God always provides â€” on the road with Johnny & the Sheik
For years, Johnny traveled as an evangelist. He traveled with his trick trained Arabian horse, Al-Marah Majestic Sheik â€“ just Sheik for short. The duo was known as â€śJohnny and the Sheik.â€ť Johnny could get that horse to do just about anything. Anyone who got to experience Johnny and the Sheik will tell you what an amazing show they could perform! During the Johnny and the Sheik performances, Johnny would also share a short Gospel message.
Johnny is a man of faith and trusts God completely. It was no different back in those early years, when Johnny traveled with Sheik â€¦ and his wife and 2 very small children!
But thereâ€™s more to the storyâ€¦ What was life like for the Bergusons before Kingdom?
Bunking with a horseâ€¦
Johnny had a job to do. He was sharing his gift and talent for training horses (and his natural entertainment ability!), plus he was spreading the Gospel message! As a family, the Bergusons set out across the country.
Now, this may sound like a fun thing to do. And if you ask the Bergusons, it was. But keep this in mind. This family was quite poor. They often slept in the horse trailer with Sheik. At the time, Iâ€™m sure their children thought it was fun. But this was quite simply just the way it had to be.
And, well, their car was not in the greatest shape, either. Letâ€™s just say, this car probably didnâ€™t even need gasoline; it ran mostly on prayer and faithâ€¦
Godâ€™s perfect timingâ€¦
From time to time, the car would experience some mechanical difficulties along the way. Mind you, the Johnny and the Sheik program traveled nationwide, so the Bergusons were quite often traveling great distances.
On one particular occasion, a strange noise started coming from the back of the car. Johnnyâ€™s dad was along for the trip, just as he was for most of them. He noticed the noise, but chose not to say anything that would cause alarm. He did his share of praying in the backseat!
Eventually, there was no disguising the sound. It got louder and louder. It was when Johnny finally said something that his dad admitted he had heard it quite a distance back. But agreed, it was definitely noticeable now.
Johnny saw a service station and decided to get to the other side of the highway to have the problem diagnosed. But the car quit in the road and Johnny had no room to pull off. No sooner had the car quit and drifted to a stop, when a tow truck pulled up from behind them and around to the front to tow them. When Johnny pointed out to the fellow the perfect timing of his arrival, the tow truck driver responded with, â€śI saw you go by on the highway and knew you werenâ€™t going to make it.â€ť
God places the Berguson family into good handsâ€¦
It turned out that the gentleman owned the service station. Immediately, he got to work on the car to get it fixed. Johnny explained that he was to appear on â€śThe 700 Clubâ€ť the next day and really needed to get on the road in the morning.
The man was very kind and very accommodating. He made arrangements for Johnnyâ€™s family to be transported to the motel where they had reservations to stay that night, so Juanita and their children could get some rest and away from the highway.
Johnny will always be grateful to the mechanic. He worked long and hard to get the car running. He worked until about 2:00 in the morning. When Johnny went to pay for the repairs, the man would only take money for the parts. He would take no money at all for labor time.
A broken down car changes a life forever!
It so happened that the mechanicâ€™s father was a deacon at a local church. The man asked Johnny if he had any plans for that Sunday. Johnny had no previous engagements, so Johnny & the Sheik performed at this local church and Johnny shared his testimony and Gospel message.
The mechanic had not been to church for years. He admittedly turned away from God and chose not to be part of a church. Johnny stopped in to see this man a year later when he was traveling through again for another appearance on â€śThe 700 Club.â€ť The mechanic was excited to share with Johnny that he had rededicated his life to God and had not missed a Sunday of worship since Johnnyâ€™s visit the year before!
Quite assuredly, many people felt sorry for the Bergusons and the poverty it appeared they were experiencing. Johnny says that he never felt poor. He says, â€śGod always provided for us. It was a lot harder for Juanita than for me having to temporarily give up having our own home.â€ť They lived with his parents for the first 3Â˝ years of their ministry because they couldnâ€™t afford to live anywhere else.
No greater payment could have been given to them that day than the one they received through that manâ€™s salvation. And the mechanic may not have taken any cash for his labor, but no greater payment could he have received than the promise of eternal life!