no hope in this life! God sure has been good to me!”
While talking with Jeff, Pastor Barnes testified that Jeff on more than one occasion has given God praise for being in “that chair” because he knows it is in “that chair” that he is in God’s perfect will! Pastor Barnes also spoke of the countless hours that Jeff spends in the Word of God, studying and preparing Sunday School lessons each week. Jeff uses a hat with a special lens in order to move a mouse on the computer to outline and print all his material.
Jeff has also, with permission, taken a design of a shooting system that allows him to hunt with a crossbow, rifle, or shotgun, and improved upon the original design! The Equalizer Shooting System.
God used Jeff to teach me a valuable lesson this week; whatever I have to complain about, there is always someone in far worse condition. However, in Jeff’s case, there IS NO COMPLAINING, only PRAISING! Jeff told me that he didn’t want me to compare my problems to his because everyone’s is always different, but always important. I asked him to allow me for just a moment to feel the weight of his condition and compare it to mine. Then I asked myself, “what have I praised God for today?!”
So when I want to complain… I think about Jeff!
I pray that Jeff’s story will speak to you in the way that it did me. Let’s give God the glory today, for He sure has been good to us!
Your missionaries to South Africa,
Stephen, Ashlee, Peyton, and Eli
The Underwood Family