This event, which I experienced shortly after I graduated from Bible School, happened in the summer of 1966. It was published in the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, and although I don't know the date of the publication, I think it was within a year of this occurrence, and surely within two years. If any of the readers have access to this article, I would really like to see it to compare with this and see if I forgot anything.
I graduated from Kentucky Mountain Bible Institute in the spring of 1966. I was 20 years old. My first assignment was to work with a fellow by the name of Joel, to be the first resident pastors of a new mission station at Kyle, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This was an outreach arm of the Brainerd Indian Bible School in Hot Springs South Dakota. Pine Ridge is the 2nd largest Indian Reservation in the U.S., and from corner to corner was about 150 miles across, with a population at that time of 17,500. Brainerd had a tremendous influence on the Reservation, and had a large Indian student body. The only other resident missionaries on Pine Ridge at that time, were two Baptist pastors, and, there were several formal church pastors and priests.
Joel & I lived in a small trailer house next to the church. Joel's parents had come to visit, and had a travel trailer parked in the yard. Joel stayed in a room at the far end of the trailer, and I slept on a bed in the kitchen, not far from the door. Late one night a fellow by the name of Blair came to the door. Strangely, Joel never woke up through this entire event, and even after it was over I tried to wake him to tell him what happened, but I don't think he was really awake, and couldn't remember anything the next day. Joel's parents, however, did wake up, and heard everything from inside their travel trailer.
Blair was a student at Brainerd. He had a call to preach, and showed great promise in being an evangelist to his own Lakota Sioux people. He had been quite effective working in Outreach with the school. I was new on the scene, as I had been in school in Kentucky during the school year, so I had not worked with Blair. But my understanding was that he had caused quite a stir on the Reservation, and this got the attention of the Priest. He put pressure on the family, and worked to discourage Blair from serving the Lord as an evangelical preacher. Blair crumbled under persecution, and had backslid about the time I came to Kyle.
Now, late at night, Blair has come to my door in a very disturbed condition. He was surely under the influence of alcohol, and seemed to be losing all control of himself. Under these circumstances, I was talking to him out of the open window. Blair was telling me that a voice, which was, "as the voice of God", was constantly following him. He was running away from this, but could never get away from it. Obviously, God had chosen this young man, in a sense, as He had chosen the apostle Paul, or Jonah, and it was either yield to obey God, or face the consequences! He told me he had tried often times to drive into the lake nearby, to kill himself, but each time veered away at the last minute. God was obviously dealing in a mighty way to get him to yield to answer His call upon him, but he kept running away and resisting, trying to get God to leave him alone, but God responded by dealing in a more powerful way. In his fighting against God, he had gotten into an awful condition. Now he seemed to be losing his mind, and was taking his hatred out on me, and possibly an evil spirit was controlling him as well. He was desperate to get that voice out of his life, and for God to leave him alone. All of a sudden he felt that if he killed me that would get the desired results. I was reluctant to comply with his plan, for some reason. He then decided to force his way in, and his preferred method was to stab me to death.
I've tried to realistically envision what would have happened if God had not intervened. Only a bump on the flimsy trailer door would have given him entrance, and so far no one had ventured out to offer any assistance. Joel being completely unconscious, and his dad elderly, and probably confused. Perhaps I was in mortal danger more so than I like to admit. But somehow afterwards when the scare had subsided, I have felt that this event was more to get to Blair's heart than it was to save my life. However, it is very obvious that there would have probably been a battle unless, or until, I could have gotten some open space to use my good pair of legs (to run), but he was at the door, between me and the only way to reach that open space.Blair had obviously decided on his course of action. I like to keep a step ahead of a situation like this, but I had been dealing with him so intently, according to what Joel's parent's said later, that I was not at all ready with any reaction, and he was now just starting to make that move, an intended fatal one! He had worked himself into an insane frenzy, and as he started to go for the door, just inches away, this is exactly what happened.
Blair threw his arm, or arms, up over his head to shield his eyes, and fell down with his face to the ground. "Who is that standing behind you?", he cried out several times. I stared at him in amazement, and watched him as he agonizingly squirmed around on the ground, keeping his face down and his arm shielding it. He got turned around and crawled out into the darkness.Needless to say, my hair was standing on end, and I was very hesitant to look behind me. When I did, I saw nothing. It was just a very small little room that was at the east end of the trailer, and of course no-one could get in there or leave without walking over top of me. I tried to wake up Joel, and although I got him to set up, I couldn't get him awake. It was as if the very atmosphere of heaven had filled the little trailer, and the sense of being in the presence of someone from heaven.
Just a few weeks later, or at the most a few months later, Blair's rebellion finally ran it's course. I got the news that he had died in some distant place, but I don't think I ever knew much about the details of his death. It may have been a car accident, or whatever, I just don't remember.
As I've already said, I believe this was designed more than anything else to reach Blair's heart, that he might turn back to God. Isn't it amazing how some people will not yield to God no matter what God does to encourage them to do so!