by Greg Kasey
When I read about the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), I see a part of my life in the “certain man” who fell among thieves, and the Good Samaritan (Jesus) saved my life and took me to the Inn (Body of Christ). There I was nursed back to life (saved) (born again) and I will abide at the Inn all of my days. I became a bond slave to Jesus Christ. Exodus 21:2-6. Deuteronomy 15:12-17. Jesus redeemed me out of the slave market of sin. We are slaves to this world and its systems. I was a slave to this world, but Jesus Christ purchased me with His Life and Blood. He put a new life in me, a song in my heart and joy in my life. I’m so thankful to be a part of the family of God. Now, I’ll tell about how the Lord has worked in my life.
On December 11, 1947, 11:47 a.m., in Cone Memorial Hospital, Greensboro, North Carolina, a boy (Greg) was born to Albert and Francis Kasey. (I don’t remember the event, but I was there!) We lived in Greensboro until I was 5 years old and then moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Daddy got a job with Union Carbide working in the Y-12 Plant outside Oak Ridge as an electrician. My childhood was pretty normal with school and outings with family and friends. When we went to church, it was a Baptist Church. Occasionally I would be stirred by a service. God would prick my heart when I did wrong. I was aware of God, but did not have a personal relationship with Him.
My Daddy died suddenly of a heart attack in early 1964. A year later we moved to Greensboro, NC to be near our relatives. In the fall of 1965, we moved to Siler City, NC where my mother’s family lived. I attended three different high schools, graduating from Jordan-Matthews High School in June of 1966. The Vietnam war was in full swing and the only way to avoid serving in the war was by attending college.
During my senior year in high school, I applied to many colleges, but I was only accepted by one: Sandhills Community College in Southern Pines, NC. I didn’t find out until years later that my high school transcript was incorrect and incomplete because I had attended three different high schools with three different systems. This was part of God’s loving plan to bring me to Himself. He wanted to make me a part of His church in Southern Pines.
My freshman year of college is nothing to be proud of. I was alone in a strange place. I had emptiness in my heart that I tried to fill with the junk of this world. Nothing made me happy; I was a miserable young man. God was bringing me to the end of myself.
The summer of 1967 I stayed in Southern Pines to work and save money for the next school year. During the summer I ran into a young man who witnessed for the Lord. I had dodged him for a year because I was convicted about my evil lifestyle. But now I was willing to listen. He took me to several churches, including the Bible Tabernacle. From the first service, I knew that there was something different--I felt at home. The devil did his best to keep me from going, but thank God I went. The Lord saved me and He gave me a new life. I am eternally thankful. II Corinthians 5:17. I was now at the Inn.
Shortly thereafter, I moved into Sister Dyer’s home, “The Dyer Madhouse,” as it was affectionately called. I was one of several young people who lived there. Sister Dyer and Brother Thomas diligently watched over us. We prayed together, read together and had our differences, but the Lord was with us. As we settled differences, we were counseled and we grew in the Lord.
I would go out at night and walk and pray for the many needs among our people. The devil was working on me and trying to discourage me to lead me astray. One night as I walked and prayed, I knew I was in a battle. Satan was working and God was working. I don’t know how long it went on, but when I became determined to serve God with my whole heart and cast down evil imaginations, the Devil left me. II Corinthians 10:3-5. I believe this was like the bond servant in Exodus 21:2-6 and Deuteronomy 15:12-17. Satan still comes and opposes me, but he is defeated. Revelation 12:7-12. I believe all of this prepared me for what was ahead. “The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord.” Psalm 37:23-24. I have some precious memories of that time. Psalm 133.
I was inducted into the U.S. Army on June 4, 1969. I spent a year in the States training for Vietnam: basic training was at Fort Bragg, NC; Advanced Infantry Training at Fort McClellan, AL; NCO training was at Fort Benning, GA and, finally to Fort Jackson before shipping out to Vietnam. God’s presence was with me everywhere He sent me. Because of the training, I was not able to travel to Southern Pines and attend the life giving services with any regularity. I went to the Army Chapel when I could, but I didn’t find much life there. The letters, phone calls and tapes were my lifeline. God sustained me through all of this and prepared me for Vietnam.
I was shipped to Vietnam in June of 1970. After I arrived, I was assigned to the 1st Cavalry and sent to 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, B Company. I joined my company in the jungles of Cambodia. I was scared to death, but the Lord calmed my fears and gave me His rest. We stayed in Cambodia for several weeks and moved back into Vietnam to patrol and stop the flow of supplies into Vietnam.
Romans 8:28, “and we know that all things work together for good to them who Love God and are called to His Purpose.”
During this time it became my turn to walk point, or be the point (first) man. It is the point man’s job to avoid walking into an ambush as we patrolled the jungle looking for the enemy. I contracted malaria and got so sick I had to be flown out of the jungle to a field hospital. I remained in a hospital in the rear for two weeks undergoing treatment, and then was sent back to my unit, but was placed on Light Duty Status until fully recovered. During my absence, my platoon walked into an ambush and was in a long battle with many casualties. The point man was 3 feet from the man who shot him. That would have been me if I had not gotten malaria. God had ordered my steps and protected me.
