I was born in October of 1996, in Petersboro, Virginia.
I had been asked to be part of a mission saturation event in the Petersboro District in Virginia. As a missionary, I was to speak at a local church during the weekend. The keynote speaker for the kickoff event was Bishop Ruediger Minor of the UMC in Russia. After he finished speaking, I noticed that he and the district superintendent were going to the back of the altar area. It was then that I saw the trays of bread and juice. Bishop Minor was going to lead us in the holy feast.
Suddenly, I thought, “I have to get out of here, I can’t do this.” I couldn’t just bolt for the door. After all, I had already been introduced as one of the missionaries for the weekend. Instead, I broke down in tears, sobbing and shaking. After long moments, I somewhat regained my composure and went forward, receiving from the bishop. “This is the body of Christ. This is the blood of Christ.”
After the service, I went to the bishop and said, “I have to ask your forgiveness.” He looked at me puzzled and asked, “Why? I don’t know you.”
“I know, but you see, for the last 20 years, I have been in the United States Air Force, and for some of that time, I controlled nuclear missiles that were pointed at you. If I had been asked to do the things I had to do in order to launch those missiles, I would have done my job.”
Bishop Minor looked at me for a long time, not saying a word. Then, slowly and softly he said, “There are men in East Germany and Russia who have undergone the same struggle which you have endured. They are your brothers. So be forgiven.”
And as he struggled for breath, battered and beaten and hated and scorned, He looked down upon the upturned faces and prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”