Earlier this year, I interviewed Uriah Courtney for an article that appeared in the June 25 issue of Christian Renewal. We communicated via email and that article about Uriah’s wrongful conviction and his extraordinary exoneration is posted here.
Soon after we finished our interview process, I felt burdened by a desire to spread Uriah’s amazing story to a wider reading audience. I offered to help him if he’d ever considered writing a book. He replied that a number of people had mentioned he should do it, but it seemed overwhelming to him. We both prayed about it, and we both became convicted at the same time that we should proceed.
For the next couple of months, Uriah sent me chunks of biographical information, which I reviewed and organized. As I got into the actual writing, I felt compelled to meet Uriah in person so that I could more faithfully portray his unique “voice” in this memoir from his first-person perspective. We began discussing how we might work out a meeting and praying about that possibility.
For two more months, we continued working and praying. At times each of us felt under spiritual attack, and we felt a keen need for prayer. We discussed developing a list of prayer partners to keep updated with the project so they could pray more intelligently for it.
Then Uriah mentioned meeting a couple I know (I had stayed at their home one night more than four years ago). I emailed them, just catching up, and asked if they’d be interested in being our prayer partners. The wife replied with a friendly message, informing me that they were leaving the area in two days, but would be back for only ONE WEEK out of the remainder of this year. She parenthetically suggested that if I wanted to come out to report on their church’s Reformation conference and meet Uriah, I could stay at their place.
My mind and stomach began to churn. I wanted to meet Uriah as soon as possible, but the projected dates were only a month away! Could I fly out to southern California that soon? I looked over my upcoming deadlines and contacted Uriah to see what his schedule was like for that time frame. Except for his work days, he was available. We decided to send a first message to our prayer partners, explaining our project and submitting several prayer requests, including that God would make his will plain regarding a possible meeting.
The next day, I received a reply from one of those prayer partners, expressing his desire to facilitate this meeting with Uriah by providing me with guest airline passes. It was as if God put one hand on my head to bless me, but the other behind my back to gently shove me forward and said, “Go!” I went.
When Uriah and I met, we felt an immediate connection in Christ. This enabled us to move forward with united purpose on the memoir project. Our time together was productive and encouraging. We repeatedly experienced evidences of providential blessing. Never before in my relatively-long life have I seen God’s providence so obviously in action.
We feel filled with awe. Please join us in praising God and giving him all the glory!