Freedom fighters capture our attention and spark our imagination. Braveheart, the theme for this issue of LA Story, was the title of an Academy-Award-winning movie about a 13th century Scottish rebel warrior who fought to overthrow a tyrant English king. Jesus Christ is the ultimate freedom fighter. He issued his declaration of independence at the beginning of his ministry in Luke 4. Freedom fighters come and go, but Jesus, through his Holy Spirit, has been leading the fight for freedom against Satan for 2,000 years. Through the centuries many have fought
valiantly and died under the spiritual banner of Lord Jesus. We, his modern-day disciples, have also answered his call to battle (Matthew 28:18-20). Because the present chapter of this fight is only a few years old, starting in Boston in June 1979, our honor role of men and women who have died in battle as heroes is still small. Today, I want to add a name to that distinctive list, the name of Bob Ricker.
Bob Ricker was a bravehearted, freedom fighter from the day I first met him in Boston in the early part of the 1980’s. He was a college student with a single-minded purpose: make disciples. He really believed that the whole world could be evangelized in just one generation. He wanted to do his part and he did. For instance, Bob met a young nurse, Carol Best, and invited her to church. She came and brought her boy friend, John McGuirk. Both Carol and John became disciples, married, and became missionaries in Paris and Brussels. John converted his sister, Sue. Sue married Steve Shoff, and they went into the full-time ministry. At UCLA, Sue met and converted Candice Figueras. Candice now leads the women of the church in Istanbul, Turkey.