Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Testimony to One of God's Chosen

On the occasion of the birthday of my friend Larry Chrouch I decided to write a brief testimony. Many wonderful thing could have been said about Larry but I am limited in time and space. Larry passed away in January and I wanted to mention his impact again.  

Larry and Ellen Chrouch have been my partners in ministry for decades. He was a successful businessman when the Lord grabbed his attention and they ended up in our Discipleship Ministry at College Hill Presbyterian Church in the 1970's. Since then, Larry, Ellen and I have been involved in designing and carrying out ministries all over the earth. 

Here was my brief statement in 2000. 

There are only two or three people I quote more than Larry and they are all characters in the Bible. I never teach a seminar or train a person that one of Larry's wise and unforgettable sayings comes to mind. Not only do we all regale at his sayings and sermons, we also fondly remember the many things Larry, and Ellen, have done to take the good news in theory and practice around the world.

One of the most profound events happened in January, 1986 in Oslo, Norway. We were simply visiting with the Norwegian leaders one evening before we were scheduled to speak the next day. We all know that Larry cannot just visit without telling those wild, wooly, and true, God stories. He and Ellen had dinner with Kjell-Petter Dahl, the chairman of the OASE movement, and ministered to his wife and him in sharing, prayer and listening. The couple was truly impressed and blessed.

Kjell-Petter asked Larry and Ellen to share some of their experiences with the entire group at an open time after worship and to allow the Lord to show up as He wished. After they spoke for a few minutes, the floor was open for discussion. 

Kjell-Petter then announced, "The Americans will now answer all your questions!" Despite such an awesome challenge, Larry handled it beautifully even though he said he was "Only coming on the trip so he could, Carry my bags!"

The final question revealed a lot about the mindset of so many people when it comes to healing. It also says a lot about about Larry's ability to minister in tough situations.  The question went something like: 

"Here in Norway we will not pray for a person's healing until they have proven that they have great faith by fasting and prayer. Do you make sure the people you pray for have great faith?"

Silence fell on the group. I was happy that Larry was on the hot spot instead of me. He handled it beautifully. 

"No," Larry said, "It is not the people's great faith but our faith in a great God that matters."

At that, Kjell-Petter stood and said, "Anyone who needs prayer come to the altar and the Americans will pray for you."

The rest of the evening was filled praying for a hundred Scandinavian pastors and leaders. The gifts of the Holy Spirit flowed in a marvelous and miraculous manner. Larry's talk and warm interactions with the Norwegians set up all that occurred later. His quick wit and deep faith opened the door again and again for the Holy Spirit to move in love and power. 
We are blessed by the memories!

July 7, 2000 on the occasion of Larry's birthday. 

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