Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days (Ecclesiastes 11:1). This is a “nourishing” story about bread that, like the waves of the ocean, keeps coming to bless me.
Far away from the population centers of Oregon is the small community of Enterprise. It’s a beautiful setting for the ministry of a special person. His name is Ed, and he's known as the prayer warrior. I’m not sure how he got this name, but it fits. Ed’s war — his fight — is not with people but for people.
Over 65 years ago, Ed Winter was born in Newport, Oregon where he lived most of his life. In fact, that's where our paths crossed 20 years ago.
My wife Alberta and I were holding evangelistic meetings in Waldport and Newport, Oregon when we first met Ed. He had suffered a calamity that brought us to his door. His house had burned down. My friend, Milton Adams and I visited Ed and prayed with him. By my recollection, that was our only contact. He also may have attended our meetings. But at the time, Ed was living far from God.
Miraculously, God later found and claimed Ed! His life was changed. Eight years later, Ed left the coastal area and made his way to Enterprise. He has been there for twelve years.
Ed never forgot our meeting in Newport, so many years ago. When my wife and I moved to New York City in 2019 for "retirement," providentially, Ed made contact with me. He's been a regular texting buddy ever since.
But that's just a piece of Ed’s story.
As I said, Ed is a prayer warrior. Along with his prayer ministry is another remarkable gift. He connects people with Jesus. One of the notable features of Ed’s prayer ministry is the prayer rock. It is a prominent rock high above State Highway 82 which leads North of Enterprise.
When the weather permits (and sometimes even when it doesn’t permit), Ed can be seen riding his bicycle out of town along the highway. He parks his bike at a trailhead and hikes up the hill to the prayer rock. From this scenic location, with a panoramic view of the valley, Ed pours out his heart for the needs of his friends and acquaintances from coast to coast.
The prayer rock is located in the homeland of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Native American tribe. Because of this history, the area is a popular place to hike. Many hikers end up meeting Ed. I can tell you this, Ed has never met a stranger.
Those fortunate enough to encounter Ed never go away without hearing encouraging words. He shares love, hope and the good news of how Jesus changed his life. He has often bowed in prayer with hikers at the prayer rock. They even allow Ed to take their pictures as they kneel together in the Creator's outdoor sanctuary to worship the God of Heaven. It touches my heart even as I write this.
Ed is constantly witnessing for Jesus. He is a remarkable connector with his co-workers and with his community. Ed's prayer ministry has opened doors of influence so he can share God’s love.
One story illustrates Ed’s love for people. Chris, a friend and husband of Ed’s co-worker, suffered a stroke while driving. He lost control of the car and hit two large trees. Remarkably, Chris survived, and during his recovery process, he bonded with Ed through prayer. They became good friends.
Ed befriended another man who invited him to fly over the Wallowa valley in his airplane. On the flight, Ed was able to get a picture of the prayer rock from high in the sky!
At the Wallowa Memorial Hospital, where Ed works, everyone from doctors, resident nurses, visiting nurses and the support staff appreciate this unassuming Christian man. From total strangers to his own children and grandchildren, from fellow Adventist church members to other denominational Christians in the Enterprise community, everyone who has come to know Ed knows him as the Prayer Warrior.
Ed describes each encounter and moment with others as “Divine Appointments” — opportunities to tell others about Jesus, his Savior!