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!
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.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)