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This hero may be dying, but is very much alive

World Race leader, Scott Molgard, is a former body builder, a man’s man. In two days he leaves for Mexico for a year’s journey around the world. Here he reflects on one of his heroes. One of my heroes is my dad, but the hero I want to mention is Ken Ings. …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

World Race leader, Scott Molgard, is a former body builder,
a man’s man. In two days he leaves for Mexico for a year’s journey around the world. Here he reflects on one of his heroes.

One of my heroes is my dad, but the hero I want to mention
is Ken Ings.

Ken is the father of my best man, John, but before John and
I ever become friends, Ken had assumed the role of a father to many boys in our
church and our community. Ken is also the only man I know who has played this
type of role for anyone.

Ken led the Christian Service Brigade in our church. This is
a ministry where men teach boys how to be men.

I remember Ken holding down the kid we thought was the
toughest guy around and really being impressed, because this kid was heading
off to the Special Forces, if my memory serves me.

Ken taught us how to use knives, axes, and guns. He would
bring us to the shooting range a couple times a month, to shoot at targets with
.22’s. He taught me that I was left eye dominant, and after that I got really
good. Ken would bring us camping, he taught us how to cook over a fire. He
brought us canoeing and fishing. Ken taughtus wood working, and leather
working.He brought us on wild adventures.

In all of these lessons Ken was there and loved us.
Unconditionally. Ken pushed us, wanting the best that we had to offer. I
remember trying to memorize verses to get a badge and getting frustrated that
Ken wouldn’t just pass me- I had to start over again because of one little
mistake. Ken took God’s word seriously and taught us that also.

One winter weekend we went up to New England Frontier Camp
in Lovell, ME,
on Kezar Lake. We cleared trees to widen the
road, and hiked in the snow. We stuffed ourselves and made the wood stove so
hot it glowed orange, and warped the sides. We cut a whole in the ice on the
lake. We all jumped in. It was so cold it sent one of my buddies running back
to our lodge in just his boxers, swearing at the top of his lungs. The funniest
part was he ran right through a church youth group on a ski retreat, really
raising some eye-brows. When Ken jumped in, he just turned into a statue. That
scared the snot out of us, because Ken was 7 years into his 15 year battle with
Parkinson’s, and we thought we were going to have to rescue him, but he fought
out of it, what a great day.

Ken was there the day I dived off a nasty cliff into Emerald
Pool on Bald Face mountain. I was the life guard for our group, and had jumped
into this small pool many times. There is one rock I had always wanted to jump
off, but the pool was too shallow. This day was different. There had been so
much rain that the pool had to be at least 13 feet deep at its deepest. So we
jumped off the forbidden rock. While standing on this rock, you can’t even see
the pool, because there is a ledge you have to jump over which blocks the view.
That first jump was a beauty. Dead center in the pool, my feet never touched
bottom. So I decided to dive.

With a huge audience, I jumped off the cliff and soared,
chest out in a swan dive, which felt absolutely amazing. In the air, I could
see I had misjudged my dive slightly, and shot through the water and saw a
white flash. I felt the numbness in my body, and fought for consciousness under
the cold emerald pool. I fought my way to the top, so scared, I could barely
stand once I got to the side. I tried to pretend nothing happened, I didn’t
want to panic anyone, but I could see it in their faces. I was headed to the
hospital, riding in the old station wagon with Dan Berger. I would receive 5
stitches over my eye, and had a bit of a concussion.  I am so glad Ken was there
to see that dive, to see I was still an idiot, to push the flap out of my eye
and tell me I would be OK, that he loved me. And I felt awful, because now
instead of helping Ken down the mountain, I was going to need help myself.

I think that is the last real adventure we have had. What a
great memory.

As I type this, Ken is in bed. He needs help with just
breathing. He is ready to go home to our Lord. I will finish this, then go give
him a hug. Not knowing if this will be my last time. Last time I visited, I
dropped off the book “Endurance,” about Shackleton. Ken had just
listened to the book on tape, and I wanted him to see the pictures. Ken said
“quite an adventure.”

Now, I have to confess guilt. Ken was always there for me. I
haven’t returned the favor. I have avoided seeing him, have been ‘too busy’.
The emotions have been so hard. Ken forgave me. He
has always forgiven us, his boys.

So, Ken I need to thank you. Thank you for the adventure,
the patience, the teaching. I promise to continue the adventure, to pass on the
legacy you have handed me. To make you proud. You are a true hero.

Read more on Scott’s blog.

Comments (3)

  • I loved body building, but was always too fat and not disciplined enough to actually compete. I don’t think I would have done very well standing in front of people in my underwear.

    I did compete in strongman though, where I could eat as much as possible and then lift heavy stuff. That was fun.

  • Evelyn (Allen) Martini

    Gary,
    This is a truly honest and remarkable tribute to Ken. You both, with God’s guidance through His angels at 1st Baptist, Wilmington, are wonderful Christian men. I am so gratified to have watched this happen during these years. May He continue his watch care and guidanced over you.
    Also, best regaards to your parents and family.
    Sincerely
    Evelyn Martini (“Mrs. Allen” to you)

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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