I jumped around my friend Ronn Steen’s living room last night, hugging my friends and screaming like a wild banchee as Tina Wesson amazingly emerged as the Sole Survivor on the hit CBS television show "Survivor". Over the last four months I have gotten to know Tina through doing her website at www.TinaW.com. My friend Pat and I visited her and her family in Knoxville in March. Emily and I had the chance to watch her win the Tennessee State Racquetball Tournament later that month. Tina is a delightful lady with a strong faith in God. She will undoubtedly use this platform as an opportunity to glorify God.
This is just another chapter in the “Answered Prayer of Jabez” book I need to write someday. First we got in touch with Rodger Bingham and built www.KentuckyJoe.com. Then on a tip from a buddy of mine that someone at a church in Memphis might be related to Tina, we got in touch with her sister-in-law who put us in touch with Tina herself. The rest is history. My prayer is that these two sites will be used by God for his glory and purposes. At this very moment there are over 50 people enrolled in a free bible school (see BasicBible.com) learning what Christianity is all about as a direct result of these sites. Most of these students have little or no religious background or upbringing.
In the midst of all the happiness, there was a reality check for me last night. During the live reunion show Bryant Gumbel turned his attention to Debb Eaton, the 45 year old corrections officer from Milan, New Hampshire who was the first contestant voted out of the outback.
“Debb, you weren’t sure you wanted to be a part of this reunion,” said Gumbel. “How come?”
“I knew I didn’t want to be a part of it,” Eaton managed to say as her chin quivered with each word. “I guess nobody really got a chance to know me and then I got home and the press pretty much tore me apart. It hasn’t been fun. I guess the hard part is I’m strong. I’m a very strong, independent person who cares about people a lot and it seems I’ve lost my belief in myself, but I’ll get it back.”
This morning I’m glad to be associated with a winner. But somehow I wish I could find a way to encourage the person tabbed as the “first loser”. Please pray for Tina, Rodger, Mike Skupin, and Elisabeth Filarski as they use their platform to share their faith in Christ over the next few weeks and months. Please pray for Debb Eaton, that she regain that belief in herself and in God.