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WATCH: Trick was on the devil’


Bishop John Archer (PHOTO: Youtube screenshot).

How a teacher brought hope to a suicidal young boy

When a distraught ten-year-old held a gun to his head wanting to end his short life, it seemed like his family’s American dream had turned into a nightmare.

But something stopped him, and God soon began speaking to him through the Scriptures.

Addressing an international conference of the Bible-distributing Gideon movement, Bishop Ron Archer shared how – as a ‘trick baby’ born to a prostitute and one of her clients – he had come to that dark moment.

His grandparents – a burly black Cuban man and a tall and thin Caucasian woman from Germany – got separated when his grandfather was sent to prison for violent assault as he responded to an incident of racial abuse. Things went from bad to worse when his gran – mother of seven – lost her job and subsequently became disfigured by a tumour.

“They lost everything and ended up living on the streets like animals. My entire family became atheistic,” said Ron.

At 14 his mother was encouraged to take up prostitution and two years later got pregnant with Ron. It wasn’t supposed to happen and the pimps to whom she was indebted did everything they could to kill the unborn child with drugs, alcohol and repeated kicking and stabbing.

But the baby refused to die and was born two months prematurely with neither pancreas nor bladder, unable to function properly and later developing a severe stutter.

“That baby was me. I’m the lowest of the low. I came from the gutter-most. Life was so horrific with so much vitriol and pain that by the age of ten I had had enough and wanted to die.”

Then the miracle happened. “There was a teacher with a Gideon Bible who came to my school and saw dysfunctional kids like me as her mission field. She would read me stories of dysfunctional characters whom God used – like Moses, who was also a stutterer. She said, ‘Ronaldo, God will turn your pain into power.’

“And I began to understand there was hope for me. I began to memorise the Bible, I stopped stuttering, stopped wetting my bed…and eventually became a pastor until everyone in my family got saved.”

He said everything changes “when a child begins to understand the love of God and the power of his Word”, adding: “I may have been a ‘trick baby’, but the trick was on the devil because of you (Gideons) and the power of the Word of God.”

View Bishop Archer’s full testimony:



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About the author

Charles Gardner, 67, is a former Assistant London Editor of the South African Press Association, working for them in Fleet Street throughout the late 1970s before moving to Yorkshire, where he has lived for the past 37 years while working in various senior editorial capacities for a number of newspapers. He has also launched several Christian publications. Born in Cape Town, Charles grew up in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, and was educated at St Andrew's College, Grahamstown. He is married to Linda, 59, who teaches Christianity and Judaism in primary schools, and has four children and nine grandchildren.



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