with Martha Kilpatrick and John Enslow
(M) I heard a story on the radio once that has stayed with me forever and ever. And I think I’ve told it on a tape, but it’s a priceless story. This man was a preacher, and he told about working for like the Greyhound bus. And he was the luggage man, loading and unloading luggage. And the place where he was working the custom was that one man would sign in another man on the time clock, but that man would take a day off; but he would get paid for it because they were cheating on it. But he wouldn’t do it, and he said, “but I don’t work for the Greyhound Company, I work for God; and I can’t do that.” So they hated him for it and ostracized him. And when a bus would come in full of luggage they would just disappear, and he had to unload the whole thing. But he didn’t resent it because he said, “I’m not working for them, I’m not working… I don’t need them, I’m working for God. I’m doing this job for God.” Well, one day a man came up to him and said, “I know you; I am a supervisor in Greyhound, and I ride the buses to see what the people are doing. And I know what happens here. And I want to make you the head of this Greyhound Station.” (Laughter) But his point was, he just steadily did the practical. And see the rest of that writing about “Just A Carpenter” is that Amos was in the pomegranate? Was it pomegranates or figs? He was working in the vineyard and he said, “I’m not, I’m not a prophet. I was working in the field when God called me.” And Elisha was plowing and God came and got him. And I really believe that that’s that faithfulness that’s one of the things that God will bless, and give you much greater responsibility. It’s whether you’re willing to do the little thing well that no one sees but Him. Hope I can get this someday, with His life. Anyone else?
(A question asked from the group attending.) Tell about leaving your family. (Addressed to John.)
(J) See God will do this. This is a God thing. What God will do is, and we do it to each other… You know like all of a sudden I’ll say, “Martha, why don’t you tell us about ‘blah-blah-blah’”, and she’ll be like ahmmm.
(M) Or…(facial expression)
(J) Yeah. (Laughter) See, that’s why it’s never going to be a web-cast there. Because we’re very much going, ‘you are not doing that to me’!
(M) No, he’s the one. I don’t do it as much.
(J) Oh, as much?
(M) I really don’t.
(J) Hmmm. (Laughter) She’ll, well she’ll leave me, you know there’ll be this long pause of nothing and then all of a sudden Martha talks for the next twenty minutes. It’s because I’m going (facial expression) (Laughter). Really. Ok, the question is about me leaving my family. Well, the Lord called me. I was being prepared for the mission field, and I was going to, at one point Guatemala and Belize, and then it changed, and I was possibly going to Russia. And then it ended up that I was called to Shulamite Ministries. And I was going to be a missionary with Martha out to the world. And my testimony comes out in very strange places. I have no idea where it’s going to come out. And I just don’t give it very readily. Someone asked me where’s the tape of my testimony, and I said oh, well, it’s not there. It, you know, if you listen to the podcast you’ll hear different parts of it. But…
(M). I don’t remember how we got there, but we went to my father’s Methodist church to see a performance, a one-woman show, because I was introducing John to the mystics. And this woman did four characters of the mystics, Madame Guyan, Johanna Wesley, Catherine of Sienna, and I can’t remember the other. Joan of Arc maybe, no, I don’t think she did her. But anyway, she had four mystics; and it was a fantastic one-woman show. She would speak in the dialect, and she would wear the costume of that mystic. She would recite long passages of their writings. Then she would go behind the screen, still speaking, then she’d come out as a totally different character with a different dialect. And she had fashioned this show herself, and we were quite impacted by it. And John had heard me speak on tape before he ever met me, and I would give like Madame Guyan in those days, and he would go find the book. And so, he was greatly impacted by that. And when he comes back he’ll tell you what happened. Well, I’ll go ahead and tell you, and then if he wants to tell it himself he’ll wipe me out. He realized that night with shock that God was calling him to a year of solitude where he could speak to no one. And he was to come to join us, and we were going to prepare him for the mission field, as our missionary. We’d been praying for our missionary. And so, he came and our little group supported him. But he went into absolute solitude even from his family. Which he’s an only child, and just has a mother and father, and two uncles. But it was… it was a radical, radical call to solitude. And he couldn’t see anybody or talk to anybody. And I was the only contact with the outside world he had, and the “A and P” grocery store. And it was very difficult. You’d think to be free of a job, and free to be with the Lord… But the Lord laid him down in green pastures to restore his soul, and put him… With Sue’s help we got this little house on the lake, and it was really a wretched little house, and we went and cleaned and cleaned, but still it was pretty grim. And he lived there and had chickens and a garden and a dog, and totally radical change from his city life. And during that year God did a great deal with John. But his family freaked out, of course. And so, I’ll let you tell that. They didn’t understand it. It was… And neither did he. And left all his friends in Orlando, and wouldn’t answer the phone from the people that he loved dearly. And ah, just cut the world completely off. It was very interesting.
