MEMOIR OF MODERN APOSTLE KEMPER CRABB
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Printed and bound in the USA
Cover design and interior layout: www.pearcreative.ca
This book is dedicated to the missionaries, martyrs, and servants of the Kingdom of Heaven whose names we have never heard, but whose lives echo throughout eternity.
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All of this started happening when a coach retired.
But who is Kemper Crabb? Why is he so competent at this? What makes him tick? Why do people feel so drawn to him? Why do they do more for him than they would without him?
Kemper is an East Texas son of a tough and fun German mother and a reserved Coushatta Indian father. He took the contradictory qualities of their two nationalities and became a unique spirit. Like others born in the 1930s, he grew up poor and didn’t know he was. He hunted in the piney woods for the family’s dinner table, fished among water moccasins, raced with his friends through the forests, hurtling fences with poles for the sheer joy of it.
What’s he like?
Kemper loves to laugh and wants others to be entertained. He remembers all the jokes he heard in junior high and never hesitates to review them for everyone, no matter how many complaints. Groans only fuel the humor engine.
He likes being close. When his children were young, a trip to buy bread was a great opportunity to throw both kids in the car to go with him. He says the concept of spending “quality time” is rubbish. Spend ordinary time, all the time.
He keeps up with friends and students. All his friends know he might show up on their doorstep at any given time. All his students know he will remember their name and the nickname he bestowed should they cross paths in the grocery aisle or at a commencement address he is giving.
Things work for Kemper. He speaks to things and to people. A broken down motorcycle will start after he has spoken to it. When something temporarily doesn’t work around him, he is momentarily surprised. He expects things to work. And they do. It often seems he is doing nothing overt, but things are magically happening wherever he is.
Kemper is hard on minor errors but supportive on big mistakes. He delights in weaving tales of the “Snap Dragon” that lurks in the attic for his grandchildren, or suddenly baring his teeth like a growling lion and scattering a gaggle of African children who shriek with laughter and come back for more.
He is courageous. No matter how many times he is put in prison for “altering karma” by introducing children and lepers to Christianity, he returns. His body bears up under the brutality but reminds him daily with the pain in his shoulders and his heart.
He loves passionately. He loves his Lord and is reading His Word in every silent moment. From cover to cover, his Bible has been studied many times every year for many years. He doesn’t endlessly quote the chapter and the verse, though it’s certain they are stored in his faultless memory. He reads to learn and love again each word.
He loves continuously. He prays for people who don’t pray—and who will never know he prays for them.
He loves stray animals and carries a can of dog food in his truck, “just in case.”
He loves easygoing, positive times but will join a fight—and will win. He’s entrepreneurial and loves things that move. When he was thirteen, he was licensed to drive an eighteen-wheeler. While he was coaching, he ran a canoe rental business on the Guadalupe River. Many people could have lived on the profits he made on the fifty-plus motorcycles he bought, rode hard, and sold over the years. He seems tireless and always sees in his mind the next 100 places to go and things to do. Amazingly, he acts on these visions, while others dream on.
But he hates squash.
By Martha White, Servants of the King Board Member & Historian 1995-2005
Figure 1Martha White ® & Ugandan Home Base Director, Prossy Isabirye
The man drew no attention to himself in the crowd filing toward the waiting airplane. Clothed in blue jeans and collared shirt, no one would think he had been imprisoned multiple times, held hundreds of dying children in his arms or worked side-by-side with Mother Teresa. He was simply an aging man with a kind smile and alert expression. He was overlooked by all—except the one who stood at the door of the terminal, another who was ignored by the crowd—because no one else could see him.
The messenger’s words were concise:
“Heav**enly ser**vant, it is time to tell *your stor*y”
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressedfree and break every yoke?”
Angry, armed soldiers poured into the courtyard where a group of young children, several orphanage workers and one white-skinned American missionary gathered.
“You must pay for the children you stole!” the leader of the armed men demanded.
“No,” the missionary replied. “You know we cannot do this. If I pay you for these children we rescued, you will report that we are buying human flesh. If I pay you, you will always come back for more.”
“You will pay me,” the soldier’s voice rose, “or I will kill them.” “No,” the missionary replied again, “I cannot.”
The soldier nodded toward the nearest child. His second-in-command grabbed the child by the arm.
“No!” A young voice broke the tense moment as a sickly child stumbled toward the missionary. This was one of the children the missionary and his helpers had found during the night, tied to a post in a back alley, waiting alone to die in order to “improve his Karma in the next reincarnation.”
“Let them kill me,” the child insisted, plucking at the missionary’s sleeve. “I’m going to die anyway. Tell them to kill me instead.”
The soldier who held the other child looked to his commander for direction. The leader gave a curt nod. With one swing of his sword, the soldier lopped off the sickly child’s head.
A stunned silence followed as all stared at the horror of the small, decapitated body.
“You will pay me!” the commander demanded again.
The missionary lifted his tear-filled eyes. He saw what the others in that courtyard could not see. Angels. A battalion of heavenly hosts closed in around the soldiers.
“No,” he answered again.
The commander yanked his head toward his second-in-command once more, indicating another kill, but the second soldier’s eyes were wide, filled with fear. “I cannot,” he replied.
Without a word, the commander pulled his gun and shot the fearful soldier.
In that moment, the heavenly forces moved in, still invisible to all but the missionary. The soldiers looked ‘round for a panic-filled split second, then fled, leaving only the leader behind. With a look of fear toward the missionary, the commander also hurried away.
The missionary, though overawed by the presence of heavenly hosts, wept as he, the children, and orphanage workers tended to the corpses at their feet, praying over the child and the soldier and burying them with dignity.
Though the victory was hard-won and the missionary still recounts the story with tears, the soldiers never returned.
