Dudley Perio Story

Over thirty years ago, I started in the oil field industry as a welder and in the equipment fabrication business.

In the oil field, my assignment was to design and build equipment, all different kinds of equipment. The work was outdoors in all different kinds of weather. I went to engineering school and became an engineer for a company designing equipment.

I have six great children so it’s always been a priority to make enough money to survive. It's always been my drive to be the provider for the house. The oil field jobs are long hours and through the years there has been a lot of traveling.

As I was striving to get ahead, I didn't want someone else raising our children. I wanted to provide so my wife would be able to raise our children with great morals, great understanding, and with great compassion for people. I wanted us to be their guidance.

Because of the time required away from home, I missed out on a lot in my children's lives. But I was doing what I had to do. I'd been taught the man is to be the provider for his family. It was up to me.

I wanted to give my children more than I had when I was a child. I believe people need to work hard.

I worked with intensity so I would be seen as a top oil field worker. When I was informed I'd received a raise, the first question in my mind was: What do I need to do to get the next raise?

I've had design abilities from the start— changing equipment, modifications, designing new equipment, and being able to do it quickly.

God had been guiding me with direction and inspiration, but I'm sorry to say I didn't always give Him the credit I should. I took the credit.

I loved my wife and I believed in God and Jesus. I believed it was Jesus and I. I didn't need anyone else. I didn't need the church. I accomplished, I'd have to do it.

I would go to church but in essence my wife was dragging me there. I was smart enough to know that "if mama ain't happy, nobody's happy." So I decided I would sacrifice my time and go to church to keep peace in the family.

My primary view was that the pastors were not living in the real world. I was going to work and he was going into a church that was providing him a nice livelihood.

I believed there were anointed people, but not in the oil field. In the oil field, men don't mention God. Well, they do, but there are a lot of words coming before or after His name. I saw that some of the oil field workers were not living right but were succeeding. People in the oil field and people in the church lived in two different worlds.

On the way to church, I'd have a family meeting and tell them: "Five minutes after church is over, I want you all out here in the car." We'd go to church and put on nice smiles.

I was careful not to get there early. It is funny to think about it now because I know God was involved. The ushers would save the closest parking spot to the front door, so I could be the last one in and the first one out. They also saved me a chair in the last row in the back of the church. In this last row of chairs, I was assured of being the last one in and the first one out.

Now I was in church with nothing to do. I would sit flipping through the Bible pages, looking at the maps, and trying not to fall asleep. They'd only have one service, I hoped. I wanted to get out early because the football game was on.

It seemed like the pastor and everybody in the church was perfect. Perfect hair, perfect suit—everything perfect!

Then I'd go to my oil field work and everything was not perfect.

But as long as I attended church, Mama was happy.

As a child, I had very little exposure to the church. My parents were divorced. When we were little we were Catholic, but not really raised Catholic. We simply attended the Catholic Church. My siblings and I made the march to church every Sunday.

My mom worked two jobs, so she primarily went to church on Easter and Christmas. One time we all went on Easter Sunday morning, but when we walked in, the priest would not allow my mom to enter--because she was divorced.

It hurt my mom and it hurt me. I thought: That's not God, anyway. We wanted to cry out to God when we needed Him, but we didn't understand how we could.

After that incident, we quit going to church and I didn't want anything to do with church.

I wanted to marry someone who loved God. I wanted someone who could teach me about God. I've never had an interest in reading the Bible for myself. I thought it was only words. I am certainly not a Bible scholar. And I still don't know the Bible as well as I'd like.

I wanted my children to know God because I knew He could come through for them in difficult times. I only wanted God at certain times.

But as I went through life, I could see God's hand move here and there. I thought I had to provide for my family, but I didn't have to trust God. I knew He was there, but I couldn't trust Him.

I knew I couldn't trust myself to keep all the commandments and not do wrong. I heard the sermons and believed God had a big measuring stick. I knew I would make a mistake. I would blow it. I couldn't live the "good lifestyle."

I thought a lot of sermons did not apply to me. I believed I had the "fire insurance." I loved God and believed I would go to heaven. I felt that was good enough.

I met an old school friend, but I knew I was not good enough for Natalie. She knew God. Every time she talked, it seemed like she wasn't talking like an ordinary person. At times she would slip up, but most of the time she was only speaking well. I married my friend.

I would see "spiritual" things happening but tell her, "Honey, this is not real, wake up."

She would say "try this" and that was why I went to church. She was full of joy and I didn't want to rob her of that joy. I also didn't want our kids to miss out.

I tried to do a few of the things she said I should try. I tried to pray in the car, but then I would get slammed with a problem or be offended. It wasn't the same in the oil fields as in the church.

