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Seeing Our History as a Redwood
—Patience and Growth

Redwood Tree

What Happened in 1980
Carter boycotted Moscow Olympics
Mt. St. Helens Erupted
Terry Fox is forced to quit his marathon
Ronald Reagan wins election
CNN First 24 hour news station
John Lennon murdered in NYC

How Much things cost in 1980
Average Cost of new house—$68,700
Average Income per year—$19,500.00
Average Monthly Rent–$300.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas–$1.19
Average cost new car–$7,200.00
Men’s Casual Shirt–$14.00

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.”
— John Steinbeck

Imagine standing at the foot of an enormous redwood, a giant Sequoia, looking straight up, what do you feel? Wonder, astonishment, awe, even reverence? Pause to consider how this majestic creation began its odyssey.

It first dropped possibly 300 feet sheltered only by an egg-sized pine cone. After resting on the forest floor for maybe 50 years, the searing heat of wild fire, released it. Then, with hazards past, it snuggled into a cozy bed of pine needles as gentle rain secretly awakened life within the teeny-weeny seed, (think—oatmeal flake). In peaceful solitude the earth nourished the roots, and the warm sun made it grow and grow and grow some more, until it literally reaches into heaven, fully maturing over 500 years!

Standing in its magnificent presence, you somehow sense that no picture can capture or pen transcribe such glory, no, a redwood tree you experience.

The Seed
Guided in Scripture research and prayer Bible student, teacher and writer, Mervyn Jordan, grasped a vital understanding. This resolved perplexing years of search and frustration. Compelled by deep inner conviction, this quiet man searched the keys night after night, on his pre-owned IBM Selectric Typewriter, pecking out, with two fingers, a germinating vision, the tiny seed.Pinecones

This first small booklet clearly revealed a correlation between Isaiah’s sobering but reassuring vision recorded in Isaiah 6, and the self-awareness needed by God’s people today in such a time as this. Thus, in 1980, a clear, cleansing fountain bubbled with the promise of healing, its penetrating discernment a beacon to trust on the highway to Zion.1

The Forest Floor
The earnest and open-minded first studied then rejoiced. Many eager requests for additional tracts, personal counsel, and lectures arrived daily by mail and phone. A printing press was purchased, eventually held together with rubber bands and will. The suburban home piled high with left over pages from released publications, “The Portico of the Temple” and other insightful tracts evinced the truth, “The world belongs to those who offer it the greater hope.”2

The Sprout
Gilead Publishing Association sprouted in just 3 short years in response to sincere interest and generous support. By the fall of 1984, the not-for-profit publishing association needed more space with a “head office.” Seeking a location for potential development, DormMr. Jordan explored the peace of “cottage country” to establish the headquarters of Gilead Publishing. Providentially, a bygone rabbit farm turned dreams into reality with more than a little dedication and elbow grease. This improbable locale provided the resources and room to meet administrative needs and to create a retreat for refreshment and release from life’s hustle and bustle—a heavenly haven, so to speak, to “come away and rest awhile”3

The Earth and Sun
Only months after purchasing property, plans got under way to hold a Seminar in the early fall of ’85 for edification and fellowship. The astounding response to the invitation exceeded everyone’s wildest dreams! "WHERE are we going to put everyone?” volunteers anxiously discussed. Thankfully, the pioneering spirit of that hardy bunch graciously responded to the hasty dispatch,Tents “Bring a tent if you can and warm clothing, Canadian evenings are chilly.” That 10 day Seminar of perceptive counsel and reassuring encouragement joined with the joy of christian companionship4 marked the beginning of many such wonderful “camp meetings.”

Over the past 30 years Gilead Publishing Association (now, Gilead Academy) has steadfastly published a wealth of timely and insightful material. The fountain, just a trickle decades ago, now spills forth an ever-flowing stream of living water. The progressing vision Mervyn (Mr. Jordan) earnestly tapped out on his “ancient typing device” has opened to us adventures we could have never imagined.

The Sapling
We embarked on one such experience in the fall of 1998, The Northern Lights Steel Orchestra. Let’s say you can’t sing, you’ve never played a musical instrument to speak of, and you don’t know how to read music. Would you expect to find yourself in one of the largest groups of steel pan musicians in North America performing professional orchestration? Well, we didn’t either. But here we are and we love it. We’ve had our rough patches but the pathway through has always resolved in the simplicity of worthy commitment. Instruction, instrument, music and uniforms are free. Anyone who brings a willing heart will be thoughtfully assigned a helping hand. Music is in everyone, and we love to share the magic of steel pan with even one.

Presently, with our music program successfully launched, we are engaged in the challenge of developing a training center for reasonable, practical service. Gilead Academy, officially recognized by the Ontario government in October 2011, is in deliberate, thorough preparation, designing a quality curriculum. Soon a wholistic program will meet the needs of any pilgrim seeking a clearer understanding of God’s Word and plans for His people.

  • 1. Zech. 13:1, Is. 55:1
  • 2. Pierre de Chardin
  • 3. Mark 6:31
  • 4. Hebrews 10:25

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