Who is this man?
He is known by many names on his mission ventures. In Africa he is called Simba, meaning “lion” or the longer version, “Empologoma Mwana wa Katonda,” which is Swahili for “Lion of God.” In India, he is called “Talh Singh,” which has the same meaning as his African moniker. He has embraced these nicknames in order to accomplish God’s directives without calling attention to himself. He wants all glory given where it belongs—to the One he serves.
To family and friends he is Kemper Crabb, a servant of God who operates with bold spiritual authority, accomplishing tasks that seem more suited to the fictional Indiana Jones than to a native Texan who simply purposed to fulfill Christ’s great commission to go into all the world, teach the good news of salvation, and alleviate suffering.
Kemper delves into the dark depths of spiritual depravity, overcoming forces of evil through simple obedience to God. Through his ministry, whole families, villages and even local cultures are transformed and freed from spiritual slavery.
Some mindboggling facts:
1. The number of those who have professed faith in Christ in Kemper’s 30-plus years of mission excursions—at last count, more than 11 million.
2. The number of schools built under his direction—400 and counting.
3. The number of churches built and inaugurated to serve the local communities in India, Africa and China—more than 1800.
Those he serves, and those who have accompanied him into some of the most dangerous areas of the world, where local authorities are most hostile to the message of Christ, have reported miraculous healings, demoniacs released, and even several people raised from the dead.
If true, why have we not heard of this modern Apostle Paul? What circumstances would fashion such a bold leader?
How is he able to accomplish the seemingly impossible?
What motivates Kemper to continue his work without notoriety, with constant danger, and at great personal expense?
As with all good stories, the best place to sta^^r^^t is at the beginning.
1(At the time of this writing, Kemper recalls 17 resurrections.)
It costs nothing to come to Jesus.
It costs a lot to follow Him.
It costs everything to serve Him.
The child tossed and turned on the bed as his temperature soared higher.
102, 103, 104. When the thermometer read 105 degrees, the doctor tried to prepare the family. “If he survives, he will have permanent brain damage. He will probably never walk or talk. He will be in a vegetative state.”
But still the Scarlet Fever burned, raising the temperature ever higher.
The boy’s skin blistered and began to slough off as he writhed on the bed. Then it happened.
As the doctor’s mournful words droned on and the pain became even more unbearable, the boy who waited to die heard music. It was more beautiful than anything he had heard in his six short years of life. Then, in the music, he heard a voice. In his simple, child’s mind he never questioned. This was the voice of God.
“Child, you could go on and exit this life and everything would be fine. Or, you could fight and live and I will always be with you.”
Through his pain, the child chose the path of more pain. He chose to live. The next day, the fever had receded and the boy began to recover at record speed.
It was a hard road. He had to learn to speak again. Everyday tasks were difficult or assisted, but he continued to improve and, to the astonishment of doctors and family alike, he surpassed former plateaus. He was smarter, his speech was back to normal and, when his parents could afford the surgery, his clubbed feet were corrected, further opening this former sickly child’s world.
Not only could he run, he could run faster than most. Not only could he talk and reason, he became a leader in his school—student body president, in fact.
And every time something good happened, a new honor, award or touchdown, the boy heard the beautiful, heavenly music once more. But he kept this fact to himself.
So young Kemper Crabb—born club-footed and almost deaf, a German/ Jew/Coushata Indian in East Texas where his lineage made him an outcast, who barely survived a fierce bout of Scarlet Fever—grew strong as he ran and played. His hearing improved too. In fact, he could still hear what no one else could; the heavenly music that played with celebration for each of his victories. Kemper, the child who had been at death’s door, began to live, really live; fearless, joyful, a natural leader. And he sought to learn more about this God who had saved him from the brink of death.
How does a child live who realizes he’s alive and healthy due to a miracle?
Kemper began to play sports with reckless abandon, excelling at all he tried. He ran faster, played harder and enjoyed the relative stardom of small town Texas athletics. He exhibited fearlessness in business pursuits by acquiring his license to drive an eighteen-wheeler at the ripe old age of thirteen. His fearlessness even turned to thrill seeking when he began to ride bulls at local rodeos. Riding bulls was an exciting outlet. Kemper was good at it, he won a lot, and he enjoyed the attention from young ladies who gathered to admire his feats. When the time came for higher learning, he received athletic scholarships from Sam Houston State U^^ni^^v^^ersity whe^^r^^e he continued his notoriety as a star football pla^^y^^e^^r
Figure 2Kemper excelled in high school sports
Kemper received his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in1954 and his Master of Science degree in education three years later, both from Sam Houston State.
Was he perfect? Not according to college faculty members who advised his future wife not to marry him. “He’s dated everyone in town! Plus he’s a truck driver. That’s as bad as a traveling salesman!” they warned her.
In his own defense when recalling the situation, Kemper teases, “It was a really small town.” By modern standards, his escapades were harmless enough. The large belt buckles he won as prizes for bull riding he gave to one of his many admirers. He admits to some bar fights and partying with his fraternity brothers. Luckily for Tommye Crabb, Kemper’s naysayers were proven wrong. Six decades of marriage later, he still calls her “Sweetie” and she still calls him “Babe.
Figure 3Kemper & Tommye on their wedding day
Mystery of the Kingdom #1
The spoken word:
You have the authority of the entity (or the
O^^ne) y^^ou represent.
As a young man, Kemper had a natural ability to influence people but knew this too was a gift since true authority came from God, the One whom he represented. This viewpoint left no room for ego. The authority was to be used for building the Kingdom of Heaven, not for selfish pursuits. He played football at Sam Houston State where his team won Conference. The New York Giants even tapped him as a late-term draft choice. “I told them (New York Giants representatives) I looked good due to the skill of the players around me. They thought it was some kind of faux-humility, but it really was all about the linemen who defended me. Seriously, one of them weighed, like, a gazillion pounds. They were really good.”
