"God, I don’t think you will save me, but I want to serve you."
At the age of 13, I received Jesus Christ as my Savior. That was great, but I had a problem. I swore like a sailor. I hated it. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t. One day I cried out to God, “God I don’t think you will save me, but I want to serve you.” Nothing happened, I continued to swear.
In The Navy
After graduating from high school, I joined the navy. For the next 12 months the LORD protected me, but there was heavy pressure on me to live like the rest of the sailors. I wrote to my mother sharing with her the typical lifestyle of a sailor. She took my letter into her bedroom, laid it on her bed, prayed and wept over my letter. God answered her prayers.
One evening in San Diego, I went to a little church, I acknowledged before God I couldn’t live the Christian life, He would have to live it. He took over. About a week later, a sailor said, “Kramer, you don’t swear any more, what happened? God had taken away my enslavement to swearing. During the same time I met Bill Sawyer, a sailor, who helped me get into the Scriptures, studying, memorizing, witnessing, and praying. We got together every night and asked God to give us men in every area of the ship. First, there were only two, then three and four, eventually there were around ten. God had answered our prayers. He had also answered the first part of my prayer. I knew I belonged to Him. My salvation was secure in Him.
Saved Sailor Turns To Multnomah For Missions
Upon discharge, I wondered if I should go back to the farm in Kansas, or stay in California and become a cabinet maker. God had another plan. He reminded me of the prayer I prayed about seven years before, “I want to serve you.” For the next five years I was with the Navigators. Because I needed more Bible training, they suggested Multnomah Bible College. My four years at Multnomah gave me a rich overview of the Bible. It established a foundation that I am still using to this day.
The burden for missions was growing stronger. I applied to Cadence International Missions, but I was turned down. I applied again, and again I was turned down. During this time I was the manager at Trout Creek Youth Camp. In August 1967, a couple of young men who had been at camp returned from serving in the Air Force in Thailand, they told me there was no place to go for Christian fellowship. As they were pulling away, I said to myself, “Kramer, what are you doing here? You should be in Thailand.” Three months later, I was asked if I would be willing to go to Ubon, Thailand to open a work for military people stationed there. Jeannette and I were in Thailand five years. We also served in Korea, Japan, and Rota, Spain. God has given us fruit that is serving Him all across America and in some foreign countries.
Meet The Author
God is still answering Bill Kramer's prayer. For the last seven years he has been at New Life Church in West Linn, Oregon, developing men to be Godly Servant Leaders. This program is also being used in a prison in California, and in the oil fields of North Dakota. He and Jeannette live in West Linn, Oregon. They have one adult son who lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Irma. Bill is currently serving on staff at New Life Church in West Linn.