Phil Beitler has had an incredible impact upon my life. He was member of The Career Group and it was obvious he had limited mental abilities and social skills. Phil loved everyone – and we all loved him. Phil was healthy and very strong! When Phil was young his parents were told that Phil would never be able to go to school. His parents patiently worked with Phil – and he finished high s chool. Phil learned to be a hard worker, and he would do whatever he was asked to the very best of his ability. He had good self-confidence and a healthy self image.
After we had known each other a few months, he said to me “Chuck, there must be more that I can do for the Lord than stack cans in a grocery store!” I assured him there was – and that I would find him a place where he could work hard to serve the Lord. I found him a position packing boxes for The Medical Assistance Program – MAP. They received medicines and medical supplies directly from pharmaceutical companies and doctors which they repacked and shipped to needy situations all over the world. Their headquarters were located in Wheaton, IL, about 25 minutes from Phil’s home. Each Sunday evening, when The Career Group would meet, Phil would tell me what he was packing, where it was going, and how much he liked his job! I checked at MAP to see how he was doing. Response: I wish we had a lot of Phil Beitlers here.
I told Phil he was my “Nehemiah” because there was always a smile, really a big grin, on his face. He loved that I called him “Nehemiah!”
When I would be in Wheaton, either to visit family or keep in touch with DL staff, for the next 30 years, I would be sure to block time for Phil. When his parents moved away from the area, Phil got an apartment close to MAP so he could walk to work. His reputation was such that when MAP moved to be at a sea port in Georgia, Tyndale Publishing, located a block from MAP, asked Phil if he would like to work for them. Again, his heart for the Lord and his work ethic were incredible. When he became seriously ill, fellow employees got him the help he needed and took care of him.
Seven years after I left CCOB I became Director of Deerfoot Lodge in NY. Phil asked if he could come and help for a week. On his first visit, Phil came to help us open camp for the season, and for the beginning of staff training. I asked him if he would mow the playing field. He told me he thought he could do that. This was black fly season and Phil, like the rest of us, got his share of bites. After a couple of hours he walked into the kitchen and the head cook, Dean Dover/Wazican saw the fly bites…and through Phil’s socks, his bleeding feet. Phil laughed and said he was fine – it didn’t hurt much! Wazi asked why he did not stop, when he started getting blisters, to get some band aids. Phil’s simple answer was “I wasn’t done yet”. Later we learned he had mowed the lawn in two directions – because this was the way his dad taught him to do it.
Wazi said that Phil Beitler probably had a greater impact upon his life than any man other than his own father. As Wazi put it: “Here is a one talent man who pushes his one talent to the limit! Some of us are 3, 4, 5 talent people – and we waste so much of what the Lord has given us”.
Whether we are a one talent or a five talent person, we are called to live In Partnership With God.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” Luke 12:48