"Bashful and Backward" Truck Driver Becomes Bold Missionary

In 1972, Bill Horstmeyer was a "bashful, backward" bread truck driver when he found a discarded copy of the Chick tract, This Was Your Life at a revival meeting.

"That is how I got started using Chick tracts," he remembers. "I knew God had called me to do something but I didn't know how to approach people."

When he collected money on his bread route, he would scan the change for old coins. If he found one he would buy it and soon had $26. He sold the coins for $45 and bought his first tracts. At first he would leave them in a laundromat at 4am because no one was around.

At Christmas, he got up the courage to give tracts to his customers, a different one each day. Within a day or two they were waiting for him to bring the next tract. Eventually he led seven people to the Lord in the back of "that old bread truck."

Horstmeyer went on to preach the Gospel and pastor a church. From there his heart for souls led him to take tracts to the Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Alaska, Finland and the Ukraine.

On a 2-hour layover in Seoul, Korea on his way to the Philippines, he took Korean tracts in one hand, Philippine tracts in the other and English in his shirt pocket.

He walked through the airport asking, "Can you read this?" When someone said yes, he would reply, "Well, I can't. Will you take it?" Only two turned him down and they were Americans.

At Easter, many Philippine people celebrate by gambling and drinking. Horstmeyer and his team took tracts right into the bars and, "not one person we offered a tract to refused it." He held meetings in one Philippine village where the Catholic priest had not visited in 6 months.

The priest promptly showed up in a big Mercedes, got some of the people together to pray that Horstmeyer would get sick. Instead, the priest got sick.

When Horstmeyer called a prayer meeting to pray for the priest to get well, "it blew their minds."

The priest returned two days later and offered to hold mass if the people could raise 125 pesos. The average annual wage there is 395 pesos.

He said for 500 pesos he would bring the statue of the Virgin Mary out to the village. Later he came back selling bags of rice for 35 pesos. It was rice the U.S. government had given the Catholic church to distribute.

This was the last straw for Horstmeyer. He got up in the meeting and explained that the Roman Catholic Church was just a cruel imposter of Christianity and they had to decide to either serve Christ or the pope.

When he finished his ending prayer, he looked up and there was not one person in the meeting area. He looked around and said to the Lord: "I've really messed up this time."

As he walked back to where he was staying, the people were standing in small groups talking rapidly in their native tongue. In dismay, he spent the night in prayer.

He felt God speak to him: "You are doing what I want. Don't give up." The next night the people came back and 86 got saved. The first person to come forward was the mayor of the village.

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