By Jay Rogers
Published December 22, 2007
“As I raced the last few yards down Boston’s Boylston Street, beyond exhaustion, drenched, each step a creation of agony, I barely heard the sounds that enveloped me. TV cameras, video and still cameras clicked and whirred. After I had nearly collapsed across the finish line, I was amazed to discover that amid the competition of Olympic and professional runners I had finished in the top 20 percent.
“I sent a prayer of thanks heavenward, also remembering that I had hit the wall before and survived.”
CHICO, California (FR) – A car crash left him hanging between life and death; the doctors said he would never walk or talk again, but Richard Sprenkle, is alive today and has since completed the Boston Marathon. This spring, he plans to “Race Across America” on a 3-4 week bicycle tour of the United States.
Six years ago, while driving his jeep in Chico, California, Rich swerved to avoid hitting a dog. The jeep overturned ejecting three other passengers, but Rich was the one most critically injured. He slammed into a curb breaking his neck in four places; the jeep hit a tree and bounced back landing on Rich, crushing his pelvis and skull. He was rushed to the hospital and doctors did not expect him to live through the night.
Miraculously, Rich lived, but slipped into a coma. Immediately his parents and friends began a prayer vigil throughout the state. They understood that it would take more than medical science to save Rich’s life. The family believes that it was prayer that made the difference. The runner’s father, Rich Sprenkle, Sr., stayed at the hospital and often prayed by his son’s side. “The next morning one doctor came in and looked at us kind of strange,” Sprenkle, Sr. said. “He said, ‘Things are looking better. Whatever you’re doing keep it up.’”
Another crisis arose two weeks into the coma. Rich developed a blood clot in his brain which was operated on, but again doctors could not guarantee that he would ever regain consciousness. Even if he survived, Rich’s family was told, he would be unable to walk or talk ever again. But after a month long coma, Rich emerged both talking and thinking clearly.
Doctors were astounded. Doug Kelly, Director of Chico Community Hospital Rehabilitation Center, said, “It’s very rare to see someone come out of a coma after 28 days, very rare.”
Rich learned to walk and feed himself again after the brain surgery and, after a 60 day rehabilitation period, he walked away from the hospital. 90 days later, Rich competed in a triathlon.
Says Dr. Kelly: “Never have I seen someone come out of a coma, and progress as quickly and as far as Rich has … Never.”
Having survived these traumas, Rich now turned toward God. He had been profoundly affected by Jesus Christ and the reality of His salvation during his early life, but in his early adult years, God was placed on a back burner. “With God’s help, much prayer and determination, I was walking within a few weeks,” remembers Rich.
“Finally, the doctors allowed me to run. Prior to the accident, I had not taken running seriously, but now I began to run competitively.” Rich began by racing in several triathlons, marathons, 10Ks and long distance races. In 1989, he ran in the Chico Bidwell Classic Marathon and finished with a time of 2.59 hours which qualified him for the “race of races” – the Boston Marathon.
Rich is proud of the fact that he finished in the top 20%, competing against professional and Olympic runners and displays his medal as a testimony to the healing power of Jesus Christ.
“I had to rely on God’s Word and believe for the complete healing of my body. The X-rays showed that my spine was severed in three places. The blood clot in my brain was right where my speech center is. They said my speech would be garbled, but there is no impairment – nothing but two little scars on my forehead.”
Today, Rich is an artist of beautiful water color paintings. His finishing time in the upcoming Columbus Ohio Marathon will determine his qualification for the Summer 1992 Olympics. “I am now planning my RAAM – ‘Race Across America.’ This is a love motivated race. The event is to glorify God’s name and not mine.”
The race will take him from Santa Monica pier beginning on April 15 to Washington, D.C. in about three weeks. If you would like a listing of cities that Rich will be traveling through, write: 2605 Cactus Avenue, Chico, CA, 95926. (916) 345-5440.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Sports
Your comments are welcome!
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)