SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (BP)–It was an unusual sight at the temporary shelter for wildfire evacuees: Robert Webber in his wheelchair, with his Cockatoo, watching hundreds of cars come and go at the San Bernardino Airport.
Webber, 17 years earlier, had gotten a call from an animal shelter informing him that they were planning to put down a 7-year-old Cockatoo with a badly injured foot. Because Webber had developed an affinity for birds after working with them in the 1970s and ’80s in the resort community of Big Bear Lake, Calif., he rushed to the shelter and took the bird home to help it heal.
Webber and the bird lived the next 17 years in Big Bear until fires swept through Southern California in late October, forcing the duo to evacuate.
On Nov. 1, to break the boredom, Webber parked his wheelchair at the front gate of the airport. But amid the traffic, Gary Winters of Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, Calif., walked up. Dressed in a black suit and carrying a Bible, Winters began sharing the Gospel.
After listening to some Scriptures, Webber told Winters he wanted to ask Jesus Christ to be his personal Savior and Lord, turning his life over to the Lord by praying the sinner’s prayer.
Recounting that he had been searching all his life for the answer, Webber voiced gratitude for Winter’s effort to share it with him.
Based on reporting by Morris Abernathy. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: LONG-AWAITED ANSWER.