Turn Around

January, 1977
1977 HFP, Volume 9 Number 1

Jimmy Carter was sworn in as 39th president of the United States, and surprised everyone by walking from the Capitol building to the White House instead of riding in the traditional motorcade. He surprised the nation again by granting a pardon to almost all Vietnam-era draft evaders. The landmark TV miniseries "Roots" was broadcast, with LeVar Burton starring as African slave Kunta Kinte. And in California's Silicon Valley, technology pioneers Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple Computer.

We began our ninth year of publication of the HFP with "Turn Around." Duane Pederson described driving home from leading a chapel service at a state prison only to realize he was driving the wrong direction on the freeway. Instantly he realized he needed to turn around and go back the other way, or he and his friends would never get home. He compared this to the need to repent, to turn around and quit doing the things that take us in the wrong direction, or we'll never get home.

Our sister Yvonne wished us a happy new year in Hawaiian ("Hau'oli makahiki hou") and wrote about waking up from her fun, exciting life singing in the top Honolulu hotels and nightclubs only to realize she was still searching for true happiness. Then she noticed that people began giving her Bibles... at the Polynesian Palace, at Waikiki Beach, and at Kapiolani Park. "With all these Bibles," she wrote, "I concluded that someone was trying to tell me something." It wasn't long before Yvonne discovered not only happiness but "radiant joy in my heart" through following Jesus.

A friend named Henry wrote that "Jesus made my dreams come true" after he let Jesus take him away from his life of crime and drugs. Soon he realized his problems were bigger than narcotics. "I was full of hate, bitterness, envy, confusion, mistrust, self-pity." One by one, Jesus lifted those burdens and set Henry free to live the kind of life he had only dreamed of.

Our brother Jackson Wilcox created a full-page comic about the "notorious woman" of Luke 7 who came to Jesus with a beautiful alabaster box filled with expensive perfume, and used it to anoint Jesus' feet not long before He was crucified. "Your sins have been forgiven," Jesus told her. "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."

Vans were as popular in the 1970s as SUVs are now, and the two photos at right show some happy Jesus People hanging out with their van in 1977.

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