Project Zion Podcast is bring you follow up interviews with the presenters of the Historic Sites Foundation Summer Lecture Series. Today we have David Brock to share about his lecture, "Life and Legacy of Edward Ellsworth Guy ."
You can find David's's original presentation here and be sure to keep an eye out for more episodes with the presenters from the Summer Lecture Series.
Host: Karin Peter
Guest: David Brock
Project Zion Podcast is bring you follow up interviews with the presenters of the Historic Sites Foundation Summer Lecture Series. Today we have David Brock to share about his lecture, "Life and Legacy of Edward Ellsworth Guy ."
You can find David's's original presentation here and be sure to keep an eye out for more episodes with the presenters from the Summer Lecture Series.
Host: Karin Peter
Guest: David Brock
328 | Cuppa Joe | Historic Sites Foundation Summer Lecture Series | David Brock
Project Zion Podcast
Josh Mangelson 00:17
Welcome to the Project Zion Podcast. This podcast explores the unique spiritual and theological gifts Community of Christ offers for today's world.
Karin Peter 00:34
Welcome to Project Zion. This is Cuppa Joe, where we explore restoration history. And I'm your host today, Karin Peter. Our guest is David Brock. David served Community of Christ and actually continues to serve Community of Christ, but in your life's work served Community of Christ in many places around the world as a missionary, a president of 70, and apostle, and as the presiding evangelists. Dave has a Master of Arts and religion. Dave has taught at the Community of Christ Seminary in both mission and other topics. Dave is a lover of words. I know this, because he used that phrase one time to me. And we might simply say he is a poet. So welcome, David.
David Brock 01:20
Thank you. Thanks, Karin. Good to be here.
Karin Peter 01:24
Well it's so good to have you here. We're going to talk a little bit today about your lecture. That was one of the lectures in the Historic Sites Foundation Summer Series. And yours was titled, Life and Legacy of Edward Ellsworth Guy: Smokejumper, and Humanitarian. Which captures one's imagination right off the bat. So Ed Guy was a missionary and church planter in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, perhaps other places, we'll learn. But he was much more than that. So if you could introduce us a little bit to Ed, Who was he? Where's he from? And why did you present a lecture about it?
David Brock 02:11
Okay, well, happy to respond to those questions. Yeah, let me start with the last part, because this this lecture originally grew out of our Spiritual Formation and Companioning Program in which one of the sessions we spent almost entirely on looking at Christian mystics through the years, and in some ways, trying to express the value and importance of mystics and to, to do away with a lot of the misunderstandings about what a Christian mystic is. But as we were looking at people like St. John of the cross, and Teresa of Avila, and Henry Nouwen and in Meister Eckhart and on and on and goes, we decided that, you know, there there have to be mystics in our own faith movement. And actually, in, in this huge series of Christian mystics, Joseph Smith is one of the volumes. So we do have our mystic tradition in in the Community of Christ in the restoration movement. So my, my sense was that though Ed, is primarily known as being a missionary, being a fighter for justice, standing up for the cause of the poor, etc, that that was really born out of his own intimate relationship with God or with Jesus. And so that was, that was the reason for this, this project. So yeah, I kind of divide Ed's life into two parts. One is his growing up years, his educational years, and then his move to the Texas/Mexico border. And for from then, and from there ever after his, his life was south, it was either in Mexico or Central America, primarily. So a little bit about it was just to give you a sense of his life 1934 to 2001, a relatively short life, but definitely fully lived. He was born in Santa Monica, California, but lived in quite a few places because his dad who was actually English by birth, and then moved to Canada as a young man, but became an airline mechanic. And I spent the rest of his life in the United States and they moved a lot because he was working for TWA and actually with the government during the war years, during World War Two, and so they they moved from California to Oregon to Washington to Washington, DC, and Kansas City, Missouri, which is actually where his dad met his mom. And they were married there in Kansas City. So that, you know, Ed grew up in quite a few places has two sisters. They're both still living his parents are now both gone. His mom had this, this sense of, well, not the sense of she actually kind of gave Ed to God, she dedicated her son to God and, and to God's calling in his life. And she would say, hey, it took, you know.