(Background question asked about what year?)
(M) It would have been ninety-six I believe. He’s been with us since ninety-five I think. But he went into that in January of ninety-six I believe, so. But it was…
(Question: does he talk to them now?)
(M) Oh yeah, yeah. And they’ve accepted his life. And ah… I don’t know how much of that he’s going to want to expose but ah… I don’t think…
(Someone from group: we won’t tell him.) (Laughter)
(M) You want to know. (Laughter)
(John returns to room.)
(M) Ok, I’ve got you in a year of solitude away from everybody.
(J) I’ll be right back. (Laughter)
(M) Oh no, I’d really like to hear you tell it, but. This, this… Everybody always wants to know his story, and we always go….
(M) And he only can do it if he’s anointed, so if he’s not going to be anointed for the Lord to do it, then I don’t want you to do it.
(J) Ok. It was just a really holy time. And it was a real special time. Uhmm. There were a lot of tears, and a lot of anger, a lot of voices, and a lot of silence. And I just struggled with it. I’ve always been kind of an extroverted kind of a person, and then for Him to call me into this. I mean, you know, my whole life has been set up; I’m an only child; my whole life has been set up for this. But He asked me to go and be with Him and to focus. And ah… What’s it called when you do the military, debriefed… ok, well. It was kind of like I was being deprogrammed and debriefed. Ah, He was pulling me out of the hectic swirl I was kind of in. He said, ‘just shhhhh’. And I was real pressured that I wanted to ‘do’. And He just like ‘shhhhh’. And I slept a lot. I was worn out. Every fear inside of me came bubbling to the surface. I was hysterical. But then there was, times that I would just go out on a boat that was just left there, and I’d just sit on the water, and ah… It was just real, it was holy time, it was real precious. Strange, real strange, but… And the, you know, the hardest thing was to say good-bye to everyone. I basically you know… My aunt one time said, “We’ll give him sixty days.” Well it was two years, and there was no contact.
(M) And this little group supported him very well, very adequately, with receiving nothing from him. And during that time he wrote very poignant things; wrote a lot. And of course we had no vision what-so-ever then of where we are today. And a man in our midst, who’s a computer expert, had given me a black and white Apple laptop. So I loaned it to John and never got it back. (Laughter) And he became fascinated with that computer and spent a lot of time journaling and writing, and writing lovely things, and learning the computer. And see, that was for him just pleasure. We had no idea where that was headed.
(J) So I mean, He was preparing me for everything. I mean, I had a small garden, which was wonderful. I had some chickens and you know, it was just very simple; kind of Walden Pond-ish, you know? But everything… I look back at during that time… The Lord has used a lot of different aspects of that time in my training to bring me to the place that I’m at that I can do what I can do, you know; especially the computers. That was one thing, a big thing. So the… You all know, “All And Only,” back there. Well, that was used as a courtroom. I read that book with God during this time, and I had a bunch of ‘whys’. I was saying, you know, “why did this happen, and why did You allow this, and what the heck was that about?” And so He listened to all my ‘whys’, and all my questioning, and my what’s, and my frustrations, because I’m very honest with Him. You know, I mean He knows it anyway, so I’m just honest with Him. And so, He took that book, and He basically… It was kind of a joke moment when He says, “ok, now you’ve had your say.” “Where were you when I…?” (Laughter) I mean, I can be very honest with Him, but He can be very honest with me too. So I went through “All And Only”, and He used it as a defense of Himself, and it just, it wrecked me. It shut my mouth is what it did. Ah, I still question. I still have my flailings, but something about that book, and the moments I had with God in that book, put a stillness inside of me and solved a number of things. He just said ‘shhhhh’. Now I can let God ‘be’, you know what I mean?