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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Signs of #autism

William LaFever, a 28-year-old man, called his father from Boulder, UT one day in June to inform him that some of his hiking gear had been stolen and that he was out of money.  LaFever told his father that he would make his way to Page, Arizona, where he'd be able to receive a wire transfer of funds.

The family didn't hear from LaFever for weeks.  They feared for his life and called for help.

The Utah Highway Patrol and the Garfield County Sheriff's office began searching for LaFever.  The search to find him became more and more urgent not only because LaFever had been in the desert for three weeks but also because he has autism.

Shane Oldfield, a helicopter pilot for the Utah Highway Patrol, remembered that he had learned in a recent search and rescue class that individuals with autism are drawn to water.  So Oldfield and Deputy Ray Gardner of the Garfield County Sheriff's Office decided to fly over the Escalante River to search for LaFever.  In their first pass over the river last Thursday afternoon, they spotted LaFever sitting in the river, waving his arms.  He was alive but out of food, dangerously emaciated, and near death.  "He couldn't walk.  He couldn't crawl.  He was down to rolling," said Oldfield. *

There is another "search and rescue" mission that is ongoing in which Someone is looking for YOU and ME.

You and I are lost because of our sins.  Sin leaves us spiritually emaciated and destined for destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

But Jesus, the Son of God, came to this world "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).  Jesus "knows where to find us" because He knows to what we are drawn: sin (see James 1:14-15).  He also knows that every one of us has failed to resist
temptation and sinned in the sight of God (Romans 3:23).  But because of His great love for us, He died on the cross so that we might have forgiveness for our sins and receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Ephesians 1:7).

Jesus will rescue us when we place our faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38).

Jesus already knows where we are and how desperately we need to be rescued.  We can be saved if we will accept His offer on His terms.

Won't YOU?

David A. Sargent

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