Natalie was an inspiration to me. I would call her from work when I got hurt and ask her to pray for me. As a welder, I often got burned. I would say "let's pray together" because I knew God would hear her prayer. She became my source of connection to God. I didn't think God was listening to me.

She has always been a rock for me. I was trying to understand God's love. I could see it in her but I couldn't see God move enough to trust him.

A turning point for me was when I lost my job and had a period of unemployment in 1994

We had a little bit of money in the bank. I could see in her eyes we needed to trust God. So finally I told the Lord, "I will give you a shot."

All of our efforts were focused on getting me a job. After the first month, there was no job.

I have never been on unemployment compensation and "Praise God," I never have to this day. I was too proud to apply for unemployment compensation.

Then came month two—nothing! At the end of month three, I was ready to give up on trusting God with Natalie. We were keeping the situation away from the children so they would not be worried.

I went into the garage, started pacing, and said, "God, I trusted you. This is not working. I trusted you and I still don't have a job."

"Don't say that," my wife, Natalie, said. She did not waver, she didn't give up.

Natalie was worried that my unbelief statement about trust may have cancelled out the spiritual progress we had made over the past three months when we were trusting and believing God would provide the job I so desperately needed.

But I was in conflict. I knew God was real. I knew He kept His promises. But it just wasn't happening.

The next day I received a call from our competition offering me a job. I took it, even though it meant a weekly commute from Austin to Houston.

God came through for me, for us. It was not a great job but it was a job designing equipment. This company had sold an oil drilling platform, for ocean drilling, to go overseas.

Soon I was promoted to Project Director to build the equipment. God led me in the design of it. Because of the completion time requirements, the equipment and I were shipped to Norway to finish the construction.

The new job made me so thankful. I had a new longing to be closer to God, so I would try to pray in tongues the whole way from Austin to Houston, or I'd say "Praise the Lord!" whenever a car passed me.

My job is to design equipment for the oil industry, all kinds of things. God gives me the designs and inventions. I "see" them in my mind. I am amazed. These are things I've never seen before. Quite a few patents have been

filed on the new inventions He's given me. Early on, I didn't give Him the glory. I was taking the credit. But that was all about to change.

This company sold an oil rig to Norway to operate in the North Sea. They used some of my designs. We had a year to put it all together. The deadline came and we still weren't done. They decided we should complete it in Norway, in the dead of winter. I've never liked cold weather but just like that, I was on my way.

My employer promised I'd only have to be gone three weeks max. No more than six weeks at the most—guaranteed. What that became was a fiasco. We were breaking new ground with the hydraulics, but it was slow going. It seemed every time we took a step forward, something else put us back two.

I called Natalie and told her about our set-backs in getting this rig up and running. It was the first of its kind.

She suggested I anoint it with oil and pray over it. So I did. I was ready to try anything.

The Norwegians didn't think prayer would help. They told me, "God doesn't like us." They thought God was putting all these obstacles in our path. They didn't know then how much God wanted to bless them.

Time just seemed to pass day-by-day, problem after problem. As soon as something worked, I would take the credit.

Then, WHAM! We'd be hit with another problem.

On September 16, 1996, I was driving to my apartment in Norway frustrated as usual with our progress that day. It was 9:30 p.m. when I stopped at a stop sign standing in six feet of snow.

"STOP!"

It hit me like a ton of bricks. It knew it was God saying stop.

"OK, God, enough is enough. I'll trade jobs with You. God, if you do my job, I'll do yours. My way's not working."

God took me up on my offer. The next day when I got to the work site we were still having problems and we couldn't find the source. We checked the manufacturer's drawings on the valves and everything was right. We went over every inch again and again. It should have been working, but it wasn't.

That night I gave the situation over to God, went back to my room, and color-coded the whole hydraulic schematic, which is a sheet about 3 ft. by 3 ft. with hundreds of lines about a quarter inch apart. It shows the entire hydraulic flow circuits of the rig. I had a multi-colored pen, so I colored each individual line

with a different color or color combination.

When I talked to Natalie the next morning about the struggles we were having, she said, "The Lord told me it's a blue line."

She didn't even know I'd color-coded the design and amazingly it had only one blue line on the sheet.

I went to the blue line. There was one valve on that line, so I pulled up the manufacturer drawing. It all checked out.

At 10:30 a.m. we started taking that valve apart. When we did, we found it hadn't been manufactured according to the drawing. There was a check valve in there that was blocking the whole system. Instantly, we were up and running.

Earlier, when the Norwegians had asked me how long it was going to take to get the rig up, I'd told them twenty-four hours, not realizing that was the Lord's leading. Two of us and a crane operator had this rig going in twenty- three hours. That was the beginning of the successes to come. God was taking care of my job. He's so good.

 

 

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