Karin Peter 05:30
It did it indeed.
David Brock 05:32
She was like a good Catholic mom, who dedicates her, her son to be a priest or her daughter to be a nun, whatever. His dad was not really a believer, in sense. He didn't he wasn't a member of the church, didn't belong. And he was a, he was brilliant. He was a mechanic, very linear in his approaches, and it's sort of like, you know, to see his to believe kind of thing. And he has his personality and Ed's were like diametrically opposed. So they didn't frankly, get along that well. They didn't understand each other. And it was only in after EdS, or in Ed's later years. And after his death, his dad realized this a pretty amazing person. But I'm just going to jump in here and tell you I met Ed's dad, Watson, and they, they had told me that recently, they had heard him calling and he had been up in a tree, sawing branches, and he got somehow turned upside down. And so he was, he had his knees locked around a branch and he was hanging down and he couldn't get down. And so he's out there yelling, but anyway, we're all laughing about that, as he was showing me a Rolls Royce, which he had put together, piece by piece. He had it shipped over from England, part by part, and he reassembled that Rolls Royce, it was out in his garage there in, in Bo Washington near Sammamish, on part of Sammamish Island, and just real practical about it, and it was pristine, absolutely beautiful. That's that's the kind of guy was. So anyway, that's, that's an aside, you can cut that part out.
Karin Peter 07:11
No, it's fascinating, because it really shows how very different his son was from him. And and what that how that dynamic of that relationship played then into Ed's life later,
David Brock 07:25
Yeah, really did. Yeah, you know, it was the absolute opposite of linear so and we'll get so just a little bit about, you know, high school and he wasn't really involved in in sports or team sports, but he was very active in FFA, so he, he, he enjoyed agricultural kinds of things. And he actually worked on a dairy. And after high school, however, he decided to go to Graceland college, because that's what church good church boys and girls did, particularly in those days. But after the first year, probably after the first few weeks or semester, he realized that this is not for me, this higher education. I'm not I'm not into that right now. So after the first year, he left and decided to join the army. So he joined the army served there for two years, most of his time was in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. And then he decided, well, you know, let me try this, this college thing again. So he went out to Central Washington finished degree, his degree, and I'm not sure what that was in. But then he went on to the University of Missouri, at Columbia and finished a master's degree in social work. And during that time, he that was like the Civil Rights movement. So there was a lot going on, particularly in Kansas City in the African American community. So it did quite a bit of his practice of social work in that area. So he, he got to know a lot of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement and got pretty engaged in those kind of things. And then after his, his graduation, he'd always had a sense of call to the peoples of the Book of Mormon. And his sense was, you know, Mexico and South. So he went down along the border where we had missionary families living primarily on the North American side, just across the border, like in Brownsville, or MacAllan, and then they were planning congregations in like Reynosa and Matamoros. And so Ed kind of worked as a volunteer there began to learn Spanish. And as this was no surprise, it started working with youth gangs there. And when I first went to Mexico in 1974, the end of 1974, one of those former gang members, was studying in Saltillo, Mexico where I went to work and study that's another thing, but Guadalupe had been taken out of it. Ed saved him from gang life he joined the church and came to Saltillo to, to university. So, right from the beginning of his work in, in Latin America, or, you know, Mexico and Latin America, that's, that's the kind of thing he was engaged in. So then my aunt and uncle actually had started a medical mission in Honduras back in the late 50s, which is known as La Buena Fe. And that's, that's where the church really got started in Central America. And there were opportunities to go and work there. And so he had went to lLa Buena Fe, and kind of on his own. This wasn't church sponsored in those days, he began to work in in La Buena Fe, and that was primarily work with the poorest of the poor, the poor farmers. And that's when he begin to really do, I think, some groundbreaking work in what does it mean to plant the gospel among the poorest in our world in a way that honors them, that learns from them? A lot of principles that you now find in things like groups like outreach International, and others, were things that Ed was kind of testing out. And so he, he did some writing about that, and some journaling and that kind of thing. And then it's just fascinating to hear, here are some principles that that I think, matter for doing, for honoring Christ in the lives of other people. And it was not the kind that was always well accepted by, frankly, some of our North American missionaries or people who were kind of taking charge of La Buena Fe, and I'm not, I'm not putting blame or saying who was right or who is wrong, but it caused some some conflict and perception, but I think over the years, we would say, hey, Ed, was doing some groundbreaking work that we now just kind of take for granted in the ways that we, we indigenized and in do mission is I, I guess I would say it. So ad spent quite a few years in, in Honduras. And then, as most of you know, late 70s, early 80s. And the civil, there was a lot of civil conflict in Guatemala, and in El Salvador. And so we had an opportunity to plant the church in El Salvador through some Mormons who were inquiring about our church. So it became kind of a primary missionary to go and really help develop leaders and plant the church in El Salvador. And it was, of course, during that time, that the the Civil War was happening, and it was terrible. I don't have to say that to folks, but it so it actually begin to work with folks who were targeted for killing and, and in some ways, kind of did his own little Underground Railroad, you know, to get people to Canada, and that kind of thing.
