By Ken Gaub
At the time I was driving on 1-75 near Dayton, Ohio, with my
wife and children. We turned off the highway for a rest and
refreshment stop. My wife Barbara and children went into the
restaurant. I suddenly felt the need to stretch my legs, so waved
them off ahead saying I'd join them later. I bought a soft drink,
and as I walked toward a Dairy Queen, feelings of self pity enshrouded
my mind. I loved the Lord and my ministry, but I felt drained, burdened.
My cup was empty. Suddenly the impatient ringing of a telephone nearby
jarred me out of my doldrums. It was coming from a phone booth at a
service station on the corner. Wasn't anyone going to answer the phone?
Noise from the traffic flowing through the busy intersection must have
drowned out the sound because the service station attendant continued
looking after his customers, oblivious to the incessant ringing.
"Why doesn't somebody answer that phone?" I muttered. I began
reasoning. It may be important. What if it's an emergency? Curiosity
overcame my indifference. I stepped inside the booth and picked up
the phone. "Hello," I said casually and took a big sip of
my drink. The operator said: "Long distance call for Ken Gaub."
My eyes widened, and I almost choked on a chunk of ice. Swallowing hard,
I said, "You're crazy!" Then realizing I shouldn't speak to an
operator like that, I added, "This can't be! I was walking down the road,
not bothering anyone, and the phone was ringing..." "Is Ken Gaub there?"
the operator interrupted. "I have a long distance call for him."
It took a moment to gain control of my babbling, but I finally replied,
"Yes, he is here." Searching for a possible explanation,
I wondered if I could possibly be on Candid Camera! Still shaken,
perplexed, I asked, "How in the world did you reach me here?
I was walking down the road, the pay phone started ringing, and I
just answered it on chance. You can't mean me."
"Well," the operator asked, "is Mr. Gaub there or isn't he?" "Yes, I am
Ken Gaub," I said, finally convinced by the tone of her voice that
the call was real. Then I heard another voice say, "Yes, that's him,
operator. That's Ken Gaub." I listened dumb-founded to a strange voice
identify herself. "I'm Millie from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. You don't
know me, Mr. Gaub, but I'm desperate. Please help me." "What can I
do for you?" She began weeping. Finally she regained control and
continued. "I was about to commit suicide, had just finished writing
a note, when I began to pray and tell God I really didn't want to do this.
Then I suddenly remembered seeing you on television and thought if I could
just talk to you, you could help me. I knew that was impossible because I
didn't know how to reach you, I didn't know anyone who could help me find you.
Then some numbers came to my mind, and I scribbled them down." At this
point she began weeping again, and I prayed silently for wisdom to help her.
She continued, "I looked at the numbers and thought, couldn't it be
wonderful if I had a miracle from God, and He has given me Ken's phone
number? I decided to try calling it. I can't believe I'm talking to you.
Are you in your office in California?" I replied, "Lady, I don't have
an office in California. My office is in Yakima, Washington." A little
surprised, she asked, "Oh really, then where are you?"
"Don't you know?" I responded. "You made the call."
She explained, "But I don't even know what area I'm calling.
I just dialed the number that I had on this paper." "Ma'am, you
won't believe this, but I'm in a phone booth in Dayton Ohio!"
"Really?" she exclaimed. "Well, what are you doing there?"
I kidded her gently, "Well, I'm answering the phone. It was ringing
as I walked by, so I answered it." Knowing this encounter could only
have been arranged by God, I began to counsel the woman. As she told me
of her despair and frustration, the presence of the Holy Spirit flooded
the phone booth giving me words of wisdom beyond my ability. In a matter
of moments, she prayed the sinner's prayer and met the One who would
lead her out of her situation into a new life. I walked away from that
telephone booth with an electrifying sense of our heavenly Father's
concern for each of His children. What were the astronomical odds of
this happening. With all the millions of phones and innumerable
combinations of numbers, only an all-knowing God could have caused
that woman to call THAT number, in THAT phone booth, at THAT moment
in time. Forgetting my drink and nearly bursting with exhilaration,
I headed back to my family, wondering if they would believe my
story. Maybe I better not tell this I thought, but I couldn't contain
it. "Barb, you won't believe this! God knows where I am!"
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