PERCYíS LIFE STORY
by Percy William Dodd

[His wife Bessie found this in his personal file after he had pasted on to be with his Lord on January 22, 1999]

I was born in Cheshire England, October 12th 1912. My farther was an Engineer on the old London, Midland and Scottish Railway now commonly called British Rail. Shortly after I was born, my Dad began farming, so I was raised on a farm, always lots of work to do. I was one of a family of ten, four sisters and five brothers.

I left school at the age of fourteen to help on the farm.The first four years after leaving school, I took over the job of making the cheese for my mother, to relieve her of some of the work. I then took over the job of waggoner, in other words I did all the ploughing and seeding on the farm with a team of horses.

During this time I became very restless in my life. I didnít know what I wanted . I always took a keen interest in soccer joining the local team at the age of fourteen.I played soccer until I was forty years old.

In my teenage years I loved dancing and girls. Twice a week I would sometimes go to a dance till one or two oíclock in the morning.Maybe take a different girl home from a dance, or go out with a different one every month or so.To me in those days this was really living.In my own way I thought I was having a good time.I used very often to please myself what I did with my evenings.Dad would crack down on us from time to time but we did not pay much attention to him, at least I didnít, used to get angry with him.

Well one night when I was about eighteen I went to a Garden Party and there I met a lovely young girl I had never seen before, I decided there and then that this was the girl I was going to marry. When I returned home that night I told my mother whom I had been with. This was nothing new because I always told my mother where I had been with. But this time I said I had met the girl I was going to marry, Bessie Proudlove, and of course I did eventually after eight years.

That was the finest thing I ever did in my early life. I was still a selfish guy. Short tempered at times. Bessie and I were married on May 2nd 1939 after a long courtship.

After we were married we moved around quite a bit. (I had) seven different jobs in eighteen years. We had our good times and we had our bad times. We had six children, four boys and two girls.

At the age of forty-four I was laid aside from work with a back injury. The doctor put me in a cast from my armpits down to my thighs. You can imagine how I felt. I couldnít dress myself, I couldnít have a bath, Bessie had to do everything for me, I couldnít sleep. I felt very depressed at times.

While I was in this condition something happened which really amazed me. We were living in North Wales at that time, six miles from Wrexham and [the soccer team] were to play Manchester United, one of the finest soccer teams in the world at that time. I decided that I would go to see the game, so off I went to Wrexham on the Monday before the game. The travel agency in town was selling tickets. I opened the door of the office, walked across the room, and asked the guy behind the desk about immigrating to Canada. Can you imagine it? I could not work, I did not know if my back would heal properly. I was forty-four years old, no money, a wife and six children and yet I asked him about immigrating to Canada. Well he told me there was an Emigration officer from Winnipeg upstairs in an office interviewing people who wished to go to Canada. So up stairs I went, led by some unseen force. I went into his office. He asked me all about what I could do. I gave him my life history; told him I had no money. He said that was O K .

We filled out a form and I signed my name to it and that was that. Three months after that, my wife and I and our six children set sail for Canada on the Canadian Pacific Steamship the ďEmpress of BritainĒ [on June 6], of course my back had healed up by this time.

We arrived in Winnipeg June 16 1957 after a very enjoyable trip, but tiring. I had a job waiting for me when I arrived, so I began work right away on a market garden farm just north of Winnipeg. A place called Middlechurch.

We attended church in North Kildonan. I had always gone to church in England because it was the thing to do. But the first time to that church in North Kildonan I became disturbed about he way I had been living. We attended every Sunday that summer, then my job on the market garden finished. I got a job outside of Portage-la Prairie on a farm about ten miles away, a place called Curtis Sidings. I was the dairyman looking after the cattle and doing the milking. My boss, Mr. Lee Tully, took us to church in portage every Sunday morning.