Karin Peter 13:13
So let's, let's explore that just a little bit, because some of our listener base might be young enough, that they are not aware of what took place in Central America and El Salvador and other places. So when you talk about civil unrest, even just saying it was a terrible Civil War doesn't even begin to cover what took place.
David Brock 13:39
Yeah. Well, yeah. You know, what people may be aware is a person who's, who's now considered a martyr, although Oscar Romero was a priest there, and had had actually began as a fairly conservative, not engaged in society kind of person. But he began to see all the injustices that were happening in El Salvador began to speak out. And because he spoke out, frankly, the government soldiers killed him. And during that same time, six Jesuit priests were were murdered for similar kinds of reasons because they were standing up for the poor in the nation and those who were marginalized. So that kind of things going on even all around Ed. In fact, he could have easily been targeted. So it was a terrible time in and led to some things I'll talk about maybe a little later about him working with families of those who were disappeared in El Salvador and Guatemala. But you're right, Karin, it was, it was a horrendous time, brutal, costly.
Karin Peter 14:56
Well, let's go ahead and move to Ed's experience there because he had gone because of to Central America because of the mission, the medical mission that was there. But his own background with the Civil Rights movement, the injustices that he dealt with at the border when he first move there that led him directly into the middle of this. So let's talk about that help helping get people to safety aspect of let's talk about what that looked like.
David Brock 15:32
Okay well yeah, and I might preface it just a little bit by saying I think, from my understandings of Ed, even as a child, he, you know, that it's justice, you know, people deserve to have justice. And he could get really angry if he didn't get his own justice as a child, but later on, it was like for others. And so and then there was there was a spirit of how do I say I want to say adventure, and he had like it, his years as a smokejumper, are fascinating. And there's actually been, like, a fairly long article written by one of his smoke jumping buddies, about how much he had to enjoy that and work working on a fishing boat up in Alaska and those kind of things. So he was,
Karin Peter 16:20
Those are a high risk behaviors, yeah,
David Brock 16:22
Yeah, high risk kind of stuff. But, but undergirded with that sense of what's right, and what's just for people, and if they don't get their justice, then it It made him angry, and it made him want to fight in the proper sense. And so to get to your, to your point, I'll wander around a little bit, but I just want to tell you an experience I had where some of us went to a village on the edge of San Salvador, and just met some folk who added brought into the church. And as I recall, I'm pretty sure Ed was not with us that day. And so we're sitting around talking, and they're beginning to tell all these stories about what it did for them during the conflict, and how he was just fearless. Because, you know, the war was going on. And so ad would, would either negotiate with the soldiers, or with the rebels, to get past them with food to take it to people in this village. And so they would talk about how he risked his life with this. And then one of the most famous story, I mean, I just sat there with my mouth open that day, just listened to all the stories about things Ed had did during that time, but one of them, and Ed actually told me this one too, but others, others corroborated. So Ed is in one of those situations where he's between the rebels and the, the, the army, and they're fighting it out, they're shooting at each other. And all of a sudden, I think, I think a rebels arms, his rifle jammed in a soldier was going to shoot him. And Ed stepped out into the street and said, something to the effect that, "By the power of God, do not shoot that man!" you know, or something like that. And the guy just turned and ran. And you know, so he had basically saved saved the life of the other man. But in in, we had a little, it wasn't a