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          Dr. Jerry Beavan

"Jerry Remembers" ... in which Jerry Beavan, at age 93, recounts events from his experiences in a wide ranging field of endeavors, which include being a college and seminary professor ... a corporate executive in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries ... a federal lobbyist in Washington, DC ... and as Billy Graham described him, "the architect of world evangelism as we know it today."

Now retired and physically handicapped, restricted to a wheel chair, Jerry has been Senior Editor of the weekly American News Commentary, now in its 10th year of publication.

 

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I Remember Gary Powers

Actually, I never met Gary Powers—Francis Gary Powers, to be exact. But last week his name was in the news again, when the U.S. Air Force posthumously presented him with the Silver Cross. The award was more than half a century late, because it was in 1960 that he flew an unarmed U-2 plane over the Soviet Union, was shot down, and was convicted of spying. He served a year and 9 months of his term before being exchanged for a Soviet spy. He died in 1977, but his heroism has not been forgotten by his military peers. Brigadier General Kevin Chilton said at last week's ceremony, that he flew alone, unarmed and unafraid, was shot down, and suffered for months in a Soviet prison.

The reason last week's announcement of his well deserved award caught my attention is that in 1960, the Republican National Convention was in Chicago, and because of my warm relationship with the Eisenhower administration, I was given a VIP pass for the convention. Richard Nixon, as Eisenhower's Vice President, was considered the likely candidate to be chosen at the convention.

After entering the huge convention hall through a special entrance, I was shown to a seat in a row of choice boxes, separated by just a metal pipe railing. Seated in the next box, right beside me, separated only by that railing, was Barbara Powers, his wife. During the convention's sessions, we carried on quite frequent conversations.

When I returned to my hotel there was a message from my wife, and thinking there might be some problem at home, I immediately returned her call. Her opening words were something along this line: "Aha . . . I saw you talking with that blonde all night."

Apparently the TV cameras frequently focused on Mrs. Powers, because the U-2 incident was very much in the news, and apparently we were frequently engaged in conversation, and seen on TV screens across the nation.

I'm not sure what spiritual lesson is to be learned from this incident, but I do remember that as a child my parents had put some framed sayings on the walls of my room, and one that I definitely recall was "Thou God seest me,"  from Hagar's word to the Lord (Gen. 16:13), and that is an eternal truth: we are never out of His sight.

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