The name is Plymire, Victor Guy Plymire.
I guess you’ve never heard of this man before, but I believe that one day you’ll meet him in the New City, “which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” [Hebrews 11:10]
I cannot tell Plymire’s story (born January 10, 1881) better than Charles E. Greenway, missionary to West Africa and founder/president of Continental Bible College in Brussels, Belgium did. He wrote:
If Victor Plymire had lived in David’s day, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have been included in this select group (David’s “mighty men of valor,” whom he called “fenced with iron” in 2 Samuel 23:6-7). These men were not born great men, voted great men, chosen great men, but were mighty because of their actions on the field of battle … and so was Victor Plymire.
To get to his first destination, he traveled three months up the Han River on a filthy riverboat, infested with cockroaches and rats. … He slept with animals, ate spoilt meat, lived on raw vegetables (and ate dirty food mixed with hair and debris).
He braved the elements. He loved them (the Tibetan people). He sewed up their swords wounds, washed their ulcers, pulled their teeth. He faced death many times, making his way to monastery after monastery. He felt the brazen powers of hell as he watched them worship their gods in dimly lit temples. He witnessed their sacrifices of gold and silver to these gods….
Plymire, it seems, was in perpetual motion … fighting snowstorms … or almost dying of thirsy on the plains. He hunted for and found the monastery where (the Dalai, or Grand Lama, a man thought to be the present reincarnation of) Buddha was living. He was allowed to see him. Plymire told him about Christ. (He was the first white man to visit there and the first person to tell them about Jesus.)1
Plymire learned to eat Tibetan food the hard way. The bandit who taught him the language gave him a dish of spoiled meat one day. Plymire could not eat it, so the man it before him the next day – and the next, finally crying out to God for help, Plymire was able to eat the meat. This hard lesson of never refusing what is set before you probably saved his life in Tibet many times. Refusing the food would have been a great insult.
One of the secrets of Plymire’s success was that people back in the states prayed for him. On one occasion when Plymire and two devoted followers were about to be executed, a prayer warrior in Olympia, Washington, was awakened by the Holy Spirit to pray for him.
After seeing a vision of a group of men with swords surrounding three men in a tent, she obeyed. She recognized one of them as Victor Plymire, who had spoken in her church. She prayed fervently, and Plymire’s life was spared in the final moments before the proposed execution.
The woman who prayed later wrote to Plymire describing the vision the Holy Spirit had shown her. He said if a photographer had been there, he could not have taken a more accurate picture.2
When you meet Plymire, Victor Guy Plymire, what story would you tell? Sitting in front of TV and watching one episode of soap opera to another? Profitless chatting or arguments that leave you depressed, deflated and offensive? Several hours of watching porn on the Internet? Is it that of hopping from one adulterous bed to another? Or is it going to be that of low-level maintenance like Methuselah – with a long life?
“When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech. Methuselah lived after he fathered Lamech 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.” [Genesis 5:25-27] Isn’t that boring?
Am I the only one who thinks I’d prefer to sit and chat with Jacob and how he wrestled with the Angel and ended up with a dislocated thigh or won’t you prefer to sit with Ruth on refusing the choice of a new life with her sister-in-law worshipping the gods of Moab as against following an old woman whose life was full of suffering and no future?
I am sure you would like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to recount their tale of looking at the fierce some Nebuchadnezzar in the face and declaring, “We’d rather die than bow down and worship your image”.
Once again, I ask what story you would tell these saints when you meet them. How you labored tirelessly on your knees till it became callous or how you never gave up sharing the Gospel with people on the street? Would it be how you prayed for, visited and cared for the homeless, imprisoned or orphans? Or would it be about your failed relationships or that of a debilitating sickness that you’ve allowed to hold your life in the prison of SELF-PITY, making you very angry at God?
When you stand in the Great Auditorium where the saints of God share their life story of how they overcame, what will yours be like? Would the audience feel short-changed by what they hear or would they be enraptured at every word you say? At the end of each tale, would they stand up, clap and shout “Halleluiah!!” or would be so bored and full of yawns and wished they were doing something else?
You have a blank template, if your life has nothing to write home about you can turn the tide today through repentance and re-dedication. You can encourage yourself in the Lord like David and stand up strong. The choice, my friend, is yours.
And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.” [Malachi 3:17]
The name is Plymire, Victor Guy Plymire. He was a jewel of God, a treasure of great price, his death, on December 8th, 1956, was precious in His sight.
1. Greenaway, Charles E. “Fenced With Iron, Part I,” December 1986, p.27 and “Fenced With Iron, Part II,” The Evangelist, January, 1987, p21,22.
2. Culled from Pioneers of Faith, Dr. Lester Sumrall.
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