Kemper relates the end of his professional football opportunities. “I may have been a late-term draft choice for the Giants, but I was a first-round draft pick for Uncle Sam.” So, rather than a professional football career, Kemper joined the armed forces in 1954 and ended up serving two years during the Korean conflict. Tommye, his new bride, joined Kemper where he was stationed in Panama.
Figure 4First Round Draft pick for Uncle Sam
But football opportunities and military service aside, when asked what he planned for the future, Kemper would answer without hesitation, “I will be a coach and a missionary.”
The things you act on from this book are what you believe. The rest is just empty religious talk.
~Peter Lord, on the Bible
True to his word, Kemper was a coach at Huntsville High, where he led his team to a state championship. In all, Kemper spent 30 years in education as a coach, athletic director, and professor of kinesiology. But he never forgot his other ambition. In the midst of his most demanding family and coaching years, an encounter with an evangelist at their home church further strengthened his resolve to lay all on the line for God’s purpose.
The year was 1969. Kemper and his family attended a revival at his church where Peter Lord, an evangelist from Florida, delivered a no-compromise message. Kemper, his family, and several of his friends would never be the same.
“Peter told us about the importance of covenants with God, and about choosing to be ‘unoffended’ so unforgiveness could never separate us from The Father. So my family and I made a together to remain unoffended. Ya just don’t hold onto offenses in the first place.”
But Peter Lord had more to say to this typical Southern Baptist congregation. Fixing them with his steely gaze, Peter lifted up a Bible for all to see. “The things you act on from this book are what you believe. The rest is just empty religious talk.”
“Oh. My. Gosh,” Kemper exclaims as he recalls the moment. “That changed everything.”
Kemper and a few of his friends who responded to that mandate met together and decided to put their beliefs into action. They were no longer satisfied to just talk about the millions of people around the world who had never heard the gospel message and who suffered from the lack of basic necessities. It was time for action.
Kemper was still coaching, very successfully in fact. He even led several students on his team to Christ. But during school holidays, he sought ways to obey Jesus’ command to “go into all the world.” Therefore this former bull-rider, star athlete and championship coach dove into the deep waters of foreign missions. But he didn’t feel God calling him to just any mission work. As stated before, Kemper sought out the darkest, most hopeless, notoriously dangerous situations. “After all,” he reasoned, “Jesus went to the sick, those who needed him the most. I’m just called to do what He did.”
For Kemper, the formula was and is simple.
1. Ask for God’s guidance
2. Hear God’s direction
3. Do it.
“I would go to White’s Chapel in London, to the Underground in Vienna, to the sewer district in Paris, or Amsterdam’s Red Light District.”
On these uncharted excursions, supernatural intervention was necessary.
“Sure there were times I was scared,” Kemper admits. “You’d have to be crazy to not feel some fear in those places. But I knew God was with me and He loved those people. That gives a Boldness. Plus, I knew I had the authority of the One I represent.” (Mystery of the Kingdom #1)
During one Christmas break, Kemper went to Paris. God had given him direction to go to the sewer district and spread the gospel. Only problem was, he didn’t know where to find the entrance to the sewer district. How was he to preach to the outcasts living underground? He walked around downtown Paris one night, praying God would lead him. He saw an old woman carrying a big bag of groceries. He asked her, “May I help you with that, ma’am?” She ignored him. He tried again, “In the name of my Savior and Lord Jesus, may I help you with that?” She responded in English that he was a kind young man and handed him the bag.
When he carried the groceries to her house, she invited him in. She asked him what he was doing in town and he said that, though it might sound crazy, he was intending somehow to spread the gospel down in the sewers. With tears in her eyes and without saying a word, the woman walked over to what looked like a cabinet on the other side of the room. She opened it. Inside was a spiral staircase leading down to the sewers.
The woman introduced Kemper to groups of people living there. He says they weren’t bad people, more like misfits. He told them the gospel story and cast out some demons. They accepted the teaching about Jesus very readily and even embraced his teaching on casting out demons as well.
These excursions continued during summer and winter breaks until 1984, just about three years before retirement. Kemper’s ministry was about to catapult t^^o^^wa^^r^^d a whole n^^e^^w le^^v^^el of commitment.
As Kemper prayed about where to go on his upcoming break, he received surprising direction. “As clear as day, God said, ‘India.’” Kemper’s immediate response was a teasing, “Couldn’t we go somewhere a little nicer?”
He asked God for confirmation, like the biblical Gideon who tested God’s guidance with the fleece. “About ten seconds later, I kid you not, one of my coworkers popped his head in and said, ‘Kemper, let’s go to India.’”
At the last moment, the other man was unable to go. Regardless, Kemper stuck with the plan, though he was alone and didn’t know anyone in India.
But taking risks at God’s direction had become a way of life for Kemper. Vishal Mangalwadi, noted Indian author and Christian philosopher,* agreed to meet with Kemper. When he arrived in New Delhi, India, there was a note from the revered author saying Mangalwadi would not be available for another 10 days. What to do in the meantime? Kemper decided to visit the Taj Mahal. While at the famous landmark, he overheard a conversation about snow skiing in India’s mountainous region of Kashmir. The thrill seeker in him couldn’t resist. “Lots of people have skied Vail. How many can say they’ve skied Kashmir?”
But for the first time in decades, there was no snow in the mountains of Kashmir, India. He rented a driver to show him around and asked to go to the downtown area. The driver responded, “No. It’s too dangerous.” But Kemper was determined. He had the driver drop him off in downtown Agra, truly one of the poorest places in the world. Kemper found himself surrounded by people staring in anger at a white guy infiltrating “their” district.
