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Text Illustrations
Charles Van Gorder was a doctor with the 101st Airborne on June 6, 1944. Captain Gorder and many other doctors were going to do something new on that day. They flew behind enemy lines in gliders made out of tubing, plywood and canvass. Many crashed in the French fields and were severely wounded or killed. Captain Van Gorder glider hit a tree right between the pilot and co-pilot and everyone survived. He spent the next several months struggling to save the dying and keep himself alive. He was captured while tending to enemy soldiers and taken deep into Germany in December of 1944. In a few weeks he was at the Russian front. He witnessed many horrors and escaped death many times. He managed to escape in 1945 and made his way back to the west through Poland. Along the way he said every time he came across a Polish hospital he would stop and help for a while since the Polish doctors had been conscripted by the Germans. Finally, in the spring of 1945 he made it back to the American lines.


No one would have blamed him for making tracks to the American lines. He was in danger every time he remained to help somewhere. But he did. Why? People were dying and he could help.


Jesus came to this earth because people are dying and need help. We remember his sacrifice in communion and we should also realize the calling we have to realize people are dying and we can help…by sharing what Christ is doing for us. (From Tom Brokaw’s "The Greatest Generation, pages 25-36)