Update from Lud, October ’23

October 20th, 2023
Update from Lud, October, ‘23
In my last update I asked for prayer while I traveled on September 28th flying to Chicago to spend a few days with Greg and Jeff’s families. We had a great time together watching grandson Benjamine play in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament, as well as enjoying good food and fellowship. From there Greg and I flew to Vancouver, Canada, to visit with my family and friends for the first time in six years. We had wonderful times, in many different settings, getting updated on what has been happening in their lives and sharing what’s been happening in my life. The food was spectacular. As scheduled, I spoke at a Sr’s luncheon in the church where I grew up. I shared how I left from there 69 years ago, and some of what God has done in my life and through my life over the years since then. I based my thoughts on Paul’s prayer recorded in 2nd Thessalonians 1:11-12.
I went there to thank that church for being the seedbed for God to start His work in my life, and for their prayers over the years. I explained how I’ve learned to let God know daily that I’m available, that I know I’m on assignment 24/7 and that I’m His ambassador, confident that He has my back in all I attempt to do for Him. I encouraged them to make that their daily mindset prayer. From there I flew back to my new home in NC. We had the first Vesper Service here in my Sr community on September 24. It went well, with 15 in attendance. Please pray for the second service planned for October 29. Some who couldn’t come to the first service are planning to come to the second. Pray for God’s guidance and blessing as I continue this trial of doing a service each month for the rest of this year. What to do after that is in God’s hands.

In my last Update I promised to share the rest of the Serendipitous Encounter with MM Mathew on the flight in India some years ago. Remember we prayed together as he received Jesus as his Savior, just before the plane landed. When I got home from the trip, I wrote to him, and some months later got a response. (If for some reason you didn’t get to read that account, I’ve included it at the end, below. You might want to read that first)*
Shortly after getting back in Africa to teach, MM started looking for other Christians so they might pray together. That led to a small Bible study group. Gradually he began growing and wanting to get a better understanding of the Bible so he could share his faith with others. He wrote, “My fellowship with other believers is both satisfying and enriching the mind. I am very much delighted to tell you that whenever I get a chance to lead the Bible study, I prepare the lesson using your cassettes or your book, A Daily Guide to Knowing God. Without these tools I would not have been able to do anything. I am very much indebted to you for my Christian growth.” He also distributed to others, books and cassettes I sent him.
When he later moved to Nigeria, he found a strong Evangelical church with services a couple of times a week. He wrote, “I attend regularly and participate actively in both. I am happy to say that I am maturing steadily in my faith, and it gives me much pleasure to share my faith with those around me.”
Over a decade after we first met, he was able to finally get a teaching/principal job back in India, in Darjeeling, in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. From there he finally ended up becoming the principal of a large Christian school in Trivandrum, with a student body of over 2500 students. “It is a matter of great joy to be in a Christian institution, with a beautiful chapel where we have daily evening services,” he wrote.
Over 25 years after we met, he wrote, “My school work is going on well. Our school was the winner of the National Computer Literacy Excellence Award which was instituted for the first time by the Government of India. I had the privilege of receiving this award from the President of India. Our school is a member of an Association which has over 700 member schools all over India. I was unanimously elected the vice-president of this Association for a year and then the President for the next year. Please join me in thanking God for all these blessings.”
What a privilege was mine, to mentor him by correspondence over those years. A few years after that update from him, we met in person for only the second time in over 25 years, this time with our wives. They hosted us for a few days of reminiscing and touring where they then lived. Now you know “The rest of my story!” Or, I believe it would be best to say, “THE REST OF GOD’S STORY!!!”

Update for late Summer, ’23

September 17th, 2023
I finally feel like I have my medical team in place down here in North Carolina. I’ve met with all of them face to face and have a good handle on where I’m at physically. After all the tests and treatments, I think I’m ready to celebrate my next birthday in a few days, feeling better than expected at my age.
The radio ministry continues. I just finished reprinting two of my books that were first published 60 years ago: Walking as He Walked, and Hindrances and Helps to Christian Living. If you’re interested in getting a copy let me know. Here in my new environment, I’ve been praying about possibly doing a Vesper service, once a month for the rest of the year to see if that might be something God would want me to do. There is interest on the part of some of the residents here. We’ve set the first date to be September 24. Please pray for God’s guidance and blessing.
I flew to GA to visit Debbie’s family. Then on September 28th I will fly to Chicago to spend a few days with Greg and Jeff’s families. From there Greg and I will fly to Vancouver, Canada, to visit with my family and friends. I’m scheduled to speak at a Sr’s luncheon in the church where I grew up. From there I’ll fly back to my new home in NC.
I sure do appreciate your faithful prayer support.

