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My grandpa is my hero

By Stephany Tyson
web posted May 7, 2007

Dear Friends,

There is a man I will always respect and admire. He isn't a movie star. He isn't the President of the United States. He didn't win a Nobel Prize and he wasn't awarded any Purple Hearts. No, he is just a missionary, but he is also even more than that. He is my grandpa.

Bob Tyson was born in a small town called Villa Rica, Georgia. He was a preacher's son, but he was always the "redneck" of the family. He liked to race cars and blow up dynamite, so he was always a tough guy. He got married with a seventeen year old girl named Joan Costlow. They settled down in Villa Rica with their own house, land, and cars, all paid for, and both with good jobs. They had everything they could ever want or need, but God had other plans.

In 1964, my grandpa was called to be a missionary. He and my grandma sold everything they had and went to Tennessee Temple University. After three and a half years of studying the Bible, they were off for the mission field in Honduras and Nicaragua. And that's where they've been ever since. Now Good Samaritan Baptist Missions is bigger than they could ever have dreamed, all because of the leadership of Bob Tyson. He gave his whole life to the mission field. Many times he risked his life for the Lord's work. He did what was right and nobody could back him down. He didn't care what people thought about him; he just cared what God thought. He has been called a "fireball preacher" many times because when he preached, he never did beat around the bush. He told the people straight in their faces what they were doing wrong. In the tent meetings, cowboys on horses armed with guns would come up around the tent to listen, but Grandpa never hesitated. My grandma, however, could just "feel" the bullets coming by.

Yes, Bob Tyson was a born leader and strong and tough and very stubborn, but he was also very compassionate. He would always try to help anybody in need. He not only worried about their spiritual needs, but their physicals needs too. People that knew him feared him, but they all loved and respected him. He kept things under control and going right, and if things didn't go his way, then someone was in trouble.

My grandpa's health started going bad a few years back and now he's not able to work anymore. Our family doctor, a few years ago, said to Grandpa "Bob, you've worn your body out for the Lord". And that's exactly what he did. He gave his whole heart and soul to the ministry and his body just wore out. He and his leadership are missed by everyone in the mission, and sometimes it might seem like we can't do it anymore without him. But God's not through with this mission. He has kept it going over five years now without Grandpa, and I don't have a shadow of a doubt that He will keep it going even longer. There will never be another Bob Tyson, but there will always be God, and Grandpa would've wanted us to put our total trust in Him.

Like I said at the beginning, Grandpa didn't win a Nobel Prize and wasn't given any Purple Hearts. But I can assure you that he will get crowns and awards in Heaven. And that can't even compare to any awards he could get here. Like to many others, Bob Tyson is my hero. He always will be, and when the Lord calls him home, it will never be the same. But his spirit will always be with us, because he loved his family and the ministry too much to leave us. If anyone deserves a crown in Heaven, Bob Tyson does. He is a man of faith, courage, bravery, and a born-leader. But most of all, he is a man of God, and there will never, ever be another man like him, the redneck missionary, the fireball preacher, the loving grandpa, the man of God, Bob Tyson. ESR

This is Stephany Tyson's first contribution to Enter Stage Right.


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