John and Wanda Lee gave their son to God for the gospel ministry following his birth in 1950. That son grew to be a spirited and gifted athlete. He was converted at age ten but would soon develop a hostile attitude toward authority.
Evangelists have played a major role in America’s moral and spiritual profile over the course of the last 200 years. Their explosive forms have moved before audiences in churches, auditoriums, public meeting halls, secular school assemblies, civic clubs, on street corners and in the open air. Their life changing effects on the masses of people have been striking and dramatic in shaping the conscience of the nation.
The Lord supernaturally prepares and raises up men for a specific day, a specific hour, and a specific duty in a nation’s life. Because of his widespread public awareness, the call of the evangelist is unique in the ministry. His spirit is aflame, his burden and energy is often times contagious and his anointing is evidenced even by unregenerate men and women.
Tim Lee, the rebellious teenager and son of a Baptist minister, once walked the streets of McLeansboro, Illinois, in violent protest to all ordained authority in the home, the church, the school. He was a born fighter. Every inch of his life from childhood was contested for. As Billy Sunday once stated, “I know all about the dark and seamy side of life, and if ever a man fought hard, I have fought hard for everything I have ever gained.”
To escape the world around him, he joined the Marine Corps in 1969. After his training, he received orders to serve in southeast Asia. In March of 1971, he was apprehended by the hand of God along an abandoned grassy trail in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. In that moment, engulfed in smoke, fire and holy vengeance, a land mine explosion severed two lower limbs, and placed in a wheelchair for life a young man who was to carry, without legs, a message from God to a nation.
After his call to preach in 1973, and following a year of itinerant evangelistic preaching, Tim Lee pastored for five years in southern Illinois before surrendering to the full-time ministry of evangelism in 1979. The results in the lives of people was almost immediate as the former Marine began to stir and challenge God’s people across the country. People of all ages listened; among them teenagers, the professional person, United States Congressmen and Senators, Governors, Mayors and elected officials. They heard a clear, uncompromising message grounded deep in old fashioned patriotism, righteous living and biblical revival.
Tim Lee’s Testimony
“Let’s go Marines,” I said quietly as I led my men down an abandoned road in Quang Nam Province in Vietnam. The road was probably constructed by the French a generation before Americans arrived in Nam. Bomb craters pitted the landscape, some of them 20 feet wide and 6 to 7 feet deep. We were looking for land mines, pungy pits and undetonated rounds. We didn’t realize it at the moment, but we had just walked into a Viet Cong mine field. On a mine sweep, you walk slowly; watching, listening, feeling. This particular road, very little of which was still distinguishable, hadn’t been swept in two years. We made our way through a section of tall elephant grass and reached a clearing. The crumbling remains of a Buddhist temple was just in front of us. The grass was now knee high leaving us dangerously exposed and in the open. A strange feeling came over some of the men.
Something wasn’t right.
One last Step, and then it happened – my boot landed squarely on what felt like a miniature volcano. A deafening blast rammed through my body. As Earl Lewis, the fifth man in formation later testified, I disappeared in the sudden eruption. As a cloud of black smoke shot into the sky, hot fire surged through what remained of my legs. “Hit the ground!” someone yelled. “Mortar!” shouted another Marine. Pieces of my own flesh literally covered the upper part of my body. Shrapnel from the blast pierced my fore arms and the sides of my forehead and had bent my helmet flap into a straight up position. My M-16 was blown in half. I went in and out of consciousness as people scrambled all around me. Lewis yelled “Corpsman!” The radio man, several yards to the rear of my position began to radio for a Medi-Vac.
There was much confusion. One man, Corporal Lee Gore, knelt down and picked me up in his arms and braced my back on his knees. He began to pray out loud. I was shaking terribly and literally covered in my own blood. The smoke and dust from the blast was still thick in the air. Men began to shed their t-shirts to help soak the blood flowing profusely from my wounds. Some gave their personal bandages. The Corpsman began working feverishly applying tourniquets to my upper thighs to stop the blood flow. In a weak, barely audible voice I prayed, “Oh no! … God, not my legs … Lord … please … God get me home to Mom and Dad …I’ll do whatever you want me to do.” Then, total blackness. I went out. Yellow smoke from the marking grenades to help guide the in-coming choppers billowed upward. I remember hearing the faint sounds of the whirling blades as they raised ten tons of steel into the air. Myself and a South Korean Marine, who had lost a foot in a separate explosion, left a violent world below. We were flown to the hospital ship USS Sanctuary in the South China Sea. From there I was taken to Guam.
After My recovery at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital, it was sad to remember how all this had come about in my life. Strangely enough, the shameful events that brought about the tragic moment began six year’s earlier, at age 14. For the first time, I directly rebelled against the authority of my parents in our home and began to run with the wrong crowd. My life went downhill from that moment. I had been raised in a preacher’s home. At ten years of age, while listening to my Dad preach, I received Jesus Christ as my Savior. For several months I lived for the Lord. But when I became a teenager, something gradually began to change inside of me. Sports became the obsession of my life. Little by little I put self before the Lord. I began running towards tragedy and a deadline with God. The call of God became less and less important in my thinking. During my junior year in high school, I set two track records in the long jump and high hurdles. My name began to appear in the local newspapers.