Let me set the stage for this serendipitous encounter. MM Mathew, a teacher from India, took his family to Africa where they pay teachers better. Things were going well until there was a political uprising in the country. Being threatened they fled for their safety. Along the way a Catholic priest gave him a Bible. On their second f city to wait out the storm, but eventually had to fly back to Bombay. On that flight I got into a conversation with MM. He shared how frustrating and tiring the trip had been. Gradually our conversation turned to spiritual matters. Before landing we talked about getting together for some coffee after we got settled into a hotel. That didn’t happen because we were assigned different hotels. The next morning, I tried finding a direct flight to Sri Lanka where I was scheduled to go, but to no avail. So, I finally got on the repeat flight to Trivandrum. As soon as we got airborne, I walked the isle looking for him. When his wife saw me, she said, “My husband was looking all over the airport for you.” Then I noticed him on the other isle. I said to him, “I’ll come over to you after the meal” they were beginning to serve. When I got there, he put his young son on his lap, and we continued the conversation. I was able to share the gospel with him and as we were descending, I asked him if he would like to pray and ask Jesus to be his Savior. He responded, “YES!” We prayed just before the plane landed. What an amazing network of obstacles and flights and seeming setbacks before we ended up sitting together. While the plane was taxiing, I got his address. When they exited, they had relatives waiting for them. Then it was over…but not really. I had a great visit and ministry in Sri Lanka. When I got home, I wrote to him, and some months later got a response. He was back in Africa teaching. Shortly after getting back, he started looking for other Christians so they might pray together. That led to a small Bible study group. Gradually he began growing and wanting to get a better understanding of the Bible. I’ll pick up the rest of this serendipitous encounter in my next Update.

August 16th, 2023
Update from Lud, August, ‘23
I got to see my 12th great grandchild, Ezekiel, the other day! What an amazing gift from God.
Let me share another amazing gift from God in this month’s Serendipitous Encounter:
We drove to Chicago and flew to Colorado a few years ago. I wondered whether driving to Chicago and flying from there was the best plan for this trip. But on our drive home from Chicago, at a truck stop, a truck driver was having lunch in Arby’s, a few tables from where we were having a snack. He asked a question about the impeachment hearings showing on the TV. After a few comments back and forth, he asked, “What can we do?” Mur suggested prayer. He said he was praying, a..n..d…the conversation continued. Before long I went over and sat by him to go deeper in the conversation. To make a longer story short, I shared the Gospel, and he prayed with me, asking Jesus to be his personal Savior and ever present companion!! Was it a good decision to drive to Chicago? I think God answered that question by touching a lonely truck driver’s heart and Jesus became his Savior and friend who will stick closer to him than a brother! (Proverbs 18:24). Because of this serendipitous encounter he won’t be driving that truck alone anymore!
Another opportunity opened up for me when I received a phone call from Randy Heckman, a guy who was a student of mine at Wheaton Academy High School about 60 years ago. He is leading a prayer movement for revival in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also has a podcast ministry, and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed for the podcast. To get a link to view the podcast email lud.

Update from Lud, July ’23

July 25th, 2023
After my recent trips I’m again settling in to my new normal. It was great to see family and friends in Chicago, and then the full schedule of meeting with as many as I could while in the Chagrin Falls area. Then over the 4th weekend I got to see all of Tammi’s family – they now are half of our family. And in a few days I’m expecting another great grandchild, a boy! My, my! How God has blessed, and continues to bless (Psalm 127). Because of your prayers, rejoice with me.
God also answered prayer in the ministry I continue to have. The other day I had the privilege of teaching the Bible at a weekly class they have here at Wayside Village. I’ve also had a good number of the residents read some of my books. I’m just “carrying seed to sow,” or as one commentator puts it, “carrying a leaky seed bag” (Psalm 126:6). And, thanks to your prayers, work continues on the probability of having my program produced in Portuguese, for release in Brazil, and on the internet.
Here are a couple of emails received from radio listeners:
“Dear Lud, I was so happy to find you posted all of your “Getting Gods Message” on your web site and kept them there all these years. I so enjoy listening to them and reading them at the same time. I do a little Bible study with them. I just finished Revelation. There aren’t many studies on Revelation, so I especially love that, and learned some new things. I just wanted to thank you! What a blessing!
In God’s Love, Judy.”
“Thank you, Pastor Lud Golz for the book I received from you, A Call to Responsible Freedom. Thanks again for your sound Bible teaching nuggets of wisdom from Getting Gods Message on BBN internet. It brings good memories of the past and great things to look forward to walking in Jesus Grace in the present and future when we are glorified with new bodies when Jesus comes back and ushers in a new heaven and new earth.
Serving Christ with you. Missionary Pastor Ken

