March 11, 2004
Dear Mr. Alcorn,
I wanted to write to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading your books and to thank you for the time and energy you spend in your writing. Your writing is inspiring, motivating, and challenging lots of people in their walk with God, and also introducing many to God and reaching some for God, and my prayer is that you are encouraged in your service and that you know the Lord is using you.
My wife and I just got back from a vacation that included our first ever cruise and a visit to Panama to see a little bit of the filming of the movie "Walk His Trail" which is the life story of Mincaye, who was one of the killers of the Nate, Jim, Ed, Pete and Roger that you mentioned near the end of Safely Home.
Mincaye accepted Christ about 4 years after he took part in killing those 5 men and has been walking God's trail ever since, and is now one of the leaders of his tribe's Church. I'm sure this movie will reach lots of folks for Christ!
Anyway, when we left on our trip I wanted some good stuff to read, and my brother recommended Safely Home and I was hooked as soon as I read the dedication, and was fascinated, challenged, motivated and inspired every page of the way.
I was totally moved and inspired before I got to page 384 where Li Quan is in heaven meeting Graham Staines and his 2 sons and Juan Coy and Hudson Taylor and the first martyr Stephen, and the tears started flowing when he met Nate and Jim and Pete and Roger and my dad, Ed McCully.
I've been proud of my dad my whole life, although I was too young when he died to remember him, but reading page 384 of Safely Home without having any idea that was coming was one of the most touching moments of my life. It meant more to me than I can ever express on paper, but I wanted to thank you for including my dad and his four buddies with all of those other folks. What a thrill it is to think of all those folks hanging out together in heaven. I read that part to my mother and she was very moved as well, so I'm writing to thank you on behalf of our whole family.
Thanks again for all you do serving our Lord, and don't feel like you have to respond to this letter. I know you must be a very busy guy—just keep on doing good for God.
Gratefully, Steve McCully
P.S. I loved Deadline also!
On 5/3/04 Steve added another note:
My dear, sweet mother has died and gone to heaven, and we are caught between rejoicing for her and how happy she is being in the presence of her Lord and Savior and reunited with my dad after over 48 years, and crying every time we turn around from missing her so much already.
My mother had lived with my wife and I for the last eight and a half years, and she just died after her fourth different cancer...first 1988, then 2000, then 2002 and finally this one. It just happened that I chose to read In Light of Eternity first from the pile of books you sent us, and I'm still not through, but he had me crying again where he described the death of his mother and telling his daughter about it. I am learning a lot about heaven from Mr. Alcorn, and I'm already eager to read the book he is working on. Heaven is sounding better and better.