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Rich Thomson

Rich Thomson



Salvation is from the Lord. Jonah 2:9

I grew up in western New York, one of six children. I was raised in a family with a very abusive alcoholic father and a fearful, loving mother, who did the best that she could to care for us kids. I was exposed to much sin, such as physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. I did not understand everything that was happening to me, and I became a kid who was very emotional and I cried a lot. Of course, it was sin that was perpetrated by others on me. Sin creates confusion, and it separates us from God.

A small church (Christ Chapel) in our village asked my parents if they could take us kids to Sunday school and this was the beginning of my spiritual journey. The first memory verse that I was taught, was John 3:16 and then Psalm 23. Through the love and kindness of this church family, I learned about Jesus, and my sin, and Jesus’ death on a cross for me. In either the 7th or 8th grade, my Sunday school teacher, Mervin Ludeman, spent a lot of time with me one on one to make sure I understood about Jesus’s great love for me, and in that classroom I came to a saving faith in Jesus. Oh, the blessing of Sunday school teachers. I wanted to be baptized and join the church, but my dad would not allow it. My dad spent a lot of time critizing me and making fun of me for my faith in Jesus.

So yes, I came to learn about Jesus, and my sin and my Savior who had to die on a cross for me. I was beginning to understand, that it was my sin that put Him there. What I did not realize was just how wicked my sin was, nor how much I really needed Jesus. There was a lot of talk in those days, about a personal relationship with Jesus, that I had not yet understood. In those days, the influence of sin was constantly around me as was the understanding of Jesus’s and his forgiveness of those sins at the cross.

I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20. So, as the years passed and my love of the Lord grew, I started to produce fruit that would be a sign of a redeemed life. Even when I sold insurance, I would often pray with my clients. This also occurred while working at Iowa State Bank. During the 911 attacks on the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, I was given permission to pray with any employee that wished, and even had the Board room opened to me. I could pray with employees, without hindrance at this bank at any time.

I believe God uniquely prepared me for a ministry to those who had perhaps gone through some of the same horrible things I experience as a youth. I often questioned God as to “why, why” did I have to endure what I did? I believe He allowed it, to use me as His instrument of compassion and hope, such as was given to me by the church that I grew up in. Although I have not experienced all the things that many have, to whom I minister, I can relate so very often to the hurts, and pains that so many have endured.

So, God opened doors of Meyer Hall, and the Polk County Jail. Those open doors have allowed me, by God’s grace, to share His gospel to so many. I know that their only true healing and hope is in Jesus. I am thankful that I am able to share that great news with them.

Today, I continue to serve and love, all those whom God places in my path. I understand hurt, confusion, and suffering. Everyone one of us, has had something which has broken us and I know the one and only God who can bring healing.

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

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