Cassette tapes and letters from home were my lifeline. I received letters from brothers and sisters on a regular basis, as well as tapes of the services and voice letters. What a blessing and spiritual encouragement they were. I was able to purchase a cassette tape player in Vietnam. At that time the smallest one was about 8” x 12” x 3”, so it took a considerable amount of space in the backpack, but was essential for me to be able to listen to tapes. This tape player could use up batteries in a hurry, but God always provided me with batteries. They would come in the mail, or The Flying PX would come out when I was in the rear giving me an opportunity to purchase batteries. Many times no batteries were available, so God would bless the ones that I had to last an extra week or two until I received replacements. He always provided. Philippians 4:19. God will provide for all our needs.
Each unit would spend 5 days behind the lines to have a shower and eat a hot meal and then go to the bush for 15 days -- a 20 day rotation. When I was in the bush, I would listen to the tapes with earphones for security reasons. When I was in the back, I would play the tapes so others could hear and always had a few listening with me. It gave me an opportunity to witness to them, which I did at every opportunity. Many had not attended a church and many had no exposure to the Lord.
At some point I began to realize that most of those I witnessed to would return to the bush and be killed by enemy fire. It seemed that if I was able to speak with them about the Lord, they were killed in combat. The enemy began to use that to condemn me and to tell me that I should not witness to other men. I would feel condemned when they died, so I witnessed less and less.
I didn’t realize until recently what a special place the Lord put me in while in Vietnam. The Lord showed me that those were lies of the devil and that, even though I may not see any visible acceptance of Christ in a person, I had been allowed to present Christ to some of those men shortly before they died. I may see some of them in heaven. This revelation has taken a great weight off my shoulders. I thank God for setting me free so that I can once again be a witness for Him.
The year of training I received prior to deploying to Vietnam enabled me to be transferred from combat to a teaching team. The Army organized teams to go into the villages to teach the Vietnamese and Montagnards how to defend their villages. Each team consisted of four Americans and a Vietnamese interpreter. We went from village to village training the local people defense skills. What a blessing to no longer be in combat. God protected me.
The war started winding down and the Army began to bring troops home to be re-deployed or discharged. I was able to come home 2-1/2 months early. Thank the Lord!!
When I arrived back in the USA, I flew to Raleigh, NC and arranged for a close friend to pick me up. What a joyous return to Southern Pines!! After a short visit, I borrowed a car and drove to Oak Ridge to visit my family.
Brother Thomas had been communicating with a man in Pikeville, TN who ran a 500 acre farm. He indicated that he wanted us to come and take over the operation. After much prayer, the Lord led the church to send some people over there to work the farm and start taking over the operation. I received a call in March of 1971, while at my mother’s, inviting me to go with them.
Once again, the Lord had me right where I needed to be. What better rehab for a returning soldier than to spend a year on a farm working the land and tending the animals with Christian fellowship? I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I know it was just the rehabilitation that I needed after Vietnam.
We stayed in Pikeville for a year before realizing that the situation was not going to work out as planned for the church. It was decided that we needed to leave Pikeville. One family moved back to Bible Tabernacle in North Carolina while two families and I moved to Florida to help start the church in Lake City.
In February of 1972, shortly after we moved to Florida, the Lord led the men to a piece of land that would become the site of Ramona Park Church. The Lord provided us with a small motel on several acres of land. It had places for mobile homes on one end, and it had space to build a church on the other end. As the work to build a church began, some of the church people purchased mobile homes and moved on the land. One family moved into the motel office apartment and some of us young men moved into the motel rooms and paid for our room and board. Quite a few of our young men lived there before we got married.
My biggest trial lay before me. I had married a young lady soon after moving to Florida and we had two lovely girls together. We started having marital trouble as time went on. After our children were grown and married, we could not settle our differences. The Men of the Church counseled us, prayed with us and prayed for us. Nothing worked; my wife applied for a divorce and we were divorced in October of 2002. Amos 3:3.
The break-up of my marriage caused me great grief. Thankfully, my precious Lord knew what I needed. Ramona Park Church needed a caretaker, so I moved into an empty mobile home adjacent to the Church. In my spare time I duplicated tapes for the members and did maintenance work at the church.
About that same time the Lord led us to start holding nightly prayer meetings. Once again, Jesus supplied my need. When we go to the Lord in prayer for others, God not only answers prayers for them, He also works on our behalf. These prayer meetings are being used by God to meet the needs of His People. Matt 6:6-7; John 15:12-14.
Slowly but surely, I received deliverance and spiritual healing. I was set free from condemnation and oppression.
God has provided me with a Godly wife. We pray together, read together and serve God together. God has met my every need. Praise His Holy Name!
As I look back over my life, I see a loving Savior guiding my every step. He has led me through the joys and sorrows of life. He has never abandoned me. Every day He has blessed, guided and protected my life. We are Blessed more than we can imagine. Praise His Holy Name!! Psalm 91, Psalm 73:24-28; Psalm 37.
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