church building, but a home where our new congregation met near the Mariona prison in San Salvador, or just outside. And that's where the army and I don't want to paint this all as army: bad, rebels: good. I mean, it was just a real mix. But, but if you had to choose, that's the way you choose. And but but they would come and they would take prisoners there and just kill them outside the prison. And so sometimes conflict would start and so it would talk about times when they're all lying on the floor of this house, during worship experience, and Ed had taught them to say, Psalm 91. And so they would, they would repeat Psalm 91 lying on the floor of the house, while bullets came through, or one time a soldier came while they were in worship, and just with this gun, stood at the back of the worship, and, and, you know, they were all scared to death. They said, well, we'll just keep worshiping. We're just keep worshiping. So they prayed for the soldier and they prayed for the war, and they prayed for the rebels and he finally left but it was a very tense moment. So that was the kind of circumstance in which Ed had was working, and our members were living, but to get not to get to your point. And so it is work with like a pharmacist and a doctor and some others. There was recognition that as they helped rebels, then they were targeted. Because they were, they were, you know, giving medical treatment to to these folks and so Ed begin to work with others, and help to get some of those folks out of the country, the US was not very good about receiving folks in those days. So they get them through the US to Canada or around the US to Canada. So there were literally several people, I don't know how many, but Ed was involved in helping save their lives during that time. So by the time I by the time I got there, the war had pretty well finished. But you know, the lack of trust in the the retribution and those kind of things were still going on. And then what what was also happening is, as people who were who were refugees were returning from Chicago, or LA or Miami, or, you know, some of the cities where they had gone during the war came back home. Well, a lot of the youth, the youth were now part of gangs and involved in the drug trade. And so they brought terrible chaos and violence back to the city that this country that doesn't have a good police force, you know, that things systems weren't working. And so those gangs would just cause all kinds of havoc not only in the city, but in the smaller villages where they can go and kind of take over so it was it was a really a tough time. And Ed was just in the midst of all that. So that that's kind of that part but and he also worked with what's what's the Canadian Outreach International? World Accord, you work with World accord primarily in some with outreach International, to start projects with Marina Del Marino, out in the refugee camps, and that kind of thing, so and then, and then begin to get involved with in Guatemala with those whose families had been disappeared during the civil conflict there. So a lot of kind of dangerous things he got involved in. So that was that's one element of his life. But then there's the whole kind of missionary and pastoral role as well.
Karin Peter 22:20
Missionary and pastoral and mystic, so you mentioned that earlier, my, my favorite quote from your lecture referred to his memorial service, I think it was his brother in law was talking about him, and said that Ed was a poster child for the dangers of caffeine. And I, I immediately felt a kindred spirit with Ed's spirit there being a similar person. However, Ed's energy, is what the brother in law was referring to, he just had this constant energy that allowed him to be present with people to be concerned about all people. And this pragmatics/mystical relationship with God that you mentioned earlier with, that this whole lecture came about because you were talking about mystics in the tradition of the church. And Ed was very much a mystic, but not in your classic sense. So let's talk about that.
David Brock 23:21
Well, it does seem appropriate Karin that when you're talking about Ed, and you're, you're also on a podcast called Cuppa Joe that,
Karin Peter 23:31
And I'm drinking my coffee as we speak!
