FRANK BELKOFER
MY FRIEND & BROTHER IN CHRIST

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I am writing this page in honor of my friend and Christian brother, Frank Belkofer.


Frank and I received the Lord Jesus Christ and were baptized in the Holy Spirit around the same time in the early to mid '70s. After getting "lighted on fire" for the Lord Jesus Christ, we, among many others, set out to serve our Lord Jesus in whatever ways He called us to. Frank told me how he intended to do a Christian outreach to the poor and needy of Monroe, MI, our hometown. After listening to Frank's expectations, I disregarded them as "well-intentioned wishes" that weren't going anywhere.


By Frank's own testimony, he dropped out of High School and was unable to even master an "MOS" (Military Occupational Specialty) in the U.S. Army. He was not a charismatic speaker and knew little more about the Word of God than I did at that time. In light of these obvious handicaps, I didn't really believe that Frank's expectations would amount to much. However, the Lord looks at our hearts, and Frank's heart was dedicated to serving Jesus Christ. What he lacked naturally, he decided that Jesus would provide the way for him through faith to accomplish his vision. Quite honestly, my faith that the Lord would use Frank in any significant way was very low (2 points on a scale of 10). I now thank God that Frank didn't look to me at that time for encouragement.


Frank began his ministry with an outreach called Hot Line to God, which was a prayer and counseling telephone outreach with several other faithful Christians such as Sister Janine Palmer, who assisted.


The next break-through Frank had was when he took a run-down old building in town and began the Damascus House Outreach, which provided clothing and furniture to the needy along with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Damascus House began to grow in Monroe. During this period, I would visit Frank and try to help out on occasion. Frank had moved into the Damascus House to minister to the poor. By doing so full time, he became as they were, poor in the material sense. He lived by faith for food, clothing a car and a truck that served the Damascus ministry. During my visits with Frank, I watched him grow in a knowledge of God's Word and the wisdom that follows such growth. Soon Frank was leading prayer meetings and Bible teachings at Damascus or at local church buildings where the pastors would let Frank use the facilities.


During one of the occasions when I helped at Damascus, we were involved in moving donated clothing (of which there was always an abundance) for use in Damascus. Clothing that was totally unwanted was never discarded. It was meticulously cut into rags, sold in Toledo and the proceeds went right back into the ministry. My friend, Frank, never made money at any of his ministries. He lived on $1500 annually with his room furnished above Damascus House. During my assignment with them, older people than me who were working with me spent 8 to 10 hours of heavy lifting and moving. After we were finished, I was exhausted (in spite of being in good condition at the time (exercising three times weekly with weights at the local fitness center). Janine Palmer worked right along with me cheerfully. When we were through, I went home to lay down. Janine and the others then proceeded to begin dinner preparations for needy people for that evening. Each time I came into contact with Frank and the others, I became more inspired in how our God can use any willing heart in His service. These people were an example of FAITH IN ACTION.


One winter evening a homeless man fell asleep under a bridge in town and froze to death. All of us in Monroe felt bad when we heard this news. Frank prayed and asked the Lord for an answer, then proceeded to found Philadelphia House, an outreach to the homeless. He did this through contributions received by faith not by appeals. Soon Philadelphia House needed a second location so that homeless women (including "battered women") and children had a refuge. These ministries are functioning today successfully. They have never had much money and still don't. However, the Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah Jireh, is truly their provider and ours. Frank always seemed to get a resource at just the time he needed it.


Sometimes, on a Saturday, I would visit Frank and take him to lunch. He always took a delight in getting dressed in his best suit accompanied by me in my pathetic casual attire and go to a very nice restaurant. He would always smile when the waitresss handed him the bill and looked at me, unshaven and disheveled, hoping that Frank could help me in my apparent condition (perfect evidence that we usually judge by external appearances and how wrong we are when we do). Frank would laugh as he handed me the bill at my insistence. During these meetings, Frank always encouraged me with a heavy emphasis on faith and on the power of the Word of God. Without realizing it, Frank gave me quite a few teachings on the Scriptures. He never let the fact that I had a master's degree trouble him or inhibit him in his encouragements or in his teachings, thank God! (This is only one example of many regarding the difference between human intelligence and godly wisdom. Some people are blessed with both. However, if you have a choice, opt always for godly wisdom. Human intelligence is relative, fleeting and sometimes deceiving).


My brother in Christ was called home early by our Lord Jesus. In June of 1988, Frank Belkofer died at the age of 48. I do not grieve for Frank, because I know that he is in our Father's mansion. I do periodically still grieve over my loss and that of Frank's co-workers in these ministries. Knowing Frank, I am sure that he is not idle in the Kingdom of God. He is probably helping to prepare the banquet table for the Wedding Feast of the Bridegroom (Rev 19:7). I praise and thank our Lord Jesus that all of us who are born again in the Holy Spirit have an invitation to this banquet where we will one day praise forever, the Author and Finisher of our faith.


As a eulogy to Frank at the time of his funeral, the local newspaper honored Frank Belkofer in their editorial section referring to him as a "true missionary". In the words of the editor in regard to Frank's life:

" This was his life. It was hard for others to understand his single-minded drive. The goals seemed too unrealistic and the means too pitifully inadaquate. And yet, repeatedly, the goals were achieved.


In modern America, the Hot Line to God story is a marvel. It does not fit the neat cubbyholes provided by a pre-packaged governmentally subsidized society. It is the testament to the power of simple trust in God. And Frank Belkofer, by his part in it, set a shining example of selfless service to Monroe to remember."
The Monroe Evening News Editorial, June 13, 1988

 


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This web site is dedicated to our Lord Jesus Christ to bring the good news of the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. For that reason, I refuse to use this web site to sell anything. We are to give as freely as we have received. To any reader of this page who is a "born-again" Christian, if you need an outlet for your Christian giving "as unto the Lord" the Hotline Ministries would certainly welcome any prayers and donations that you feel led to give. The ministries of Damascus House and the Philadelphia Houses can be reached at the following address:


Hot Line to God Ministries
218 Washington Street
Monroe, MI 48161-3525



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Link Disclaimer

The opinions expressed on these linked pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the author of this webpage. I believe these are all useful and helpful pages, however, because the author does not maintain these pages, I have no control over the future contents.

JESUS IS LORD Ministries of Monroe
March 1, 2000

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