Kemper saw a child dying on the street. He went to the child and picked him up. Hindus surrounded him and drew their swords. They were very protective and did not want this white man to alter the karma of the child. Kemper obeyed the angry crowd and laid the child back down. Helplessly, he watched the child die.
2. (Covenant: A sacred agreement or pact. One of the mysteries of the Kingdom. More on covenants in Chapter 5.)
Figure 5Kemper on early trip to India
“I was angry at God and argued with Him,” Kemper admits. “How could He allow such suffering?” But God granted the frustrated missionary a precious gift. “This was the first time I had a vision of Jesus. I could see the child sitting on His knee.”
But those who suffered in that region of India were an overwhelming problem. “The orphans and lepers broke my heart. I thought, ‘God, what in the world can I do about this?’”
Mystery of the Kingdom #2
Much more can be accomplished by keeping a low profile.
(Let others take the credit.)
The determined Texas football coach returned to the nearby town of Srinagar with the dilemma of the poor and suffering foremost in his mind. In Srinagar were little shops where higher caste Hindus would sit and smoke very large pipes. Kemper approached a group of them. “Don’t you see all these kids on the streets around here?” he asked. The men replied they couldn’t do anything about it because they were under the authority of a warlord and couldn’t question him. Kemper asked if there was some way he could speak with this warlord. The men set up a meeting.
So Kemper brought his concerns about the orphans to the district’s ruling warlord. “I asked if he would help me build an orphanage for the children in his district since this would make him look good in the eyes of the people. ‘You help me and I’ll make sure you get the credit,’” Kemper assured hi
Figure 6India’s children & orphans broke Kemper’s heart
The warlord agreed.
Spurred by success, Kemper asked if there was some way to do the same thing in other poor mountainous districts around Kashmir. The warlord said, “No. The other districts are under rival warlords and we don’t communicate if we can avoid it.” Kemper asked to be introduced to the other warlords. The meeting was arranged. The others also agreed to help Kemper build orphanages in their area.
A few years later, after the orphanages were built, Kemper approached these same warlords. “It would be really useful,” he told them, “if we could build a hospital or large clinic to serve the area.” One of the warlords noted this ambitious endeavor could only be accomplished if the three combined their resources. Eventually, they did just that. They worked together to build a hospital. Through this process, they formed an alliance.
Years later when Kemper was in Calcutta, one of the revered told him, “You are the most honored man in Kashmir. You brought the warlords together and they .”5
Kemper was dumbfounded by the man’s regard. “Wow. Usually you have no idea what is truly accomplished by simply aiming to build the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Figure 7Map showing the Pakistani/Indian border & the Kashmir District
Thus began Kemper’s focus on India where he encountered sickness and suffering the likes of which he had not experienced before.
But Kemper also had a family; a son and daughter, now grown, and his wife who had known life with her adventurous, no-holds-barred mate would be anything but boring. What did she think of Kemper’s dangerous travels?
“I knew God was with him,” says Tommye. She adds with a smile and roll of her eyes, “I also knew, Lord help anyone who got in the way of what God told him to do!”
So Kemper continued to reach out to the poorest, the most hopeless, the dying, and the outcasts, while his wife remained at home and prayed.
Figure 8Kemper on a shuttle for one of the schools he helped establish in India
When Kemper sought ordination through the Baptist church to aid him in his burgeoning mission work, his request was rejected due to his age. Plus, the fact his wife was not called to go with him caused church officials to question Kemper’s calling to the mission field as well. This is why, though he and Tommye have attended a Baptist church for decades, he ended up seeking ordination through the Episcopal denomination. “My son, ( .) is an ordained Episcopal priest. When he heard about the trouble I was having, he said, ‘Dad, I’ll see what I can do to help.’”
Thus Kemper began studying for his ordination under the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, which is under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1990.
Figure 9Kemper was ordained in 1990
“Early on,” Kemper’s wife Tommye admits, “I had a bit of a grudge toward God because I didn’t feel called to the same path. Here I was with our newly empty nest just rattling around in our too-big house.” She continued to teach as a college professor, but Kemper’s long absences were difficult for her.
“For five years I was mad at God and mad at Kemper. I was just horrified. Kids were grown. It was hard. But I knew God hadn’t called me to go with him.”
Tommye did, however, discover a vital purpose in Kemper’s ministry. “When I would sense he was in danger, I would call friends from our church and we would all pray.” Later, sometimes years down the road, Tommye would learn just how dangerous some of the situations Kemper survived really were, since he hesitated to reveal everything.
“I knew she was worried enough,” Kemper says. “Plus, back in those days, there were only two phones in India and they were both broken,” he jokes.
“Seriously, it could be two full months before I would get the chance to talk to her and ya don’t wanna share the bad stuff over the phone. Besides, there are some things you’d rather just forget. But I would often find out Tommye and our friends had been praying right at the time I needed it.”
3 Holy men who believe in and worship one supreme, omnipotent God.
4 For more information regarding the Pakistani/Kashmir conflict go to:
Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
~Hebrews 13:2 (ASV)
Already Kemper could hear heavenly music no one else could hear, but as his mission adventures amped up a notch, his spiritual life also delved further into uncharted waters; at least uncommon in America’s pragmatic society. Even in the church, this new realm was unusual.
He began to see and even communicate with God’s messengers.
The first experience of a supernatural nature occurred at home when he was in prayer. He could see a frightening specter in the shape of a huge, dark wolf head barreling toward their Texas home. But this vision crossed into the natural realm when Kemper’s house began to shake.