David Brock 23:33
you'd mention that coffee. So I I'll start with a personal story. I was in Honduras for their first youth camp in our church back in 1978. January or I think it was January of 78. And at the end of the youth camp, Ed asked if Thad Wilson and I would like to accompany him up the mountain on a Sunday morning really early to El Carreto for a worship service and of course I've never been to Honduras and this is the place where my aunt and uncle started things and so I'm all excited because sure and let's do it, you know. Thad having lived there and work there as a nurse for a while kind of knew oh my gosh, what are we going to get ourselves into? Well, it was a three hour hike up this mountain in a grain that I before and so it was like two steps forward and slipped back a step and about three quarters of the way up the mountain. I'm just going deep we going to make this and anyway, so we get up to El Carreto where our kind of key family that got the church started there are we planning through them? We gather their house it was cold. And kind of cloudy because it were we were well up into the mountains and they they were coffee razors and so you know they they planted they harvested, they they roasted they dried they all that made their own coffee. And, you know, I grew up as a boy who you don't drink coffee,
Karin Peter 23:47
Back in the day,
David Brock 25:01
and all that. And that was the best cup of coffee I have ever had in my life. And I'm sure part of it was the newness of it and, and how cold I was, but it was freshly brewed coffee right there. But yeah, I mean, you Well, just all across Latin America, you know, you don't live without coffee. You just don't that's that's not an option. And so it could drink a lot of coffee. And it was a way to, particularly as he got older, and begin to have a congestive heart failure is really what the issue primarily was, among others. It would take a little while for him to get rolling in the morning and coffee was the salvation Okay, that's not really part of the questions.
Karin Peter 25:55
No, but no, it's a big part of who he was, though.
David Brock 25:58
Oh, his energy. Yeah his energy and the fact that he doesn't, he doesn't fit into our classical understanding of what a what a Christian mystic is. And yet he he very much was a mystic. Well, I think part of it is, in this was is my, my little speech for why mystics matters so much is that, you know, they're, they're grounded in this, this sense that what matters most and what gives me the energy for the rest of my life, in a sense of where I'm called to visit an intimate relationship with God. And it's not so much about having these miraculous, you know, appearances or those kinds of things. It's just more about the sense of wherever I go, and whoever I am, it's, it's Christ in me, you know, not me, but Christ in me. And I really since that was, that was the basis of what it did and why he did it. And what what empowered him to do it. And because of that, it was because of that, that he liked, and oh, Oscar Romero could stand in the breach and say, this is where I stand. This is what Jesus stands for. And you know, if I have to pay the price, I'll pay the price. So it's so yeah, so you look at Bonhoeffer you look at, I'm studying right now, Howard Thurman, who was a mystic and a prophet, and had huge amounts of influence on Martin Luther King, and brought more that that mystical sense of this is, this is God's work, you know, this is, this is the journey of the Israelites through the desert to the promised land. So he had a lot of impact on King so I, that's that's why Ed is both mystic and prophet and pastor and social justice advocate. And it's, it's, it's not unlike, who was it that started the Catholic Worker movement, you know? What's her name Mary? Anyway, oh Dorothy Day! You know, was also we know her mostly as, as a prophetic voice, a social justice voice. But she would say first and foremost, she's, she's a daughter of God, she's a sister of Jesus, you know, that's, that's what empowered her.
Karin Peter 28:28
So Ed's life, when you kind of track his behaviors, with his background, with his education. He didn't live in the academia, of what it meant to be a disciple, if you put it in a religious context, in Christian context, or in the helping profession, if you will, as a social worker, but he actually, he understood himself, if I follow your descriptions of him as just living in God's presence. We didn't live in academia of it, he considered himself very much present with God, wherever he was.
