Scott Rauscher - A Young Life Given

Dear friends,

Sunday we had the privilege of being at the Rialto, CA special meeting.  Scott Rauscher (my brother) spoke in the a.m. meeting.  I have to share a very special story he shared about a very special young man.  It is especially pertinent because in the West Coast USA states and the western provinces of Canada, our mid-week Bible studies have been on faithful youth God has used:  Daniel and those 3 young men (Daniel 1,2, and 3);  David as a youth, (1 Samuel 16 and 17); Isaac (Genesis 22);  Rebekah (Genesis 24);  and Rhoda (Acts 12).  The next study was Proverbs 4 about wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, and it was so helpfully shared that we had learned that these 3 things do not necessarily coincide with grey hair and age.  God can use the young among us.  And now for this story....

This does not take place in Bible times, but at the turn of the century in Scotland and then the state of California.  There was a young man by the name of Thomas Purves who made his choice to follow the way of Jesus.  In fact, it was this young man who invited Willie Jamieson to Willie's first gospel meeting. Thomas Purves was a young man of 17 years of age.  

At that time, Britain (this includes England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales) was supplying those shiploads of young men and women who carried the gospel story to Canada, the United States, and to South Africa.  Thomas Purves, at the age of 17 years, was moved to give his life to carry forth this gospel story and offered to bring it to the USA.  He arrived in California in 1905.  Can you imagine the cost?  

He would have known it was most impossible to ever return to parents, family, or friends and at that time of the century, even California was awfully barren. This youth came and did what he could for the next 6 years before he died in 1911 in Riverside, California, where he was buried.  Nothing is noted as to what was the cause of death.  One can only surmise.  

That little plot of ground was an old, decrepit cemetery for years until sometime during the last 20 years.  The city has taken it over, calling it "historical."  It now has a fence around it, and grass planted......but Thomas Purves' grave is still there.  Now, the friends in this area know of this grave and often take flowers in special memory and thankfulness.  In the 1970s, a young brother worker, Harold Hilton, asked Scott to go with him on some visits (Scott was not in the work yet) and that is when Harold took Scott to this lonely grave for the first time.  

The next year (still prior to Scott entering the work) on Mother's Day, Scott took our mom out for a fancy Mother's Day dinner, bought her a lovely corsage, and they had a special time.  After the dinner Scott asked Mother if she would like to visit this special little old cemetery and she said, "Yes."

She knew nothing about this young man and so there they stood, Scott and Mother, at this grave and Scott told her the story, and how it was this young man who had even been instrumental in bringing our dear Uncle Willie Jamieson to his first meeting.  Mother stood there for awhile....then slowly removed her lovely Mother's Day corsage and laid it on this lonely grave.  Scott said that he'll never forget the feeling it gave him.  He got a large lump in his throat and said, again, how thankful he was for parents who could recognize the supreme sacrifice paid by others and had that Godly reverence for it, and by their example, would show this to their children.

For those of you who would not remember Willie Jamieson.......he, too, offered his young life (very early 20s) and came to the USA and then on to California. He then took the gospel to the Orient where he and those others were kept as POWs in the Philippines during WWII.  When he was released by the allied forces, he returned to California to labor and eventually became our beloved overseer until his death in the 70s.  None of us can know the extent of the sacrifice paid....the cost of so many.....how we owe so much!  We are all such debtors!