Here is another serendipitous encounter:
Sixty years ago my first book was published, “Walking as He Walked.” Thirty years later a couple in our church arranged to have Stephen Lungu, a native evangelist from Malawi, Africa, speak to a small group. We were not able to attend, but the next day the couple persuaded us to have lunch with him and another couple. Before lunch was served, we got acquainted and during that time I gave the couple and Stephen a copy of one of my books. As we were finishing lunch, Stephen asked me, “Have you written any other books?” I answered, “A few.” “What was the first book?” “The title was, ‘Walking as He Walked.’” I saw his face light up, so I continued, “It had footprints on a yellow cover.” “Yes! Yes! That’s it!” he said excitedly.
Then he explained his sad, but ultimately exciting life story. At the age of 8 his mother abandoned him. As a street kid he slept under a bridge and ate and dressed with what he found in garbage cans. He joined a gang and became its leader. Eventually he became a terrorist freedom fighter. His group thought of bombing an evangelistic tent meeting, but while going in to investigate it, God captured his heart and he was miraculously saved. He was so transformed he told everyone he encountered. A missionary watched him and soon invited him to become the first student in a Bible School he was starting. Stephen had not gone to school so he couldn’t read or write. But patiently and persistently the missionary discipled him.
Stephen became so effective as an evangelist, the missionary decided to teach him English so he could reach a larger audience. At this point in his testimony to us he said, “As I was learning to read English the missionary gave me your book, the first English book I ever read. God used it to help me grow. I have it all underlined and have used the material in my counseling and preaching ministry.”
Since we met twenty-five years ago his ministry grew to the point he became known as the Billy Graham of Africa. He eventually became the President of the Mission he served under, The African Enterprise. Recently he died and went to heaven to embrace and worship His Savior, Jesus Christ, and receive his reward. In this serendipitous encounter we learn again, LITTLE IS MUCH WHEN GOD IS IN IT!

June 4th, 2023
    As I bring you an update on what is happening in my life, I want you to know that I thank God for your faithful prayer support, and I pray that “our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2nd Thessalonians 1:11-12)
    In answer to your prayers my message in the chapel at the Radio Network I’m on in Charlotte went well. After chapel I met with some of the leaders and it looks like they are interested in producing my program in Portuguese, for broadcast in Brazil. They also showed interest in doing a series of programs based on a book I wrote that has been published in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Please pray for God’s guidance in this.
    I had a great time visiting my sons, Greg and Jeff and their families May 24 – 31.
    I’m looking forward to be back in Chagrin Falls, June 10 – 19, and will be sharing briefly in both services at Fellowship on Sunday June 11, and at Cornerstone and Chardon Christian Fellowship, the following Sunday, June 18.
    During the week I plan to be in my “Panera Office” in Bainbridge. Hopefully I’ll be able to meet some of you when I’m there!
    As I’ve mentioned in recent updates, going through my file folders I’ve come across some amazing “Serendipitous Encounters” I’ve had over the years. I hope you will find this one encouraging.
    Some years ago, Mur and I were on an extended trip to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and specifically Israel. Because of difficulties in Egypt our time in Israel had been cut to three days. It was half a year after the six-day war, and there were almost no tourists there. We rented a car and were able to visit many of the Biblical sites you would normally see on tours of one to two weeks. Mur returned home and I continued my trip for another two months to visit missionaries and teach at a Bible College in Sri Lanka.
    It was Valentine’s Day when I took Mur to the airport in Israel. After praying together, hugging, and kissing she went through customs and to her gate and plane. I hung around, went to a lookout area, and watched her plane take off and fly toward Europe. Then, back at the hotel I got ready for my long flight to India and Sri Lanka. Returning to the airport early, I sat in a public lounge area and passed the time reading my Bible as I waited for my flight.
    Suddenly a teen-age girl approached me and asked if I was reading a Bible. When I said, “Yes,” she asked if she could talk with me. She was an exchange student from Thailand who was on her way home. During her year in the United States she lived with a Christian family and went with them to church. Recently she had prayed to receive Jesus Christ as her Savior. Now, returning home to her family, who were of a different religion, she was anxious about explaining to them her decision. I listened to her concerns and questions and shared from the Bible.
    After checking the time, I realized it was almost time to check in. I asked her when her flight was leaving. It was the same time as mine. We checked the flight number and found out we were on the same flight! At the counter we asked the clerk if we could have our seats changed to be together.
    The long flight didn’t seem so uncomfortable because for most of the flight our discussion on the Bible and Christian faith was inspiring. When we landed in Sri Lanka, I got her phone number in Bangkok, Thailand, before I embarked. She remained on the plane for her next leg to Bangkok. A month later, as I proceeded to visit missionaries, I had a brief stop at the airport in Bangkok and tried calling her, but the one who answered the phone could only speak in the Thai language.
    I don’t know the outcome of this Serendipitous Encounter, BUT GOD DOES, and that’s enough for me.