David Brock 29:06
Yeah, I think that says it well. And it you know, at times, you could you could see the benefit of his, of his master's degree in social work, so like, you know, he'd read the books and that kind of thing, but, but day to day it was, you know, you're following Jesus, and you're trying to represent Jesus in the best way you can. And so just see if I can exemplify that a little bit in his life. It's like, you know, I I've met some pretty amazing people in my life. But I don't know that I've ever met a person who upheld the worth of another human soul to the breadth and depth that Ed did. And it's, it's in the same way that You know, he, he would treat the president of a country or the president of our church the same way as he would treat, literally a person who he took out of the gutter who was sniffing glue, a young woman, and, and dying, and spent years, just nurturing her and going back out to the street to take her out of one more place of death, until she finally could stop the addiction and regain her health. And an Ed would probably give her more time than he would give the president of the church because that's, you know, you, you stand on the side of the poor and suffering. So that but the thing, the thing is that could just drive you nuts was probably because, because he was a whole lot more like Jesus than most of us. You could not plan a day, you know, it's like, the night before, you might say, okay, tomorrow, we're going to go to this government office, and then we're going to visit these people in this village. And then we're going to have this worship service at this time. And, and Ed would agree to all that. And then the next day, one as he got older, it was it took him a lot longer to get get going just because he was ill. But then when you finally got started, you might step outside the door, and somebody would be there with a need or he'd see a conflict. And so your day shot, you know, it's like, okay, so that government meeting, we were going to have, or that taxi ride that we're going to take to the village next over, he might have two people with him, who were just he'd said, we'd say, "Ed, we got one taxi, we can't fit all these people in here, we've got this meeting in 30 minutes, we're already late." And he would say, "Well let them go in my place. And I'll catch a bus and I'll meet you." Of course, two hours later, he'd show up or whatever. But he would say "No, this is a perfect opportunity. They need to see you missionaries, headquarters people, they need to see you and how you work and what you do." And so and, you know, I hate to confess that at times, I'd just go, "Ed, come on!" And yet after the fact, you know, okay, that's what Jesus probably would have done. You know,
Karin Peter 32:18
Well if we're honest, Jesus probably annoyed some people as well. So you talk about Ed with that. He never married,
David Brock 32:27
Karin Peter 32:28
Never married. And I think you said he was never on time. Those were some of the aspects of him. And that could be difficult for if you had administrative responsibilities for an area in which Ed lived, which you did at different times. But he served for decades. Yeah. I mean, he was a renegade disciple for decades.
David Brock 32:53
Yeah. I mean, you I'm not sure how, how to say a better he really was. The interesting thing is that after he left Honduras, where the church, you know, when he went on to El Salvador, and that's where he El Salvador and Guatemala is where he finished his career in his life. But as, as the local ministers in Honduras, looked back over Ed's legacy there, they became much more appreciative to say, you know, it taught us this or Ed would do these kinds of things. He like you back to the energy question or concept. Like Ed, he, he might go, let's just let's make this up. But it's true. He, he would go arrive late on a Saturday night into San Pedro Sula, where we really didn't have many members because we were a rural church, village church, but we've got a plant in the city. And so he might preach there in the morning, have lunch with somebody administer to somebody baptize somebody whatever and then you get back to Lake Yojoa, who knows quite how he might get a bus or he might just hitch a ride or something. In late afternoon, the the water would get really agitated just it seemed to happen every day kind of and he'd roll across the lake and get there in time to do an evening service at Horconcitos or El Mogote or whatever. And, and then sleep on the bench of these narrow benches in the church, just stay there the night and sleep there the night if there were no other place to go and then be back at work in the in helping the farmers or whatever he was doing on Monday morning and he just do that time and time again. And the local people saw how much energy and timing he gave to that and how he introduced the church and planted the church in places and the church in Honduras is grown wel.l You know, I think I think some of us would would say, you know, Ed sometimes was he was he was, he has such a big heart, that at times rather than teach people how to fish, he would feel so bad about him, he'd go fish for them. So, so to speak, you know, and rather than than liberate them, Well, how do I say that? I mean, he was always liberating them in many ways, but sometimes he just wasn't tough enough to, to demand, you can do this. on your own. Now do it, you know, but
Karin Peter 35:38
He just had so much compassion.
David Brock 35:40
Karin Peter 35:41
So I was lucky enough to meet Ed, a couple of times when I was growing up. You mentioned his parents were at Bow Washington, where the church campground is on samish Island, and he would come home to visit. And it didn't matter what was happening at the campground, it could be a youth camp in the middle, in the middle of a worship service, it could be a women's retreat in the middle of whatever, and he would just show up in the dining hall. And everybody would be like, Oh, Ed's here. And he would sit at the fireplace on the hearth, and people would just kind of pull up chairs, and he would just start sharing stories. And he would disappear. And it'd be like, oh, where'd Ed go? Well, he's gone again. That's just how it was.