Upon graduation from high school I was living far from God. My life was a continuing nightmare and full of confusion. After one year of Junior college, joined the Marine Corps. Within a matter of weeks a bus took me to Parris Island, South Carolina, for boot camp. The Marines were tough. My attitude quickly began to change. Within 90 days I had become a real Marine, and, within a few months, I received orders for duty in Vietnam. Three weeks leave was spent at home with Mom and Dad. I went to church and tried to make things right with God. I thought I had. Mom and Dad took me to the airport in St. Louis the next day. As soon as the plane lifted from the runway, I told God I could not live for Him around other Marines. I was afraid they would make fun of me.
Eleven months quickly passed during my tour of duty. Going home was a little less than 30 days away. Nam had been a good experience for me, and one of the main reasons was the friendship of a very special Marine – Lee Gore. Gore, a black Marine, was a Christian and not ashamed of it. Many times he would sit on his rack and read his Bible. I had seen him pray, and talk to other Marines about the Lord. He often spoke to me about living for the Lord. I knew this was the kind of testimony God wanted me to have, but I lacked Gore’s courage.
On March 8, 1971, the darkest day of my life arrived. Orders were received to take my men on a mine sweep. I decided to walk point which meant I would be the front man in the formation. Normally, I would have been in the back of the squad with the radio man, the corpsman, and the lieutenant.
There was no attempt to be a hero, simply the desire to show my new men how to walk point. We walked that morning and stopped at noon to eat our c-rations. Gore asked if he could take over as point but, for some reason, I told him that I would finish the day.
A little over one hour later I stepped on a sixty pound box mine. After 30 seconds of numbness, I regained consciousness. Gore, in shock, anger, amazement, and deep concern was holding me in his lap. With tears running down his face, he was praying, asking God to help me. God heard his prayers.
Mom and Dad, during the next four week period, received over 30 telegrams and personal visits from the Marine Corps. From a human standpoint, and from all they had been told, they never expected to see their oldest son alive again. My body weight had gone from 185 pounds to less than 80 pounds … but God had a plan for my life! (Romans 8:28)Though His chastening hand had acted swiftly, it ultimately brought a sense of peace into my heart. I had known all along that I belonged to God for a purpose. The Bible says, “happy is the man whom God correcteth … despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.” (Job 5:17) Revelation 3:19 says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
During the next several months, thirteen major operations were performed. When the doctor’s put their knives away, three inches remained on my right leg, eleven inches on my left leg. God had taken the legs that had carried me from His will. My running had finally ended.
Coming home to Illinois, I went to my Dad’s church and made things right. I also surrendered my life to the ministry. Since that time I have preached all over the world that men and women may be saved by God’s grace.
Christian, maybe you are reading this testimony and God has spoken directly to you about restoring fellowship with His Son.
I looked death in the face and God spared my life to serve Him. Must God judge you, or should you judge yourself and make things right with Him? (I Cor. 11:31) Sinner friend, God’s judgment and wrath await you if you refuse to come to Christ! (John 3:1-8 & John 3:36
You, too, are facing God’s deadline, but there is good news for you! Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus died on a cross – for you, as your substitute. He shed His blood for your sin and for my sin, and for the sin of the whole world. (I John 2:2) His wounded body was put in a tomb. On the third day He arose from the grave, alive and victorious over sin, death, and hell, and He lives forevermore. (Acts 2:24)
Jesus said, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)
No church, priest, religion, sacrament, baptism, or good work can save you!
Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me. ” You must simply accept what He did for you on the cross, repent of your sin (Romans 3:23) and believe on Jesus Christ. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” (I Peter 3:1-8)
Salvation is a free gift. “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. ” (Eph. 2:8-9)
You must make a choice, for the scripture says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”(Romans 6:23) Which do you prefer right now – death or eternal life? Say yes, to Jesus Christ right now.
You have just read the personal testimony of Tim Lee, double amputee and purple heart recipient of the Vietnam war. Tim’s great desire is for you to experience the love, forgiveness a victory that Jesus Christ offers. Call out to Jesus Christ right now with words similar to these…
“Dear Jesus: Be merciful to me a sinner, and receive me as Your child. By faith, I call upon your Name. I believe You are the Saviour of the world, and that You died for me, shed Your blood for my sin and arose from the dead. I turn from my sin and receive You right now as my Saviour. Thank you, Lord for saving me. Amen.”
Now claim God’s promise to you, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall he saved. ” Rom. 10:1-3.
Please write Tim and let him know of your decision. His address is:
Tim Lee Ministries
P.O. Box 461674 Garland, TX 75046.
You may also call: 972-276-3168.
He will send you free literature about living the Christian life.