A Boy’s Calling to be a Missionary of the Heart
Many have read this story about a boy I know who was abused and many have not. It is even more powerful as I go deeper into what the boy sees. I offer it again to encourage anyone who is dealing with abuse experienced or still ongoing, that your life doesn’t end with your abuse. It can be a transforming story as you reach out to others to help you heal from it. Please feel free to share this story with all you feel need to hear a real story of overcoming abuse. Have a light-filled life! – Kevin
If I could just have five minutes of your valuable time, I would like to tell you the story of a boy with dreams as wide as the sea of Galilee. He was going to grow up to serve his Lord, in spite of his challenges. Even though he had a spastic gait from a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, he is determined to make a difference in every life he would touch. As he battles one flu or respiratory bug after the other, he believes that all he is experiencing is for a purpose larger than himself.
The flame of hope for a kinder and more just society burns within him even as a five year-old. His mother realizes that there is a challenging call upon his life. She approaches his teachers to ask that they encourage the development of his beautiful mind. She wants him to know that along with poor eyesight and poor physical coordination, he possesses a fine mind. She arranges for him to read about the lives of others with challenges, like Braille and Keller. He reads about how they helped many people. He reads stories about scientists like Pasteur, who discovered a technique to pasteurize milk. He sees that one person with a determined will can make a difference.
The Lord has his mother see in him what he could not see. His schizo affective father would belittle him. “You’re clumsy. You’re stupid. You’re brother’s smarter than you’ll ever be. You’re a mamma’s boy. You disappoint me. Do you work at being stupid? Why are you so awkward that you can’t tie your own shoes?”
The boy couldn’t understand how his dad could be Dr. Jekyll one moment and Mr. Hyde the next. The wonderful image of his father carrying him piggy back while ice-cream dripped down the boy’s face on to his dad, stands in sharp contrast to the many spankings for no reason. Those haunting hate-filled words from his father’s mouth burn in his memory: “The hand or the book. The hand or the book.”
Tears flow down his face as his father’s destructive, cold and cruel thoughts play over and over in his mind.
As he cries himself to sleep so many lonely nights, something larger than himself says, “Hold on. Don’t give in. Fight. Believe that life can be beautiful. There is a purpose for all you’re going through.”
The abuse remains hidden, controlled and exacting. He uses his vivid imagination to paint a different world, one where he is in control, where he is powerful.
In the cool and refreshing breeze under the willow tree by their home, he closes his eyes and dreams that he is a World War II flying ace. He attacks his father and kills him with a machine gun. Rat a tat tat. Rat a tat tat. Mission successful. That mean and vicious man is dead.
Then, he awakes to know in his sorrowful heart that this is only a dream. This terrifying reality looms over even the joy of splashing in mud puddles.
One day he sees his mother hanging by a belt. She attempts to commit suicide, because the mental and physical torture from his father is too much to endure. The five year-old boy screams out, “Mom, please don’t die! Please don’t die!” His father cuts the belt in a lucid moment. The boy’s mother is choking and gasping for her life. But she lives, live more years with the horror and the burning certainty that her husband will beat her again and again. The boy sees how his mother’s feeling of helplessness that she could not escape her abuse, causes her to be blind for several months.
One day he is finding it difficult to have faith to believe. He prays to God to rescue him. God answers, but it takes six long agonizing years before the answer becomes reality. An opportunity comes when the father is busy driving taxi. The boy, his brother and his mother escape their perpetual hell.
As a man of 51, the boy who was abused and ridiculed, goes on to be a missionary in South Korea, social advocate, loving husband, graduate counselling student, writer, journalist, singer, songwriter, professor, counsellor and a healer of wounded hearts and broken lives. He forgives his father for those seemingly never-ending years of abuse. He takes back the vow he made that he would find a way to kill him. Forgiveness is born in tears of healing as the boy’s stepfather challenges him to forgive and not have his life ruined by the cancer of the abuse. Why did this abused boy go on to serve his Lord?
It was his way of saying thank you to his Lord for answering the prayer of a despairing, helpless five year-old to rescue him from the pain and hopelessness of abuse. He would grow up using this knowledge being a victorious healer of others, because of the hope Christ put in his soul.
Did you guess that boy is me?
Thank you, Lord, for my calling to be a missionary of the heart.
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About Dr. Kevin Osborne B.A., B.Th., M.A., M.Div., Psy.D., Th.D. (Cand.)I enjoy spending time with people just having a coffee or talking about life, philosophy, religion, politics or sharing a favorite joke or story. We learn from one another as we interact and share our joys, challenges and even our times of sadness. I enjoy reading, writing, singing and sharing in the blessing of community whether that is one on one or in groups. I'm married and am powned by two kitties named Sir William of Lounge a.k.a. Sir Lounge a Lot and Princess Catherine of Chaos a.k.a. Her Royal Highness Catherine of Englehart. Two years ago I completed my Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.) through St. James the Elder University. On Sept. 26th 2020, I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Canadian Christian Theological Seminary. These journeys were started over 20 years ago. In 1997 I received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Canada Christian College & Graduate School. Between working and studying it took 13 years to finish it. Let us pray for and reach out to each other with kindness, love and an embracing compassion. We can working together be servants with two open hands to those in need so that hate, indifference and inequality would lose and love will win. The peace and abounding joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Posted on September 11, 2013, in On Life's Purpose and tagged boy, Braille, call, compassion, Dr. Jekyll, dreams, flu, Helen keller, Hope, loving others, mind's seat, Mother Teresa, Mr. Hyde, neuro degenerative, Pasteur, schizo affective, sea of Galilee, social advocacy, social justice, society, story. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.