That winter I was really disturbed about my life, until one Sunday in May 1958, the Holy Spirit spoke to me compelling me to leave my seat and walk to the front of the Church and publicly confess that I was a sinner and needed someone to help me. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior because I realized that He was the only one who could give me peace. The most amazing thing happened, as I left my seat, Bessie, my wife, did the same and together we gave our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ. How happy we were. However I did not give my whole life to the Lord. I still felt parts of my life belonged to me. I did not see the need to give the Lord a tenth of my money, when I didnít have for myself.

I still had that restless spirit in me. I went to work for the Searle Grain Farm Co. on a big farm outside of Selkirk. Bessie and I still had our problems and difficulties; we also had our good times.

We moved back to Portage-la-Prairie in 1963. I was manager of a market garden for Mulder Bros. Quite nice people. I became a Deacon of the church in Portage during this time. I still was not completely happy. In 1965 I prayed about leaving Manitoba and asked the Lord to get me a job on the West Coast, so in April of that year he did. We moved to Vancouver Island to Cedar, where I worked once more on a dairy farm.

Bessie and I joined a Church in Nanaimo. I became quite active in the work. Then in 1967 the Lord spoke to me in a very definite way. When was I going to give Him my support financially? Well I argued, how could I give him any more when I didnít have enough for myself. The Lord won that argument and I began to give Him what rightly belonged to him all along.

Things began to improve for us thanks to the Lord. In 1968 we moved to Nanaimo and I went to work at Longlake Nurseries as a landscape Gardener. I thought now Iíve got it made. Living in the city, working only five and a half days a week, better pay and all that! Still thinking of myself.

At the beginning of 1973 Doug Jones, my boss, asked me if I had thought about my holidays for the summer, what was I going to do? ďWhy donít you go to England this year to see your folks?". We discussed it and I said O.K I asked him if July would be all right, He said yes. I made arrangements to fly to England with Bessie, found out how much it would cost, $648 for both of us. We knew it would not cost [us much] in England, with having a lot of relatives there to stay with. So, I went to the Bank and borrowed the $1000 for the trip.

In April I hurt my back at work. I did not stay off work, only one day. I went to the hospital for Physio therapy for three days and felt OK Then on June the 7th I was planting dailias in the border at Long Lake Nursery when I had a terrible pain come in my right leg and hip. I could hardly finish out the job but I did. I told Doug that I didnít think I would be bake to work next day. He said ďoh you will be OK in a few days. Go and see the doctor and have a rest. I went to see my doctor, had x-rays taken of my hips, Dr. Brown sent me to see Dr. Roque who is an orthopedic surgeon. He said no work for a while. I told him I had paid for and got tickets for a trip to England on July 7th to August 4th. Well he said we would have to wait and see if I was fit to travel. During the month of June I was in terrible pain, towards the end of the month it began to ease off. On July 5th Dr. Roque gave us the OK for our trip.

We enjoyed it very much, although it was very tiring at times. We came home on August 4th. I want to see Dr. Brown  on August 7th. He sent me to see Dr. Roque Aug. 8th;  he referred me to Dr. Atkins in the Rehabilitation Center, in the hospital [on] Aug.9th. [On] Aug.12th I went into hospital for three weeks of therapy. During this time Dr. Atkins told me what was wrong with me, I had osteoathritis in both of my hips, in my backbone, my pelvic girdle and my sacroiliac joints. In other words all the joints in my lower regions were wearing away. He told me I had three choices. Go back to work and end up a cripple. Take a very light job, and at my age that would be difficult (I was almost 61 years old), or retire. He advised me to retire.

The Bible says, and these are the words of Jesus, my Lord. Matthew 11:v 29 "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls".

