Dr. James Beaty
My Journey

Week 13: Learning To Trust In God

Back in the mid-twentieth century, almost nobody owned a PhD. It just wasn’t cool. People especially didn’t earn a degree like that and then go out on the mission field. However, that is exactly what Doctor James Beaty did, and he was the person with which I happened to be meeting with today.
Dr. James Beaty
I was deposited at Dr. Beaty’s house around nine, and then he began to tell me his life story: a tale of trusting in God that would make any fantasy seem tame. He was born in a mill village in North Carolina, so everyone was very poor without much education. He attended school when there were only 11 grades, which meant that high school was from 8th to 11th. But just because they had less grades doesn’t mean that it was easy. On the last day of 7th grade, you took a huge test. Fail the test, and you don’t make it to high school that year. By the time that James came along, only one person from that village had made it past high school. But through the grace of God, he made it past the test.

I already mentioned that his family was poor. Because of this, James wasn’t allowed to go to movies (the 10 cent cost can add up), so when he was bored, he would simply stay at church. On one of those days, he suddenly felt that he needed to repent to God for his sins, and when the church asked new believers to come to the front, he was there. When the church elders saw him, they told the congregation “next week we will pray for this boy to receive the Holy Spirit” without even asking whether he wanted it or not. However, James was willing to dive right into the blessings in store for him, and he was filled with the Spirit the next week. The church sat on the opposite end of town from Dr. James’ house, and it was a three mile trip, so he would usually take the bus. But one day, he found that he didn’t have the 20 cents to ride to church. Nevertheless, he always attended service, so he told God that he would walk to church so he could make it. Because of his faith and devotion, James always had enough money after walking to church that time for the fare.

As he grew older, James kept hearing three words in his head: prepare for ministry. It was a bit confusing because at this time, he was working from 11p.m. to 7a.m., going to school from 8 to 1, and then sleeping in the afternoon. He was also involved at his church. And in spite of all that, he still graduated Cum Laude. But he finally realized what it meant when his church invited preacher R.P. Johnson to speak. During the offering call, the Lord told Dr. Beaty to give all he had in his pocket, which was about 25 dollars. He wasn’t sure whether to or not, because that was a lot of money back then, but he trusted God and gave. As he walked down the aisle to give the money, the Lord told him to give himself as well. He did. A couple days later, he got an envelope with 25 dollars in it.

Around that time, it was strongly suggested that he visit Haiti for a year. He arranged to do so through his missions board. However, when James arrived in Port-au-Prince, he had a sinking feeling in his stomach. He had learned Latin in high school, took 3 years of Spanish and one of German in college, and studied Greek in seminary. But the Haitians spoke French Creol!

But Dr. James did survive that year, and the following year, they sent him to the Dominican Republic. There they spoke Spanish, so he felt more at home. But almost before he got settled down and comfortable, the mission board that he worked with sent him a letter stating that he was being replaced and they were transferring him back to Haiti. And he didn’t know a word of their language. But he tried his hand at learning Creol, and soon became proficient at it.

Another story which testifies to the power of trusting the Lord took place right around this time. Dr. James was crossing over the border from the Dominican Republic to Haiti (the international highway was at the time dirt and knee high with weeds) and had just entered into a small town on his way to the capitolĀ  when he began to hear a funny noise from inside the hood of his car: thock thock thock. When he pulled over, he found that his fan belt was cut through and was held together by just a few strands of fiber. He tried to find a replacement in town, but the ones he could find were all either too big or too small. The only thing to do was to see if the belt would hold up until they reached the capitol. It held up until they were a couple miles out of that little town. Then it snapped. So James said that if he caught a ride going back to town, he would just have to buy a belt and make it fit. If he caught a ride going to the capitol, he would buy a belt there, although that would be a longer drive. Finally, he spotted a school bus heading toward town and flagged it down. As he was explaining his situation, the driver suddenly pulled out a belt from next to his seat and said, “I bought this a couple weeks ago, but it wasn’t the right size. Could you use it?” It was a perfect fit.
Dr. James and Me
That is basically Dr. Beaty’s story in a nutshell. There was a lot which I left out, but I hope that the parts that I did include convince you to keep trusting God and doing his will. Because when you do, he will pour out the floodgates of Heaven on you. And to have that happen, you don’t even need a PhD.


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