Sunday, April 26, 2015

Testimony by Army Chaplain Darin Powers about Truman Dillon

I would like to share this touching testimony from a man, Chaplain Darin Powers, that I went to school with in New Lebanon, Ohio. We graduated from the same high school back in the 1980's, and we reconnected via Facebook. 

Darin wrote this tribute to Truman Dillon, who died this past week at the age of 91. He was a greatly loved member of our community. He was one of the kindest, friendliest, sincerest people that I have ever met. He worked as an outdoor maintenance custodian in the school district, and prior to that he was our town's milkman, so he knew everyone in New Lebanon.

Truman leaves behind here on earth a loving wife, Norma--they were married for seventy one years.

He touched so many lives, and here is just one testimony from Darin Powers, who now serves in the military as a Chaplain to our soldiers.

In Darin's Words:

On June 20th 1982 at the Dixie Middle School Parking lot 18 days after my 18th birthday, Truman Dillon was pushing a lawn mower to the football field. I had a summer job working for the school. I was washing school buses with a garden hose and cut off jeans and a tee shirt. I had known Truman since I came to New Lebanon in 4th grade. As he walked by in typical Truman fashion-- walking fast and pushing that mower-- he waved and smiled at me and said,

"Good morning Darin! it's a great day to be alive isn't it?!"

 I had been wanting to ask him this since I was 9 years old so I did with the water pouring onto the pavement....

 "Truman, what makes you so happy?" You see I always thought either something is wrong with this man or he has got something I want. 

He stopped and talked with me that sunny summer day....he said "Darin, it's not's Jesus..he lives in my heart."

I said "I know about Jesus...." 

Truman said "You know about him..but do you KNOW him?" 

I didn't understand.

He said to me "it's not about religion or the sign on the is about a relationship with the Lord."

We continued to talk. I remember his joy, his smile, and the fact I never ever heard him say a bad word about anyone or complain about anything. See, it never was his words though that did it for me, it was his love, and his heart, and all the joy that consistently exuded from him. 

Well we were on "company time" so he said to me, "Before you go home today, meet with me and I want to share something with you that will change your life."

Well, the next thing I call a miracle. I don't use that word often..but it started raining without a cloud in the sky. He couldn't mow grass and I couldn't wash buses. All we had was time. WE sat in his orange Mercury with the rain hitting the roof and he told me in the most gentle Truman kind of way that I was special and Jesus loved me. We looked at the pine trees south of the school and he said 

"isn't that a beautiful thing...See the design? that means there is a designer. Nobody has your finger prints. God made you. He wants to know you."

I wept. With the rain pouring down he held my hand and I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life. It was and still is so real. Not long after, aunts and uncles and my parents and sister and cousins all saw the change and all came to the Lord. I wouldn't have my family, or be a Chaplain, or be where I am today if it wasn't for Truman Dillon.

Now...he would say.."it's not me! Praise God!" but this one man changed the world. Not just me, and not just our town, but he MADE a difference. Now he is with his son (Bruce Dillon) and THE Son. I love you Truman. You and Norma have always shined brightly. I am so thankful for you. 

Darin Powers