John Rish Story

While attending the DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago, a friend and I explored the sites, including the famous Moody Church in that area. We decided to go the McCormick Place to see a Billy Graham movie.

We were taking the subway and got off at a street that would take us there. We intended to take a bus. At street level we found ourselves surrounded by twelve teenage boys. Clearly, we had made a mistake.

They said, "Give us all your money.” Just at that moment, we noticed some elderly people on the corner across the street waiting at the bus stop. We yelled at the kids to leave us alone. Then a policeman ran out of the diner on the corner, and a cop car came racing down the street. The kids vanished into the darkness. I don't remember much about the movie we went to see, but the events leading up to it will never be forgotten.

After graduation I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was posted in England where I met my wife. While reading a book by Hal Lindsey called "Satan is alive on Planet Earth” a Bible verse jumped off the page at me: John 3.16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” At that moment Jesus came to me and said, “John, you have been mine since you were one inch tall. Although you have not walked as I would have vou walk, vou are mine.”

At that moment I was flooded with His love and warmth, and from that date to this there has never been any doubt in my mind. In March of 1976 I was then reassigned from Chanute Air Force Base to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. I worked in the mechanical shop where we repaired the tractor trailer trucks that took the warheads to their missile silos.

That year, in December, I was given a new assignment to Sheyma, Alaska back in my previous career field of teletype maintenance. I was also selected to participate in Olympic Arena in a competition where all of the missile bases competed against each other to see who is the most proficient in doing their job. Our base won the competition. When I got back from that competition the base personnel office advised me that the Air Force had come out with a new policy that anyone going on an assignment overseas unaccompanied could send their foreign-born wives and family back to their country of origin. God took care of my family through the Air Force.

Shemva, Alaska is a barren island 2 miles by 4 miles. It is totally the Air Force base and is the next to the last island in the Aleutian Chain. While there I met several other believers. Since we couldn't go anywhere else, there was opportunity to fellowship at the dining hall 4 times a day, 7 days a week. We also had a Bible study on Saturday nights that lasted about 4 hours.

One day one of the men in our Bible study group said that he had a strange feeling that "Part of me wants to stay and part of me wants run out the door as fast as I can.” We were asked to fast and pray for him. We did just that while Bill and two others went to his room to pray with him and anoint him with oil. They cast demons out in the name of Jesus. The man was dramatically healed.

One Saturday I was called to work at around 8:00 a.m. By 1:00 p.m. I had done everything possible, but the equipment would not work. There was nothing else to do. So I said, "Lord, I can't find the problem. I know that You know what is wrong; will You please tell me what to do?" I waited quietly for a few minutes, and a deep small voice said, "John, look on the right side. Do you see the light there? Turn it an inch to the right". I did it and everything started working normally.

My next assignment was to the 5th Combat Communications Group, Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia. I was sent from there on several interesting deployments. Our organization was sent to Southern Egypt to set up a staging area (Air Force Base) in preparation for the raid on Tehran, Iran. Shortly after that I was stationed at the Royal Air Force, Bentwaters, United Kingdom where we spent the next 4 years enjoying the English countryside and sites and traveling to and from Germany as part of my job.

After working in the United Kingdom I was reassigned to Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. From there I retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1991. I then landed contracts to repair computer monitors and printers for two school districts and was able to get a part-time job working for the Alamo Community College District teaching interns how to run a shop, repair computers, monitors and printers.

About that time I was asked by a Christian friend if I would participate in a local precinct political convention where we would discuss issues confronting our city, county, state and country. Following that meeting I was asked to go to the county-wide convention at a local high school.

Then it came time for us to send delegates to the Texas State Convention in San Antonio. My friend was elected as a full delegate, and I was elected as an alternate delegate. We went to the convention which lasted 4 days. On the morning of the fourth day I was seated as a full delegate to take the place of someone who hadn't shown up. It was just in time to participate in the votes for Pro-Life and other issues important to Christians.

In July I was honored by being invited to the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship Convention in Houston. There I met people from all over the world. God blessed me by allowing me to goto the convention by paying all my travel expenses, including meals and room.

Shortly after we returned from the convention the local chapter president received confirmation that he would be relocating. Two days before he was to leave town we met, and I was elected the next president for Fort Sam Chapter of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship.

Recently my dad came to visit us. While he was here I had the opportunity to talk to him about Jesus. On the last night of his visit, while reading Voice Magazine, he committed his life to Christ.

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