The doctorís words had stunned me. Early in the year I had borrowed $1000 off the Bank. To be told I couldnít go back to my job, if I did I would end up a cripple, what was I going to do? I can tell you I was very upset. Then I went home that Friday Aug.24th for the weekend . In the paper I read that the government of British Columbia had passed an order in council bringing in a pension for people aged 60 who wished to retire. After I had read this I still worried about myself, and then on the Sunday after the Church service I came home, had my dinner, visited with my daughter and her family, who were with us for dinner. When they went home I prayed to God for help, and I suddenly realized, what was I fretting and worrying about, and committed the whole matter to the Lord. I surrendered my whole life to him. I said ďLord you know all about me, you know how much money I owe the Bank, you know I donít have a thing. Forgive me Lord for worrying about it, take me just as I am and I know you will supply all my needsĒ. I didnít ask him for all my wants, but my needs. He has supplied in a most wonderful way.

Since then Bessie and I own our own home for the first time in our lives. Thanks to the Holy Spirits guidance. Our children are paying for our home. I am sure the Holy Spirit has directed them to do this even if they donít realize it now. The same as I did not realize, back in 1957, when out of the blue I decided to come to Canada. The Holy Spirit led me here, he stopped me working, he directed my children to buy us our home. I cannot thank him enough for all he has done for Bessie and me. God still has a plan and purpose in my life. I pray that I may be willing day by day to be used of him in his service whatever or where ever he leads. Proverbs 3: v5&6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding, but in all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy paths".

And now I would like to give each of you a booklet that has been very helpful to me. I would like to go over it for two reasons:

  1. you may know what you believe, but do you know how to share what you believe with others;
  2. perhaps some of you are wondering how you can have a personal relationship with God.
Give a "Four Laws" booklet to each person. [see attached/below]

Steps to Peace with God

In all of life there is nothing more wonderful than discovering peace with GOD.

Step 1 to this discovery is realizing GODís PLAN:

Peace and Life

GOD LOVES YOU and WANTS YOU to experience PEACE and LIFE - ABUNDANT and ETERNAL.


The BIBLE says ...

"...We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Romans 5:1
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16
"... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
John 10:10

Since God planned for us to have peace, and the abundant life right now, why are most people not having this experience?


Step 2 is acknowleding MANís PROBLEM:

Separation

God created man in HIS own image and gave him an abundant life. He did not make him as a robot to automatically love and obey Him, but gave him a will and freedom of choice.

MAN chose to disobey God and go his own willful way. Man still makes this choice today. This results in SEPARATION from God.

The BIBLE says ...

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

Romans 3:23
"For the wages of sin is death (separation from God); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:23

Man through the ages has tried to bridge this gap in many ways, without success. There is only one remedy for this problem of separation.


Step 3 is recognizing GODís REMEDY:

The Cross

JESUS CHRIST is the ONLY answer to this problem of separation. When Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose from the grave, He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap from GOD to man.

The BIBLE says ...

"God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus,
Himself man, is between them to bring them together.''

1 Timothy 2:5, The Living BibIe
"But God commendeth (showed) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
Ephesians 2:8,9

God has provided the ONLY way ... Man must make the choice.
 

Step 4 is MANís RESPONSE:

Receive Christ

We must TRUST JESUS CHRIST and RECEIVE HIM by personal invitation

The BIBLE says ...

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock (Christ is speaking): if any man hear my voice,
and open the door, I will come in to him."

Revelation 3:20
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on His name.''
John 1:12

Is there any good reason why you cannot receive Jesus Christ right now?


What you must do:

    1. Admit your need (I am a sinner).
    2. Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).
    3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you (on the Cross).
    4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life. (Receive Him as Savior and Lord.)

What to pray:

Dear LORD JESUS,
I know that I am a SINNER and need YOUR FORGIVENESS.
I BELIEVE that YOU DIED for MY SINS.
I want to TURN from MY SINS.
I now INVITE YOU to come into MY HEART and LIFE.
I want to TRUST YOU as SAVIOR and FOLLOW YOU as LORD.

This is just the beginning of a wonderful new life with Christ. To experience this relationship you should:

    1. Read your Bible every day to get to know Christ better.
    2. Talk to God in prayer every day.
    3. Tell others about Christ.
    4. Worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians in a church where Christ is preached.

"God bless you as you do"
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Box 779, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440