A USAF chaplain and the promise of God
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12 ESV)
By Julio Severo
In 1987, Dr. Arthur Vincent, a Lutheran minister and theology professor, visited Brazil for a ministers’ meeting. Even with his advanced age, he traveled the whole world, from Nigeria to Philippines, to encourage and build the people of God in the important mission of taking the Gospel to a lost world. He even participated in the Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization. His passion is evangelism.
His visit to Brazil was not different: He wanted to encourage ministers. And I, who was not a minister, was there among ministers because, as Dr. Art told me, God wanted me there.
Dr. Art had a long life experience, having been a USAF chaplain during World War II. More of that experience was revealed when, in a very small group of ministers that was praying, the Holy Spirit spoke prophetically through another American minister, saying to Dr. Art, right in front of me, that “because you honored your father, I will increase the years of your life on Earth.”
It was an interesting promise, considering the American chaplain’s advanced age: 69. Showing gratitude to God, he told how in 1930, in the most severe financial crisis in America, he worked to support his family, while his father was an active alcoholic. He was only 12 years old, and he was working for his family.
However, he didn’t revile his father. He didn’t despise him. He always respected him.
And there is a promise in the Word of God for those who honor parents: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12 ESV)
With the passing of years, I lost all contact with Dr. Art. We had not corresponded for almost 20 years. But last week, I felt a desire to communicate with him. I researched Google, for the name Arthur Vincent, and there appeared some names in obituary. I thought, “At this point, he has already died.”
Yet, persisting in the research, I found an Arthur that was not in obituaries. I called and I heard a clear voice, and I said that I wanted to talk to Dr. Arthur Vincent. He answered me in a voice that didn’t seem like that of an old man. I thought, “This is probably his son!”
But by asking some questions, especially on his visit to Brazil 25 years ago, he began to remember. And I told him, “At that date, God told that you would have more years of life, and today, here talking to you, I see how God is faithful and is fulfilling His promise in your life.” At that point, he was happy.
Dr. Arthur Vincent is today 94 years old, and serving God!
|Dr. Arthur Vincent: preaching and ministring the Gospel of the Kingdom of God
His visit to Brazil was a blessing from God for him. I am a living witness of what God told and fulfilled in his life. And that visit also was a blessing to me. At that time, he had brought a big, leather-bound study Bible. It was a very special Bible, and he intended to give it as a gift to a minister in the ministers’ conference. But suddenly he comes to me, in the presence of all ministers, and he says, “God told me to give this Bible to you.”
I have until today my Bible autographed by an old USAF chaplain, a man that since his childhood honored Him who honors — and he was honored.
With the incentive of that great testimony, I proclaim, “God honors those who honor Him!”