“It was so frightening and moving so fast I barely had time to rebuke it in
Jesus’ name. When I did, the vision passed over us with a whoosh.”
When Kemper explained to a frightened Tommye what had made their house shake, she was fascinated. “You can keep the scary stuff,” she said, “but I’d love to see an angel.”
According to Kemper though, one doesn’t get to pick and choose. When he has insight into the spiritual realm, it’s not just the heavenly that is revealed, he perceives evil as well. Kemper shakes his head with a grim expression. “Ya don’t wanna see that.”
The next night, Tommye woke Kemper with a scream. At the foot of the bed stood an angel, tall, bright as lightning and awesome. “We were both so frightened we just froze and stared. After that,” Kemper chuckles, “Tommye said she was just fine leaving the angel sightings to me.”
Kemper’s first experience of actually speaking with an angel occurred in India, on a highway that goes up toward Tibet. “I saw a young blind girl following a dog by holding to the dog’s tail.” Kemper says he could tell the dog was also blind because it was taking slow, high, careful steps. “I wanted to help so I headed toward them.” But immediately, about a dozen armed blocked his path.
“It’s against the law to interfere with someone’s and they weren’t going to let me anywhere near her.”
Kemper hated to give up, but an angel appeared to him with a message that put his heart at peace. “Heavenly servant, I will take care of the child and the dog.”
The angel proceeded to instruct Kemper with some of the mysteries on which he has based his outreach ever since. “He said these were revealed
‘to those who will use them for the Kingdom of Heaven, and not for selfish gain.’”
Mystery of the Kingdom #3
U^^tilization of the H^^ea^^v^^enly H^^osts
When asked what the angel looked like, Kemper pauses. “It’s so hard to describe the spiritual realm from a physical perspective. But he was glorious; tall and shining. Awesome. Of all the angels I’ve encountered, he was the most fearsome.”
Does Kemper ever see the same angel twice? Yes. He said they seem to have different functions. Some communicate God’s messages, while others appear when Kemper is in danger. As an example, Kemper relates the tale of hiking with a group through a mountainous region of Nepal, west of Kathmandu. At a particularly narrow and treacherous portion of the trail, Kemper’s foot slipped and the ground gave way beneath him. He began to plummet about 1200 feet. Kemper thought, “Well Lord, I guess this is it.” But an angel appeared, caught him and lowered Kemper safely to the ground. “My only injury was a broken finger from grabbing at the rock when I slipped.”
When the rest of the group arrived at the bottom of the canyon, thinking they would retrieve Kemper’s broken body, they were flabbergasted to find him alive and well. “What took ya so long?” Kemper teased. “I found a short-cut!”8
Kemper recognized the same angel during a crucial moment in India. After attending a funeral service, he sat alone not far from the funeral site, eating from a box of chicken he had purchased. Wonderful things had been happening on the trip. Many had professed Christ and more suffering children had received aid but Kemper was exhausted. “I was one tired Gringo,” he recalls. “I hardly had the energy to bring the food to my mouth.”
Looking up from his lunch, he saw two women approaching him. Both had Mongolian-type war axes in their hands. Kemper, who enjoys collecting antiques, took note of the weapons and thought to ask the women if he could buy them. However, as they came closer, the women raised the axes. “They weren’t thinkin’ about selling. They were gonna use them.”
Suddenly the women stopped and stared, wide-eyed, at something behind and above Kemper. They ran away.
When Kemper turned to look, he beheld the same angel who had caught him when falling. “He told me, ‘Heavenly servant, look in that direction and be refreshed.’ I did what he said and realized, after checking my compass, I was looking east toward Jerusalem. Strength and joy filled me. So beautiful.
“Yes, these incredible things happen, and it’s amazing, but it’s because I’m doing all this to build the Kingdom of Heaven, not my kingdom, not churchdom. It’s not a show. I’m simply the lowest in the Kingdom. But according to Jesus, even the lowest in His Kingdom will do the things He did.”
Kemper emphasizes that heavenly encounters occur in need, not on a whim. “It sounds fascinating to talk about seeing angels,” Kemper says, “but usually when I see an angel there’s no time for fascination because I’m about to die. I see them because I need them.”
Kemper says the angels he has encountered always bow subtly in honor of Jesus inside him. “But I don’t rejoice that Jesus gives me authority to utilize angelic intervention.”
Although angels are glorious, powerful and a vital aspect of Christ’s work on earth, true angelic servants of God Almighty will never allow mankind to worship them. To avoid confusion, Kemper usually will not mention angels in the churches where he speaks. “Even though they are co-workers with us to do the work of the Kingdom of Heaven, I like to keep talk about angels to a minimum.”
5. Gurkhas : indigenous people mainly from the mid-western, eastern Nepal and the Gorkhaland region of India. Their name derives from the 8th century Hindu term “Gorakhnath” which means “warrior-saint Guru.”
6. In the Hindu religion, Karma is reflected strongly in a societal caste system. If someone is born in a lower caste, that is their Karma. Any effort to improve their lot is interfering in the possibility they might earn the right, through suffering, to reincarnate to a higher caste next time around. It is literally illegal, therefore, to ease a person’s suffering or otherwise do acts of kindness to improve another’s lot in life. This is referred to by Hindu law as “altering karma.” The penalty is imprisonment or even death.
7. This is Kemper’s way when he shares something overwhelming or disturbing. He seeks to lighten the mood, generally with a joke.
“… bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
(Luke 6:28, Complete Jewish Bible)
“I have learned what it means to suffer for the Kingdom. But I
have never learned to feel worthy.”
One day in India, a man ran up to the window of the bus Kemper was riding in as it paused in traffic. The man had one question: “Do you know Jesus? I’d like to know about him.”