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What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing this story of God’s grace with us. It is awesome to think that we have a God that would be with you through so much adversity. I would love it if you could guest post and share this story with the followers I have on my blog. Thanks again. Such an encouragement.
I would be glad to be a guest blogger for you. Do you want to do this by reblogging my piece? Please feel free to reblog any of my pieces that you think would be a blessing to others.
Yes, He is an awesome God to have been with me through such times of adversity. It uplifts my spirit that you saw Christ shone through what I was called upon by my Lord to share.
I look forward to following your blog.
Reblogged this on Testimonies of His Goodness.
Thanks so much for the reblog! Plese feel free to reblog or share any of the pieces I’ve written.
Reblogged this on God's Enduring Love and commented:
A BITTERSWEET STORY AND BEAUTIFUL TESTIMONY OF GOD’S SAVING GRACE AND DELIVERANCE – Surviving a life of abuse and being called to serve God.
Shofar, thanks for such a succinct and accurate summary of my life story. I read on your blog that you play the ukelele, love going snorkeling and that you’ve been a missionary. Such a fascinating life! So, how did the journey happen for you to be a missionary?
Aloha Kevin, there are posts about my testimony in Category ‘About Me and My Family’ or search ‘My Testimony’. You can read ‘A Call to the Mission Field’ at
http://heulu.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/a-call-to-the-mission-field/ God bless you,
Reblogged this on Just Ask Tina.
I am a new follower of yours and thus, did not even suspect that was you whom you were describing. I truly found it hard to read, forcing myself to continue. I hesitated to hear the ending. Needless to say I am covered in chills. I had just finished praying, singing, and speaking over my sons who each fell into a peaceful sleep in the midst of the stirring of God’s presence. My heart filled with contentment, I sat down to read a few posts and this was one of them. All I can say is that the power of the blood and love of Christ is irrefutable and amazing. My hope, faith and trust have been stirred at the reading if your post. God bless and continue to keep you in strength and peace!
Thanks for reblogging my story, Tina. Love the inspirational thoughts on your blog. The writing my Lord has been calling upon me to do is taking me to some really rough and tough places. Please pray that as I write about my abuse and the struggles in my life, that others would not merely see Kevin, but that Christ’s light shines out of me.
Helen Keller wrote, ““I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the colour and fragrance of a flower – the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.” That is the testimony of my own life that God’s spirit has always spoken to my heart. He has been the Light in my darkness and the Voice even as there was far too much pain from the abuse to speak about.
Even as I was abused by my manic depressant schizophrenic father I reached out for my Lord. A prayer at 5 under the willow tree by our home to be freed from the terror of the physical and emotional abuse was answered six years later, when in the early morning as I write in “Lord, please rescue me from my private hell”, my mom,brother and me escaped to freedom.
Freedom from being beaten again and again. Freedom from seeing my mom die a little more in her spirit each day. Freedom from my dad stopping the car, getting out and saying he was God blessing the ground. Freedom from being too terrorized to sleep at night. Freedom to be a child again , to not live each moment hearing those haunting words, “The hand or the book. The hand or the book.”
It is my prayer that in the book I’ve started writing called “God’s Miracles For Him” that through me telling my story, others who have been abused will finally tell their story.
It is then that the prayer I made to my Lord at age 11, that one day I would grow up to lead the abused out of their tormenting prison, will be more fully realized.
Please feel free to reblog any of my pieces and share them with those whom you think will be touched and edified by them.
Here is the link for the book synopsis of “God’s Miracles For Him.”
Here’s a gift for you and your family of me singing “In the Garden. and a song I wrote for my wife and shield mate, Karen, entitled “Karen’s Serenade.”
In the Garden
God can make lemonade out of the lemons of our life if we trust Him, really trust Him with our tears and our joys.
Bounteous blessings, Tina!
I really admire your willingness (and obedience) to be vulnerable and transparent about the abuses you have suffered. Particularly for a male in today’s society, to come forward with having felt pain, misery and hopelessness can be rare. I agree that you will need much prayer as you continue to walk forward and tell your story and expose the hurts that you endured – as not only does is force you to revisit/re-live those episodes, but it also sets you toe to toe with the ruler of darkness whose wish it is to keep others trapped in such circumstances or their resulting sadness. He subjects victims of evil to lifetime sentences of shame and guilt which, in turn, works to decay our value and worth from the inside out. Your openness will unlock doors but also makes you a prime target to be shut down by the enemy. The force of God is with you and His protection will always make you victorious. His principles work if we only keep applying them steadily and consistently through all storms and challenges. May the Lord bless you and your wife. May all that you put your hands to be prosperous. God bless!
