carefully drove my vehicle down a steep and winding
mountain road from the gold mine where I was working
in the Andes Mountains of northern Peru to the small
town where I was living. Although there weren't very
many vehicles on this road, it was populated with
Peruvian farmers, or "campesinos," on foot
or bicycle and some with cows, pigs, or whatever.
I came around a curve, I noticed what appeared to
be a young teenage boy "wiped out" on his
bicycle in the road. I slowed and pulled alongside
the bike and the boy. I then realized that the boy
was unconscious and bleeding a great deal. What should
Unfortunately, while living and working in several
foreign countries, I had learned that many times Americans
are not very well liked and more so when they represent
large American companies. Our corporate policy in
the event that something like the above scenario occurred
was to keep on going and not to put ourselves in a
possibly dangerous situation.
However, that afternoon I chose to remember one particular
Bible story. The story was about a certain man who
between Jerusalem and Jericho fell among thieves and
was stripped and wounded and left half dead. A Levite
and a priest who saw him "passed by on the other
side." The man received no help until a certain
Samaritan found him, "had compassion on him,"
cleaned his wounds, and "brought him to an inn."
The Samaritan also gave money to the inn's host and
promised to repay him when he returned if the innkeeper
would take care of the man. It is the
that caused me to disregard our corporate policy
and tend to the boy.
I placed my jacket under the young boy's head to
comfort him, cleared a passageway from his mouth to
allow breathing, and called for assistance from the
two-way radio in my vehicle. Many of the people from
the neighboring village were arriving by this time
and promptly came to the conclusion that I had run
over the boy in my truck. So these peasant farmers
started beating me with sticks and canes, making it
very difficult for me to take care of the boy and
administer first aid. I relied on the Bible and
- the story of Jesus' crucifixion (Matt. 27:
where Jesus was spit upon and hit on the head with
a reed and literally nailed to the cross. Still, Jesus
did nothing in retaliation and expressed only love
and compassion for those people. I tried to demonstrate
the same. It came to me very clearly to ask for the
Eventually, the parents of the teenage boy showed
up and believed my story. The boy received proper
attention, regained consciousness, and showed signs
that he would recover. I exchanged information with
town authorities and was permitted to go on my way.
Later at work, although management did not approve
of what I had done, they decided not to take disciplinary
action against me.
The above-mentioned story happened a few years ago
and is intended to illustrate how having a knowledge
of the Bible can actually prepare us when a "real
life" situation occurs, and we think that we
are miles from anywhere or anyone who can help.
Today, I hold a management position for the largest
water well, environmental and minerals drilling company
in the world, Layne Christensen Company. I started
in the precious minerals exploratory drilling business
almost 23 years ago at the lowest paying position
in the company as a "sample catcher" on
a drill rig. As manager of the company's Mineral Division,
I have enjoyed an exciting and rewarding career path.
Besides having many great experiences here in North
America, I have also had the opportunity to live and
work in four different countries in South America.
I have been involved with various drilling projects
from the Northwest Territories above Canada to the
Patagonia region of southernmost Argentina. The common
thread that I noticed in all of these places is everybody's
connection in one way or another with the Bible and
the people and stories contained therein.
For a while my family and I lived in Rio de Janeiro
(Rio), Brazil. Rio is an amazingly beautiful city
that meanders along a picturesque bit of the Atlantic
coast. Steep, granite mountains covered with luscious
tropical vegetation rise up from the city. Here the
largest man-made statue of Jesus that I am aware of
towers above Rio and its famous beaches. This statue
is named Corcovado or Cristo Redentor (Christ the
Redeemer) and is 100 feet tall and is visited by tourists
from all different parts of the globe each year. Visiting
this statue made me really aware of how Jesus, through
his teachings, impacted the world more than any one
I consider the Bible mostly to consist of one big
challenge after another. Sometimes with work, I feel
the same way -- that work is really just one big challenge
after another. I get much of my inspiration at work
from successful individuals, teams, or groups that
handle challenges well. The Bible is full of these
types of people. Moses was a great example. He had
the incredible ability to listen to God -- from his
humble infancy when he was placed in a small reed
- floated downstream to freedom during a time
when all the boy babies were being sacrificed (Ex.
2:1-10), to when he
- led the children of Israel through the wilderness
(Ex. 15-19+) and
- climbed Mount Sinai to write the Ten Commandments
In Brazil there were two times in particular that
I really had to listen wholeheartedly and put my trust
totally in God, as Moses had done.
We were in the Amazon basin carrying equipment for
drilling operations and were told not to go through
one village because we were certain to be infected
with malaria. But, if we avoided the town, we would
not only be slowed down, but the alternate river crossing
would potentially be more dangerous. At camp that
night, we sat around and discussed the options. I
knew that we didn't want to let fear govern our actions.
It seemed that the right thing to do was to go through
that village. Our group was protected, and none of
us got malaria.
On another trip, we were again warned to avoid a
certain village. This time it was because the local
"garimperos," or illegal miners, would threaten
our lives since they thought that we would steal their
gold. As the leader of this operation, I had to listen.
When I turned to God, it became clear to me that we
weren't there to steal their gold or to harm them;
we were not trying to disrupt anything. Rather, I
had to love them, even though they were wielding knives.
So, we did everything not to provoke or disturb them.
Eventually, we were able to work in the same region
harmoniously with them, respecting each other's space.
In my current management position, I often listen
to two or more opinions as to how or why something
should be done. Almost every time I am faced with
this type of decision, I remember the story in the
- King Solomon's wisdom (I Kings 3: 18-28).
It is a story of two mothers who each had a baby
only three days apart. One mother accidentally rolled
on her baby during the night, smothering him, and
that mother switched babies during the night to have
a living baby. The other mother instinctively knew
that the babies had been switched and that her real
baby was with the other mother. The mothers argued
before the King, both claiming to be the mother of
the live baby. King Solomon had the wisdom to realize
that when he decreed that the baby be divided in two
equal halves, one for each mother, the real mother
would cry out and want her baby to live.
As I learn a little more each day and gain a little
more each day, I realize that a major part of my business
accomplishments and successes can be attributed to
my knowledge of the Bible. It just doesn't matter
what the challenge, somewhere in the Bible there always
seems to be some story that fits the problem at hand,
whether it is dealing with economic hardship
- Once Jesus' disciples went fishing, caught
nothing, and had no meat. Jesus stood on the shore
telling the disciples to "cast the net on the
right side of the ship." The disciples then
were not able to pull up the net because of the
abundance of fish (John 21:3-6);
or being involved in seemingly impossible, helpless,
- the story of David and Goliath (I Sam. 17);
or getting caught up in some potentially life-threatening
- "Yea though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for
Thou art with me" (Ps. 23).
I firmly believe that my career opportunities are
greater when I "love one another" (John
13:34) as Jesus did; when I listen to God as Moses
did; and when I try to have the wisdom to make good
choices as King Solomon did.
A final note that I would like to share especially
with teens and young adults: to me, the Bible is very
difficult to read literally, word for word, and understand.
I'll share a little secret: my favorite sources for
learning about the Bible are through children's books
and audio cassette tapes that include stories of the
Bible. So, many times it is through these books or
cassettes that a message or story is communicated
in words that I feel I can actually understand. I
recommend that you, too, find some way -- whether
it is this website, a Bible study class, a church
camp, or just someone who really knows a lot about
the Bible -- to discover how the Bible might fit into
your present, your future, and your career.