Kemper laughs as he remembers his thrilled response. “As a matter of fact, He’s a good friend of mine!”
Kemper asked the driver to pull over and he got out to talk to the man who spoke English well, since he sold tea on the streets. As they spoke, more people gathered. Then more. Soon, several interpreters were translating what he said and still the crowd grew. “I climbed up on the hood of the bus, then onto the roof. At one point I thought, ‘Lord, how did all these interpreters get here?’ Then it hit me; how did I get here?”
Kemper kept teaching, explaining the way to God through Christ. Finally, with a crowd that had grown to thousands that blocked the streets, he led them all in prayer for salvation. The entire process took about five hours. Later, an exhausted but elated Kemper went to a nearby house for the night. His friends brought the report that more than 26,000 had prayed for salvation that day.
But resistance came from where he least expected it.
Leaders at his home church did not react to the story with joy. Rather, they were concerned that so many received Christ and yet had no follow- up to help them grow in their newfound faith.
On return trips, Kemper and his team addressed this issue. They built about twenty churches and twenty schools in that area. But Kemper admits he was disappointed in the church leaders’ initial reaction.
Sadly, religious opposition was par for the course. On another occasion during his coaching days, Kemper was reprimanded because someone had seen him sitting on the grass close to the college where he taught “with a group of scantily clad young men and women.” Kemper laughs at the memory. “I was a coach. We were in gym shorts. What was I supposed to do, teach P.E. in a three-piece suit?”
But the opposition to Kemper’s methods went much deeper than attire. When he took groups of people with him to help on his missions, he would have the pastor of the church sign a paper saying the group was an “envoy” from that church. One pastor told Kemper,
Plus, when ministering in locales where evil is rampant, Kemper needs every heavenly advantage at his disposal, including praying in and speaking in other tongues, plus discerning of spirits, words of knowledge, healing, etc. This practice of the gifts of the Holy Spirit went against the official doctrine of his church. “How could I proceed without the Holy Spirit? It’s just not possible. I couldn’t even survive one night without relying on the Holy Spirit’s gifts and guidance!” Kemper states.
He still speaks to church groups, but he is careful to tailor what he says. “I think one of the reasons for my effectiveness is that I never went to seminary. They teach ‘churchdom’ not Kingdom.” Kemper sees this as an ongoing problem of organized religion. “We had it right up until about 200 AD when we started building these huge cathedrals and church became big business. Church in the New Testament was, ‘meet in Phoebe’s house.’ You meet to worship and you leave to serve.”
But according to ministering angels who inform Kemper about what is occurring in the spiritual realm, the greatest problem in the American church is even greater than the rejection of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. “The overriding sin of the West is unforgiveness. In churches, I never understood why there was always an angel facing the west, until it was revealed: it’s the forgiveness factor in the western world. That’s the great sin of the West, being offended and not forgiving. Jesus came to forgive our sin. We have to forgive others.”
Mystery of the Kingdom #4:
: A sacred agreement or pact.
“My family and I made a covenant together to remain unoffended.”
In this regard, Kemper refers to the well-known scripture of Matthew 6: 14 & 15 that states clearl^^y^^,
Kemper reiterates, “Jesus came to forgive us and we can’t forgive someone else? This cuts us off from the Father.”
Kemper’s sad summary of the situation: “It’s much easier for me to speak to 25,000 in India than to a church here. I’d love to teach people how to do what I do. It’s not rocket science. But ya have to put service to the Kingdom of Heaven first, not the kingdom of men.”
Father, forgive me in the name of Jesus.
I forgive everyone and I love the brethren. I confess that Jesus is Lord; King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Savior, Redeemer, Messiah.
Bless, keep, and protect everything You have given me. Send Angels to keep (family, animals, and others).
I am seated at the right Hand of the
Throne of God.
I am covered with the blood of Jesus.
Therefore, I take dominion over principalities and powers on earth and in the heavens above.
My eyes see, and my ears hear all things physical and spiritual.
My body and mind are free from disease and supernaturally protected.
So is… (the Spirit of God will give you the names of those to pronounce this Truth upon)
Thank You, Father, for the great gift of
Salvation You have given me.
When he travels to India and Africa, his greatest opposition also comes from organized religion, but that opposition is much deadlier in nature. Usually Kemper runs afoul of government authority in India due to his choice to “alter Karma,” an offense punishable by imprisonment and even death.
“Ya see, with this Karma thing,” Kemper explains, “say a couple has two children, one healthy and one sickly, and let’s say one parent dies and the other is dying. They can give away the healthy child to another home. They’re glad to have it. But the sickly child, nobody wants. They will take that child to a back alley and tie them to a post where the child will die alone. You find these little corpses and piles of bones.”
Kemper pauses to wipe his eyes. His hands shake as he struggles to control powerful emotions. “We go out during the night and steal those children. We bring them in, get them medical attention, feed them, educate them, and introduce them to Jesus.”
According to Hindu law, this represents a criminal altering of Karma. Therefore Kemper has been arrested and marked for murder in India. Wherever he goes, Government agents follow.
But he has discovered unexpected allies.
Figure 10Kemper with some of “his kids” in India
“The Muslims protect me. They have seen me being kind to their children. That’s the way to their hearts.” Thus Kemper may have quite an entourage as he ministers in India: government spies and/or soldiers waiting to arrest or harm him, plus self-appointed Muslim guards who have saved his life on more than one occasion.
“Once I picked up this little blind child off the street to save him and a van ran off the road at me. It hit the child and killed him then drove away. Some Muslims saw it. They told me, ‘The sun will not set on those men again.’ They love what I do.”
