ENCOURAGE EVERYONE IN THE HILL CITY AREA TO HAVE A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST!
I grew up in a very broken home and was basically on my own in most aspects from the time I was 12 or 13 on. I did not have great role models in my life. I had been searching my entire life for what I knew was missing. I tried everything to fill that need and I mean EVERYTHING! But I met a man named Dan McCann. He was our insurance agent who I think could tell that I was searching for answers. He invited me to a CMBC Bible study group Where I met Jack Jewett and Gene Reed. From moment one they cared not about what I could do for them but what they could give to me. I saw in them what I had always been looking for. But I still wasn't sure what that was. But I knew whatever they had I wanted it also. So I spent the next 2 weeks chasing them down. I was at every function they had. I called them on the phone at all times of the day and night. I wanted is what they had. They kept trying to teach and lead me but I would have none of that. Jack and Gene had both been saying for 2 weeks that I was not ready for what they had but in time they would share it with me. Both of them had me doing things that I had never done before like reading the bible aloud, and praying with groups of men every noon and Friday morning for breakfast. I went to Church but I was still not aware of what they had that I didn't but I was even more convinced than ever that I must have it and now. On the afternoon of January 13th 1993 a little after 4:00 I was working around town after lunch at the CBMC office and was getting really mad and decided that I had enough. I could think of nothing else so I went to Jacks office and his Assistant was in the front office. I walked in and she told me that he was busy on a phone call or something else. To be honest I am not really what she was saying other than I could not go in. I did not care I barged into his office and in not such nice words I told him he was going to give me what he had or else. And oh by the way you need to hurry up because I need to pick my kids up at 5:00 from the baby sitter. Jack laid everything aside and shared with me the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He shared with me what he had and how I could have it also. I remember when he prayed and I prayed with him the moment that Christ became part of my life. I was now a new man in Christ. I then knew at that moment what I had been searching for not for 2 weeks but my entire life.
From Day one Jack and Gene knew that they had their hands full. So they brought in Billy Hughes to help take me through a bible study called Operation Timothy. I am not sure if they made a schedule or if it was unplanned but I either met with or talked with at least one of them every day for more than one year. I do not want to raise these men up on a pedestal but I was no easy task. I know in retrospect that I had to be a real drain on their energy because I required so much attention. They loved me for who I was and nothing else. They gave so much over that next year. I decided that my first task was to share the Love of Jesus Christ with my wonderful bride (Michelle) by beating her over the head with it. Because she had seen and knew me so well she figured this would be like everything else I tried lasting for a couple of weeks and I would drop it. Well It did not go away and I was getting more and more strong with how I dealt with my bride. I think that she looked forward to going to work so she would not hear me preach to her. Gene was trying very hard to me to relax and let things happened in Gods time not Steve's time. When Gene finally convinced me to back off 100% with My bride things started to happen. She got more and more interested in what I was learning and even started asking me what I had learned that day. About 2 months after I was saved Michelle and Eleanor Reed began getting together and going through Operation Timothy. And Michelle about 3 or 4 months later accepted Christ at a CBMC Prayer breakfast that Adolf Coors spoke at.
Kim, I have to tell you that your Father gave so much to me and my family and I am so thankful for him and the gifts that he was given by our Father! I have one last story about your Father and I will let you go.
One day Michelle and I were in your Dads office and being the dim wit I was I asked him a ridicules question. How long will it be before I know everything about God like you? He very kindly responded to my ridiculous answer by saying Steve God is like a body of water. This body of water is very shallow at the edge so that even the newest of believer can wade in but not be over whelmed. But this body of water also has no bottom so that even those who have been around for a while like myself can find many things that they had never seen or understood before.
Many years later went to Rapid City at the request of your Father to Speak at a dinner that CBMC was having the Saturday following 9/11. Your father and I were headed up to Mt. Rushmore to have breakfast with Jack and I reminded him of that story and thanked him for sharing it with me. As we were walking up to the restaurant he stopped and tugged on my sleeve. He said Steve I have something to share with you. I stopped turned and looked at him and said Gene what is that? I could tell that he was not comfortable with what he was about to say. But he said it anyway. He said Steve even though I told you that story of the body of water I am not sure that I believed it. I think at that time that I thought that I did know everything. But the older I get the more I realize that I do not know anything.
I cannot tell you how much it meant to me for him to confess that to me. I take that with me every day. And I remember and reflect on it often. Your Father was a giant to me and I am so thankful to our Lord for giving me such a great gift and spiritual leader like your Father.
Steve Kennedy May, 2010
Hill City Area Ministries, Inc.
A South Dakota Non-Profit Corporation
Income Tax Deductible IRS 501 (c) (3) Organization