What a great start! We went “live” with the website at the end of October, and by the end of November over 500 books have been distributed to police officers from Texas to Montana! Thanks to Pastor Nace Howell (Terrace Lake Community Church) the Ronan, MT police department is the first agency to have 100% of their officers provided a copy of Winning a Gunfight! Pastor Howell personally purchased the books for the police officers who serve his community.
In mid-October I shared Winning a Gunfight with a group of “old police guys” who meet every Friday morning at 6:30 am for Bible study. The book and ministry idea was well received and the guys promised me honest feedback on the book.
On Wednesday, November 2nd Jimmy Meeks of Sheepdog Ministries contacted me and said 450 police officers were gathering in Ft. Worth, TX for a Bullet Proof Mind seminar hosted by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman on Tuesday, November 15th. Jimmy said he would provide a book to each officer if I could get the books to him. I was excited, but admittedly doubtful. “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 8:26) came to mind. I hung up the phone with Jimmy and started to pray for direction. Four hundred and fifty books, that’s $4500. Not only that, I needed to order the books within two days to ensure they arrive on time. How could I get that much money in two days?
As I was contemplating what to do I received a strange text from a retired pastor I had shared the ministry with the previous week, “Tim, did you know there is a “Strong Thin Line” website? I hadn’t, but I wasn’t really concerned about other websites. But I thought, why did this person text me now with this information? Did the Lord prompt this conversation? I don’t think the Lord texts messages, but he can surely use them. “Why not?” I thought. I texted back and shared with him the opportunity in Ft. Worth to reach 450 officers. A few minutes later I received a text back saying he would cover the cost of any money I didn’t raise for the event. Another Scripture came to mind, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Matt. 9:24). I sent 470 books just to ensure every officer received one.
Remember that group of “old police guys” I mentioned above? One of those “old” guys is Idaho State Police Sergeant Tony Anderson. After reading the book he and his wife decided to purchase a book for each of the other 35 state police officers that work in Tony’s region.
Pastor Gordon Boyle (retired deputy sheriff) of Watersprings Church in Idaho Falls presented the ministry to his church in a Wednesday evening service and received enough donations to provide books for all the law enforcement deputies on the Bonneville County, ID sheriff’s department. The books were delivered on November 18th to Sheriff Paul Wilde who was very grateful for the resource and the benevolence of Watersprings Church.
On November 21st, Idaho Falls Pastors Beau Floyd (Emmaus Road Church) and Steve McClean (Eagle Rock Vineyard Church) and I (River of Life Church) delivered 91 books to the officers of the Idaho Falls, ID police department. Chief Mark McBride personally drove to my church the next day to thank me in person for the books.