On another occasion, Kemper was invited by a Muslim man to pray for his two sons suffering from Hemophilia. The man said, “I hear some men of your… persuasion are able to pray to God for people to be healed.” As Kemper spoke with the man, one of the sons, a young man in his twenties, entered the house. Kemper spoke, “The Lord rebuke you, spirit of Hemophilia.” The young man fell to the ground. When he came to, the son was healed.” Kemper explained the gospel of salvation through Jesus and the young man followed along with Kemper in prayer. “He proclaimed, ‘Jesus is my Lord and my God!’”
This same man had a friend who worked in the palace in Kathmandu serving the royal family of . When the royal family was assassinated, the worker saw the emerald rings on one of the dead royalty. He thought, “The rebels are going to steal these anyway.” He removed the rings, cleaned the blood off them and gave them to Kemper. As Kemper is fond of saying, “Ya can’t out-give God.”
Yes, God is generous, but when one purposes to be His servant, suffering is also to be expected.
In his missionary excursions, Kemper has been thrown in prison five times for a total of about one and a half years of incarceration. He says prisons in third-world countries more closely resemble medieval dungeons than modern prisons.
“One time I bought twelve orphan children.” Kemper explains that in India’s corrupt society, this is often the only way to get the children to safety. “They (his contacts) came to me and said, ‘It will cost more. And there are only nine.’ Then they opened the basket they carried, and there were the heads of three of the children.” Kemper winces as he recalls the horrific sight. “It must have been a .” Again, Kemper was arrested.
In India’s prisons, there is no heat or sanitation. Prisoners are not fed unless someone brings food from the outside. Kemper survived because his fellow prisoners recognized he was a holy man and did not deserve to be there. The prisoners also noticed, though they were covered with all kinds of vermin, Kemper never had so much as one louse on him. “They knew I was under the protection of my God.” Thus the prisoners shared their meager food with him and Kemper, in turn, led most of them to Christ. “They enjoyed singing the old hymns I taught them.”
Once, after almost three months incarceration in India, prison guards came to hang Kemper by his hands for three days so he “would not forget.” He was strung up so his feet were barely off the floor.
“The other prisoners sang, ‘On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross…’ Two of the men puts pieces of rags around the ropes so my wrists would not be cut so severely. This was allowed.” When Kemper’s shoulders came out of joint, the pain was excruciating. Kemper says one dear man ran forward and crawled beneath his feet to relieve the pain. This was not allowed. “The guards burst in and sliced his throat.” Kemper could hear the man’s family crying outside when they heard the horrible news. “To hear their wails was terrible suffering for me.”
This same man’s family cared for Kemper when he was finally released. “They all came to Jesus,” Kemper reports.
“I have learned what it means to suffer for the
Kingdom. But I have never learned to feel worthy.”
On another occasion, Kemper was incarcerated in the infamous “
However, finding something to laugh about was extremely difficult during his stay in the federal prison. At one point, the prison guards broke his collarbone. “They will make everyone get really quiet so all the prisoners can hear ya scream. It’s a way to intimidate.” But the guards didn’t get what they wanted out of Kemper. “I didn’t scream. I passed out.”
Why was Kemper imprisoned when his goal is simply to help children? “They accuse me of ‘trafficking in human flesh’ since I’m willing to pay for the children in order to save them.” The real issue is that Kemper is “altering Karma.” As stated before, any interruption in the suffering of unfortunates, in the Hindu way of thinking, is cruel because it will prevent that person from reincarnating to a higher caste. This helps to explain the extreme plight of so many in India, whether they are sick, starving, orphaned, leprous, or just have the “bad karma” to be poor.
Therefore, when Kemper works in India, caring for children, building hospitals, orphanages, churches and even leprosariums, he is constantly . But Kemper is unrepentant and has no plans to honor India’s religious hierarchy above the lives of her children.
“This is one of the reasons it’s so hard to speak to churches about what I do,” Kemper states. “Here I am ‘breaking the law’ but I’m serving a higher law, Christ’s mandate to care for the widows and orphans. In order to do that, I have to… bend a few rules.”
But these escapades are always out of obedience to God’s mandates, not, as Kemper says, “done on a whim.”
7. Again, Kemper was disappointed in a church leader’s reaction but he said this particular pastor has since apologized and has been supportive.
8. See also Matt 5:7, Matt 7:2, Matt. 18:35, Mark 11:25 Col. 3:13 & E ph. 4:32 for a bibli- cal overview of forgiveness
9 King Birendra, also spelled “Bharandra”—reigned from 1972 to 2001. More on King Birendra in Chapter 6. For an overview of his reign and life see:
10. Kemper never found out who betrayed him and killed the children. However, the other nine children did make it to safety. One of them is now a manager over 500 people in an information technology firm and hires as many other orphans as he can to help them get on their feet.
11. For a brief history of the “Black Hole of Calcutta”: taken from The Black Hole of Calcutta, an article By | Published in
12 For an introduction to religion-instigated violence in India see:
THE $2 ALIBI
“No enthusiasm will ever stand the strain that Jesus Christ will put upon His worker, only one thing will, and that is a personal relationship to Himself which has gone through the mill of His spring-cleaning until there is only one purpose left—I am here for God to send me where He will.”
In 2000, a disturbing report reached Kemper while he was in South Calcutta. At one of his orphanages close to an airport in India, armed men had stolen two of the children. Kemper knew time was short if he wanted to save the children from whatever horrors the kidnappers had in store. Plus, he had to send a clear message to those who might attempt similar crimes in the future.
Could he appeal to the local law enforcement?
No. Local authorities were corrupt and Kemper, as a foreigner, did not pull much weight with them.
What could he do?
As is his custom, Kemper sought God’s will. His path became clear. It was not politically correct, but clear.
