Despite poor weather, RA Congress celebrates growth
By Allen Palmeri
April 5, 2005
SEDALIA – New Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) churches participating in the Royal Ambassador (RA) program were visible March 25-26 at RA Congress as 800 people battled near-freezing temperatures to participate in activities.
“We had a lot of new churches here, with new chapters,” said MBC Men’s Missions and Ministry Specialist Danny Decker. “It was the first time they had ever been to RA Congress. I’m just excited about that, because I think there’s a great enlargement here.”
A total of 59 decisions for Christ were recorded, including 32 professions of faith, Decker said. In addition, a missions offering of $1,329.98 was donated to the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home.
The weather was less than ideal. With temperatures dipping into the mid-30s on Saturday, organizers decided to cancel the track and field portion of the gathering.
“It’s been a difficult two days,” Decker said from the floor of the State Fairgrounds Coliseum on Saturday morning, where a horse whisperer evangelism event had to be cut short due to the cold weather and uncooperative nature of “Buck,” a wild horse from Oklahoma who refused to be broken.
“We’ve had rain and really chilly weather. The kids participated well. It’s what they’ve waited all year to do. And our workers have really paid the price. They’re the ones that were frozen out hosting the events.”
RA boys, fathers, teachers and other interested observers filled the Coliseum in anticipation of seeing David Case, a horse whisperer evangelist from Alton, bring Buck into submission while preaching the Gospel. Case, pastor of Riverton Baptist Church in Couch, has done about 20 successful presentations where the horses all cooperated, but Buck refused. Case took comfort in the fact that at least Buck became a picture of a person who has heard the Good News about Jesus and yet sadly has refused to act on it.
“Not everyone’s going to turn to the Lord, and there will come a time when the Lord may quit striving with them,” Case said. “It will be a very sad thing.”
At one point Buck jumped out of the five-foot corral, crumpling one section of metal. When that part of the corral was replaced, Case resumed his work, but to no avail. Case and Decker both marveled that Buck, a 3-year-old who stands about 141/2 hands tall, did not break a leg while executing his daring escape.
“I had a horse one time bend a panel like that, but he didn’t get out,” Case said. “I think at one time that the horse has probably been abused. Somebody tried to work with him and used the wrong method, maybe whipped him. The horse has tremendous trouble learning to trust—more than usual.”
Decker said the boys were still blessed by what they saw, even if it did not result in Buck being saddled for the first time.
“They got to see some things about rebellion and disobedience, how it can hurt you,” Decker said. “They also got to see this horse start surrendering. If David had had another hour to work with him, he’d have been riding him.”
Royal Ambassadors are a missions-oriented group for boys in grades 1 through 6. The name is taken from 2 Corinthians 5:20, where the Apostle Paul writes that we are ambassadors for Christ.