The love and saving grace of Jesus is amazing. Like Tina, I was overcome with emotion while reading. Thank you for sharing your story of triumph through His grace and tender love. May God continue to bless you and work through your life.
Thanks for taking time to read this piece. God has me going to difficult places, so many will finally be freed from the abuse they experienced. He also wants me to encourage those with chronic health conditions and physical and developmental challenges that they can make a difference to both their community and our world. He truly does use the weak things, the despised and rejected of this world to confound the mighty (I Cor. 1:27-29).
I am writing a book about the story of my life called “God’s Miracles For Him.” The character playing me is Korean, even though I’m Canadian. I will be using my experiences as a missionary in South Korea, to give a twist to the story. I welcome your comments on it. Please feel free to send it on to those you think would be touched by it. The link for the synopsis for it is below. I pray that in God’s time it will also be made into a TV mini series.
iUniverse Publishing has expressed much interest in publishing it. Although it would be self-publishing Lisa Genova went on to be a successful author because a literary agent read her book called “Still Alice” about dealing with autism. Simon & Shuster gave her a six figure book deal for it. My wife, Karen, and I could benefit the work of the Kingdom in helping others through success of this magnitude. My Lord has given me a five point plan for international poverty alleviation. Please pray for God to open the doors He wants to bring it from vision to reality.
Here’s the link for God’s 5 Point Plan For International Poverty Alleviation.
Please feel free to reblog any of my pieces or pass them along. They are intended to touch and inspire people that when God is on our side, there is no limit to what can be accomplished, even with seeming insurmountable challenges.
I look forward to following your blog.
The peace, love and joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
Reblogged this on osborne2029.
I needed these words for my hurting 8 year old son. Different circumstances, but pain nonetheless. I came looking for something for him to read for a Sunday school lesson and this is the site God showed me via Google. LOL! God uses Google!!! I can’t wait to read this to my son tomorrow! Thank you! I’m so sorry for your pain. I was like your mother…though I wanted to die many times, I never tried. I was locked up in the mental ward for a day or two b/c I couldn’t quit crying about my situation. I went back again. I stayed until he broke my back. He was/is a pastor. This has taught me God is the only one who loves me like a father and husband should…all others are only as good as their commitment to God.
I am so deeply touched by your comments. That story was posted on September 11th. I had never thought it would be used for a Sunday school lesson! As one who has done a lot of youth ministry work in my life, the thought that my story filled with both its pain and triumph is blessing others, moves me to tears of abounding joy.
I reach out to you in the pain you have gone through in your life. Such hurt and yet here you are loving your 8 year-old son. I am still healing after over two years of counseling for the abuse I experienced from my manic depressant schizophrenic father. But here’s the beauty that comes from ashes. God is using my story to help facilitate the healing of many hearts.
Jennifer, there is a book I highly recommend you read if you haven’t already. It is “The Wounded Healer” by Henri Nouwen. He is so open about the pain of rejection he felt in his life. He was a Catholic priest, who left the halls of academia to become a chaplain at L’Arche (The Ark). This is a series of homes that started when Jean Vanier was moved to invite two mentally ill men with developmental challenges to live with him in the tiny village of Trosly-Breuil, near Paris. There are homes now for developmentally challenged people all over the world.
Nouwen in “The Wounded Healer” taught me that my painful experiences could be used to the glory of God. I could be a wounded healer. A wounded healer? It took me a long time to get my head around that concept, but I have.
I encourage you today that you too are a wounded healer. Look at the great gift you are giving to your son and all those he will share this story with. Please feel free to share this story or any of my stories wih those whom you feel it would be a blessing to.
What church do you attend? Please let your pastor know that my wife, Karen and I will be praying for you, your family, your church and your pastor. God bless whole pastors, who guide us as we seek to walk closer to God. It’s so sad that you were hurt so much by a pastor of all people. Yet, they are as you say only as good as their commitment to God. I pray that pastor is getting help for the issues that caused him to abuse you.
Are you in a healthy relationship now? I hope my story is also a way of showing you that there are some loving men of God out there. Abuse in any form disgusts me, because I have had so much of it in my life. Yet, my Lord has me on this very difficult journey of loving abusers and even praying for them. I honestly thought that would never happen.
Yes, God is the perfect Father. His love never fails us.
Shine for your Lord, Jennifer! He will use all you have experienced to bring light and healing into the lives of others, who need so much to be loved.
In your private time with your Lord I offer this gift of me singing three songs, “Channels Only” “Karen’s Serenade” and “In the Garden.”
In the Garden
Here’s my gift to your son and the Sunday School kids. Hope they enjoy it!
Jesus loves the little children
Have a Son-filled day!
Thank you for sharing your story. God Bless…Peace
Bruce, you’re most welcome. God bless you, your family and the various avenues of ministry you are involved in. Have a Son-filled week!