Kemper called upon a friend, a young man who had committed his life to Christ through Kemper’s ministry only a couple years before. This young man had a rough background. This young man had a .
“We knew where the men were hiding. I went along with him when we… took care of one of them. We got the children back.”
Now it was just a matter of details. Kemper and his friend went to the local police. With 50 rupees (about 2 U.S. dollars at the time) he persuaded the officer on duty to enter into the day’s books that he and his friend had been arrested for causing a disturbance the night before and had spent the night in jail. “How could we have had anything to do with what happened to those men? We were in jail.” Kemper gestures as if pointing to that day’s entry. “It says so. Right there.”
Again, this is the type of story Kemper will not share in a typical church. He explains that perhaps the best way for Americans to relate to his deeds is from the perspective of a family fighting for their lives in the 1800s during the American expansion westward, when local law was not yet established. Lawlessness reigned. Bullies took advantage. “What I deal with on these trips, with the corrupt government and all, is a completely different world. Children’s lives were at stake. I had to act quickly. I had to get the message across, ‘Ya don’t mess with my kids.’”
Kemper reiterates that his deeds are not self-motivated or self-directed. Neither are they a sweeping generalization of how he conducts his affairs all the time. This was specific direction given in a specific set of circumstances. “This is not for my kingdom; for ego. .”
Figure 11One of Kemper’s trusted helpers writes of the ongoing dangers of their work in India
Though his methods are rarely so drastic, Kemper often has to conduct his affairs in spite of the government, finding ways around tricky regulations that would keep him from providing for those in his care.
He has to route money through several channels, through another country—or two—before funds reach his trusted workers and teachers at the churches, schools, orphanages and hospitals. Medicines also follow intricate paths, through other countries, until reaching their intended destination, perhaps even utilizing military transport.
It’s not unusual, however, for pathways of provision to appear that can only be explained as divine intervention.
A man in India (name and location withheld to protect the man and those he serves), a Brahmin—meaning he was a member of the highest caste—prayed diligently to learn what he was supposed to do with his life. One day, as he prayed, the man said the sky opened and a voice told him, “Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord.” The man proclaimed, “I have a new birth.” God went on to tell him to wait in that place, watching and praying for God’s plan for his life to be revealed. For a year and a half the man remained, watchful and praying. When Kemper had a need to protect a group of children he had rescued from the streets, many of whom had been left to die because they were ill or “defective” according to Hindu custom, he drove the children into the hills, praying God would provide a place for them. They stopped at the home of the Brahmin man. “Immediately he knew I and these children were what he had been waiting for,” Kemper says.
The man had a large facility there that he, Kemper, and co-workers turned into a school and orphanage.
The story of this particular man and his orphanage/school is one of continuing miracles. , who still rule in India’s smaller provinces, tend to be quite hostile to the message of Christ.
One Maharaja, violently opposed to Christianity, was backed into a bit of a corner when he needed a school for his own daughters. He happened to live in the area where the Christian Brahmin ran the new school and orphanage. “This Maharaja hates Christians but the so there are no schools there. But there’s one school,” Kemper says with a triumphant smile, “mine. So his three daughters went to my school and got saved. So much for opposition. It’s a bit like Satan guarding Heaven, but it works.”
This is one of the reasons Kemper’s organization builds a church and school side-by-side, utilizing small, sturdy, useful, simple structures easily accessible to the local populace. “If you get the children, you’re gonna get the parents ‘cause they’re interested in what serves their kids. Plus, this strengthens the community; draws them together.”
On another occasion, government backing was secured in an even more surprising manner.
Kemper was in Nepal, standing beneath the Gate. He sensed the Spirit of God tell him to, “Spoil the Nepalese.” This was much like the command given to Moses when he and the children of Israel were leaving Egypt and were told to “Spoil the Egyptians.” (Exodus 12:36)
In order to fund his mission work (and per God’s instruction), Kemper studied in the early 1990s to become a licensed gemologist. He received his gemology certification in 1994. Kemper proclaims, of all the studying he has done, becoming a gemologist was the most difficult. “You must make a perfect score on every exam. Zero error.”
When he travels, he collects precious stones he will later sell in order to fund his work. (More on this in the Chapter titled, Necessary Miracles.) At one jeweler in Nepal, he came across a gorgeous, 318 carat topaz. “Absolutely perfect. It’s called a ‘precious topaz’ because it only comes from a mine in northern Burma.”
Kemper told the jeweler, “I will buy this for 100 American dollars.” The jeweler protested but Kemper remained firm, convinced this was what God wanted. He acquired the stone. At another shop he discovered another priceless gem, a huge Siberian Amethyst, “They’re so beautiful they’ll kill ya,” Kemper exclaims. Again, he convinced the jeweler to sell him the 145 carat stone for 100 American dollars.
As he strolled down the street after purchasing the gems, Kemper heard noise behind him. He looked over his shoulder. An angry mob with staves and drawn swords followed him. “They were not trying to renegotiate,” Kemper teases.
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11 MILLION SALVATIONS. 1,800 CHURCHES. 400 ORPHANAGES. 17 RESURRECTIONS. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Mother Teresa. 3-TIME NOBEL PEACE PRIZE NOMINEE. From the palaces of kings, to the slums of India, and to the belly of dungeon-like prisons, Kemper Crabb spreads salvation, love, and alleviation of suffering. It started with one suffering child. Armed Gurkhas would not let Kemper near the child for fear he would "alter Karma." The child died--frightened, alone, and unloved. Kemper cried out to God, "Why do You allow such suffering?" God gave Kemper a vision of the child sitting on Jesus' knee, but He gave the heartbroken missionary much more: a vision of how to relieve the spiritual and physical suffering of millions. Included: Kemper's Spiritual Warfare Training Handbook.