We Will Fight On!

       “You, therefore, must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Tim. 2:3 NKJV)
       October 8, 1918, the soldiers of the United States 328th infantry were witnesses to the most unbelievable sight! They watched as three US Soldiers escorted one hundred and thirty-two German captives into the battalion command post.
       The Batallion command did not want the responsibility of 132 german captives and they instructed Corporal Alvin York to take the surrendered enemy to regimental headquarters. In his own words, York said, "We had such a mess of German soldiers that nobody wanted to take them from us. So we had to hike back quite a far piece ourselves." Upon finally arriving at the regimental headquarters Brigadier General Lindsey came out to greet Corporal York and said, "Well York, I hear you have captured the whole...German army." York replied, "No, I only have 132."
       The events leading up to the capture and surrender of the German enemy are quite marvelous! The allied army was finally outnumbering the German army and pushing forward to break through the Hindenburg line. As the allies were moving forward toward the front in the Argonne forest York recounts in his diary "...we were stumbling over dead horses and dead men and shells were bursting all around me and then it was that I could see the Power of God helped man if he would only trust him. Oh, it was there I could look up and say: O Jesus, the great rock of foundation where on my feet were set with sovereign grace; Through Shells or Death with all their agitation thou will protect me if I will only trust in Thy grace. Bless thy holy name."
      Three days deeper into the woods York's squad was cut down to seven men by entrenched machine gun nests. York wrote, "There must have been over twenty of them (machine guns) and they kept up a continuous fire. Never letting up. Thousands of bullets kicked up the dust all around us. The undergrowth was cut down as though they used a scythe. The air was just plumb full of death."
      While the few remaining soldiers in York's squad were hunkered down trying to survive, York had made his way into a position where he could begin firing on the machine gun nests with his bolt action US Enfield rifle. In order for the enemy to reposition the machine gun to fire at him they had to lift up their heads and in York's words he, "touched them off". For the Kentucky mountain man, it was easier than shooting turkeys back home. This went on and on twenty times until a German Major surrendered, shouting, "English?" York replied, "No". The German commander said, "What then?". York said, "American." "Good Lord!", said the German major, "If you won't shoot any more I will make them give up." Thirty soldiers surrendered themselves to a single man and came out of their machine gun bunkers!
      In order to learn about the surrender of the other 102 soldiers that day you will have to read Sgt. Alvin York's biography. If it had not been for the war, the story is so extraordinary it is almost comical.
      York's life story is so intriguing and inspiring. It is a wonderful story of heroism, conviction, and Christ! York wrote that all the trials, hardships, and battles were only to prepare him for his greatest battle for the future generations of his home town.
      York knew he had to help the future generations of the Kentucky mountains with giving the children an opportunity at education, trade schools, and a Biblical foundation. His greatest fight was for the generations coming behind him! As he was trying to get a good school built he writes, “So I raised about $15,000 myself and the state and the county each put up $50,000. That gave me $115,000 to build new schools. I wanted a modern, up-to-date vocational school, which later on could be a sorter developed into a mountain college. The Board they give me couldn’t see things the way I did. So I have had a most awful hard fight, a much worse one than the one I had with the machine guns in the Argonne. The politicians and the real estate people tried to use me. The small-town bankers tried to get in on it. Jealous factions wanted to get a-hold of it and handle it their way. So it done got held up. And oh, my, I had a terrible time. But I knew I was in the right. So I kept on fighting jes the same.” Eventually, he won the battle and got that school built! Alvin York was a man of strong conviction and when he knew something was right he kept on fighting.
       Barna came out with a troubling survey about church attendance through the pandemic. The survey showed that over 50% of the Millennial generation who was attending church prior to Covid-19 shutdowns have altogether stopped attending church! Make no mistake we are in a fight for the generations to come! We will endure and we will keep fighting!
       The recent battles have been training us. We understand best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our church. As Covid cases increase I want to ask that we all take extra caution for our church. I encourage everyone to have a mask on their person and wear it if you come within six feet of another. Let’s put off handshaking and hugging for the next couple of Sundays. Please be mindful not to congest walkways or exits. I have asked our ushers and security team to remind us of our guidelines if we forget or are unaware. Please do not be offended if they remind you to keep social distance or move a conversation out of a walkway, away from the sound booth, or outside instead of the front pew. God has protected our fellowship and we will continue to “trust in His grace”! The fight is not over and we need to endure for the safety of others. We must keep our church open and our people safe! 

 

Not Without Testimony
Crossing Out Dragons