David Brock 36:22
No that that very well fits the end that I knew. Here's kind of a principle that I think is important for, particularly for those of us in leadership roles. And that is that a person like Ed, who was a maverick, or you know, use a different term, if they don't have an advocate in the system, then everybody loses, you know, Ed would have lost some of his abilities to do what he did. But there are two people who I would say, really stood in that place for Ed within the church, and one was Lloyd Hirshman, who was the apostle to Latin America and, and made some major adjustments to bring in more onto the team. And then Darryl Mayco, who was the Regional Administrator, in those days, was very much a colleague and friend of it, and, and without their support, and wouldn't have been able to do what what they did, but but he took them to places they, they never would have chosen to go. Just because of that deep sense of call, you know, you follow Jesus, and he'll take care of you.
Karin Peter 37:30
You having been a missionary and the 70, you know that we like to do that to administrators now. And then we'd like to take them into places. You might not want to go.
David Brock 37:40
I've heard that about 70.
Karin Peter 37:41
Yes, definitely. So Ed, was one of the first recipients of the church's International Human Rights Award. And you shared that that was in 1994. And that was because he did have this lifelong passion for justice. Anything you want to tell us about that? How do you react to getting that award, you know?
David Brock 38:05
Oh, I think I'll start there. I think it you know, Ed wasn't a one to look for accolades ever. And he would shy away from that. But I think that recognition before this community, that was his life, you know, that the church was, I mean, it, it, it was his village, it was where he was nurtured and grew and had his sense of identity. So when the church acknowledged that, I think it was huge for him. I mean, he, he wouldn't have told anyone else about it, or, you know, lifted that up. But in part because he had been, you know, that scripture about how sometimes we were wounded in the house of our friends. Well, Ed had been wounded because kind of like his dad, you know, it just people didn't get it. And, and when you're when you're doing prophetic things, you know, ahead of your time kind of things. to finally be acknowledged for that, I guess without making a direct tie, it's like, you know, during the the years that Martin Luther King was active, a whole lot of people wanted him out. They wanted him done away with they wanted him out of power, whatever. They wanted him to quit messing things up and disturbing people and riling up people when things were just fine. Well, now, most of us even if we felt that way back then now King's wonderful, you know, well, finally we, we acknowledged that head guy was a unique individual. And so I you know, I, I'm not sure quite what to add from what I said before about that the social justice work, you know, he risked his own life to save people during the time of war. He risked lot to get people to safety in another country. And then that was just the way you live, you step out the door of the house where he lived, he lived with our who became our pastor, our local pastor, and walk across the street to the lady who spent 12-16 hours a day making pupusas and coffee and eggs and you know, feeding people. And he would just across the street, she valued most. And he'd be there to encourage her and stand up for her and speak for her and take care of that lady who I mentioned, he took out of the gutter, and nurtured back to life in a real sense until she finally became a mom of a sweet little girl. And it was, it was just the way he lived. And then and then he began to work with this organization called from Fundegua, which was Familias de Guatemala, which was really, for those who had had disappeared, you know, they'd been murdered, a whole village would be murdered, and they throw everybody down a well and cover the well up in. So he was engaged in that, in fact, that's where he was, at that organization in Guatemala City today that he died, he had just come out of a meeting there, and had a heart attack on the street and, and died.
Karin Peter 41:27
Which he where he would have wanted to be.
David Brock 41:29
Yeah, exactly. And then, you know, it did, I should this, this is like a movie, but it's not a movie, it should be a movie. So Ed dies on the streets of Guatemala. And somehow they got I don't know if he was with somebody from El Salvador at that time. So the word gets back to El Salvador, to our members there. And to some members in, in Guatemala. So they gather in Guatemala City, to, you know, to take the body into to have a service, but they have no money. And so they they kind of behind the scenes with one of the workers at the funeral home, they said, What if we just rented a casket for a few hours, so we can have this service? So they rent a casket at for like two hours to have this service and then, you know, that goes the casket and some, some body is then placed in a casket that they have no idea has been used before. But that's what Ed would have done. Yeah, that's what you should have done, you know, pay, pay However, many shillings or limpias, or whatever it is in pesos, and have your service and then don't waste any more money on me. So yeah,
Karin Peter 42:51
Fitting, a fitting memorial.
David Brock 42:53
A fitting way to honor and his life.
Karin Peter 42:58
So what would you say with the Ed Guy's, from Ed Guy's life? What would you say is most important to remember about him in the life of Community of Christ?
