Sunday, May 9, 2021

"He Died the Same Way He Lived"

Dawson Trotman founded the Navigators discipleship ministry in 1933. His ministry focused on following up on new believers and mentoring them through one-on-one relationships to help them grow in their faith. One day, Dawson told his understudy, Loren Sanny, “What if I died and the Lord took me to heaven. Would you be ready to take over this ministry?” Two weeks later, Dawson was dead at age 50. Here’s how it happened:
On June 18, 1956, Dawson was the main speaker at the Word of Life Christian camp at Schroon Lake, New York. That afternoon, his friend Jack Wyrtzen invited Dawson and two girl campers to join him for a boat ride around the lake. One of the girls, Allene Beck, didn’t know how to swim, but accepted the invitation anyway.
As they sped around the lake, the boat hit a wave, throwing Dawson and Allene out of the boat. Allene panicked because she couldn’t swim. Dawson tried to save her, but she frantically fought with him. He then swam underneath her and lifted her up so that her head was above the water. When the boat returned, they pulled her out to the water, but Dawson never came back up. He had drowned while saving the girl’s life.
Billy Graham spoke at Dawson’s funeral saying, “Dawson died the same way he lived, by holding others up.” I’m sure Dawson must have thought about leaving behind his wife and five children when he made the decision to sacrifice his own life so the girl could live. Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 HCSB).
Loren Sanny took over as leader of the Navigators. Today the Navigators ministry serves in 50 countries and on many college campuses. When I was in college, a member of the Navigators came to our dormitory to teach a Bible study. God touched my heart during that Bible study, which was part of the reason I entered into ministry. I am another life held up by Dawson Trotman.
BIBLE STUDY:  If God loves everyone, why did He hate Esau?
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