Dale Brandt ~ Garnavillo, Iowa

My grandpa was a preacher and I knew the Bible was true, that I was a sinner, and that I needed to be saved to go to heaven. But, I didn’t take it seriously.

            Sometimes, preachers came to visit. I always told them what they wanted to hear. I even told them I wanted to be saved. That wasn’t true!

            God spoke to me when I was in college at Ames, Iowa. One night, a car cut in front of me. I swerved, barely missed the car, and landed in a ditch. It scared me.

            In 1967 I thought again about salvation during the six-day war between Israel and Egypt. I was sure the rapture was coming soon. But, I still did not get saved.

            When I graduated, I joined the Peace Corp and went to Nicaragua; a country where 99.9% of the people were Catholic. There, I met my wife, Miriam. She knew the truth of the gospel because she attended a Baptist Church. Every Sunday in town, a small group sang gospel hymns. I could not get away from the gospel.

            When I returned to the USA, I was called to the Army during the Vietnam War. God spoke to me again as I heard stories of soldiers dying. When I got out of the Army, I took my wife back to Nicaragua to see her family. On December 23, 1972, there was an earthquake in Nicaragua. When I saw all the bodies were covered with sheets, I thought, “That could have been me.”

            In 1974 my wife went to Chicago and when I went to pick her up, she told me she had gotten saved.  I was bitter because she got it first. That Sunday, a series of gospel meetings started in our town. When the preacher came to talk, I was angry that he took 45 minutes of my time.

            In 1975, I decided to get serious about getting saved. Mr. Albert Ramsay visited me often. I even prayed one day, “God save me!” It seemed empty and fruitless. I told Mr. Ramsay “The Bible says, ‘If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.’ I sure must be lost.” But I still didn’t get saved.

            The next year, Mr. Jack Saword and Mr. Minor Hawk came for meetings. On March 31, 1976, at my request, Mr. Saword to come visit me. We read Scriptures until midnight.

            The next day, I was in the barn trying to believe and accept Christ. I finally came to the point where I thought there was no way I would be saved. Just then, I thought of the words of the Lord Jesus when He was on the cross: “It is finished!” I thought, “If He did it all, then there is nothing left for me to do. I’m saved.”

            For several weeks I said nothing. After the gospel meetings, Mr. Saword came to visit me. I told him what had happened. He opened his Bible and read, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand” (John 10:27-29). Right there I knew I was in the Father’s hand. Right there by a bale of hay, I bowed down and thanked God for saving my soul.

            Could you thank God for saving your soul?