David Brock 43:10
Well, the the obvious first one, which, you know, we've already talked a lot about is but worth of souls is measurable, is great. You know, God is within every human being would be kind of the centerpiece for me. I do think that, Ed in his own way, was one of those pioneers, if you will, who began to shape a truly an International Church, where you recognize that you're not taking the gospel to the world, that you are carrying your your own experience of God into new places, and in a whole lot of your job is to discover God who is already present, and then show the people this is this is what you're giving the world this, this is your value. You know, these are your gifts. And I don't want to put rose colored colored glasses on here. I mean, Ed said, the first time I met him after I had that cup of coffee up in the mountain, we we went back to Lithuania Fe and we stopped at a little village on the way and there had been a knife fight at a wedding the night before. And so Ed just stopped there to to address the violence in this village before it exploded and kept growing, you know, so that wasn't a perfect place either. There were there were a lot of difficulties there that he he would just step into the breach. So you know, you know our calling to peace and reconciliation and healing of the Spirit. Ed was living that out in in the real world there.
Karin Peter 45:06
Very much so. So you have traveled across the globe with your life of ministry and Community of Christ. How has Ed Guy's life have shaped your ministry and your discipleship?
David Brock 45:23
Well, I think why it might be important for me to confess here that I I want to say this carefully, but but I'm a doubter in the sense that I've got a lot of questions about things. You know, I've been reading the book of Job recently. And it's like, you know, the questions the Job has, sometimes they're my questions like, come on God, why, you know, my life. So keep a look at all these poor innocent people who are suffering, or Look who's in power now. Good, Lord. Where are you? But, but somehow it and this was true of my Africa experience as well. But Ed, Ed believed I mean, it was like, it was almost a naive faith. You know, it's like, Jesus heals. Well, I can tell you stories where you'd just go, "Oh, my goodness." And I remember one time, we got a difficult situation, and we were complaining, and I won't say other people's names, I'll just say I was complaining, but others were complaining too. And Ed just stopped us. And he said, you guys, this is the Lord's work. So we just need to stop here and pray because God answers prayer. And so we're on the side of a mountain, pushing a pickup up the up the mountain side. And Ed's telling us to pray and we didn't want to pray. So we said, You pray it, so so and prayed, and before long, we got to the top of the mountain, we got to safety. And he stopped, and we had to pray again, Thanksgiving for God getting us out of that mess. So it's like, you know, God was intimate, God is present. And that's, I think, you know, Ed might have saved my faith at times when I would doubt or struggle, and, you know, I've met a number of other people, particularly in Africa, who I would just think, how could you have hope? How can you believe, and yet their testimony was so strong and so authentic? That I think that that keeps me, keeps me going, keeps urging me, nudging me on turning me towards hope in hopeless situations. So I have, I have a lot to say thanks to him. And it's also without being too negative on ourselves. It's also a reminder that you know, discipleship can be a costly business. And and sometimes that's what you get, you know, there's, there are crosses, there is suffering. It's not an easy ride. And yet it's, it's, it's the adventure of a lifetime. So Ed represents all of that, I hope I never lose it.
Karin Peter 48:27
I think that's a great way to end our conversation about Ed Ellsworth Guy. So I want to thank you they for sharing about him, what you learned about him what you do about him what you experienced with him. And I want to encourage our Project Zion listeners to go to the Historic Sites Foundation website, and watch David's lecture in its whole and its entirety. And also the other lectures from the Summer Series. And you can find all of those at historicsitesfoundation.org. In the meantime, until our next Cuppa Joe episode, I'm Karin Peter, this has been part of the Project Zion Podcast. Thanks again to David Brock for being our guest. And thank you for listening.
Josh Mangelson 49:24
Thanks for listening to Project Zion Podcast, subscribe to our podcast on Apple podcast, Stitcher, or whatever podcast streaming service you use. And while you're there, give us a five star rating. Project Zion Podcast is sponsored by Latter-day Seeker Ministries of Community of Christ. The views and opinions expressed in this episode, are of those speaking and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Latter-day Seeker Ministries, or Community of Christ. The music has been graciously provided by Dave Heinze.