The Hand Of God

After I met and interviewed Frank Tracy, I was amazed at the life story I was hearing. Then I read two books (What a Coincidence, and They Have Drones Now) about the details of his life journey, and I was intrigued to see the hand of God working throughout the incredible story of his life.

Frank Tracy and his wife, Mary, were married in Hialeah, Florida, shortly before he left the army many years ago. Shortly thereafter they both became very active with Child Evangelism Fellowship. They led groups, helped establish new groups, and led seminars to train others to work in the spreading of this wonderful program. Frank loved to help children learn about the Bible and then watch the hand of God work as their child-like faith reached out to the Savior to invite Him into their hearts.
Together they set up many groups that met in backyards, churches, and even public schools. One of those school clubs is still meeting today, many years later. He would have been happy in that ministry for the rest of his days, but then the phone rang and his life changed dramatically.

Frank had experienced many troubling things in his childhood because his parents couldn’t figure out how to live together in peace. His father had been captured by the Japanese in WWII and horribly treated in their brutal prison camps. When he was finally liberated and returned home, his life was never the same. An ongoing battle with alcohol on the part of both of his parents led to the many difficulties that Frank and his siblings endured.

Frank had a younger sister, an even younger brother, and a brother who was two years older and severely mentally handicapped. They often begged their parents to stop fighting with each other so much. These children were starving for love, care, and attention.  Unfortunately, the only care they received was from each other.  Dad eventually left the home with his girlfriend, and Mom carried on alone.

When Frank was just 8 years old, and his brothers were 10 and 4 and his sister was 6, his mother finally abandoned the home for good. Fortunately, she stocked the pantry fairly well before leaving but the food wouldn’t last long when there were four hungry children.
The four kids knew, from seeing similar situations, that the county Child Welfare agents would soon be coming to split them up and put them in separate housing with unknown families. They committed to working hard to stay together as long as they possibly could.

Deception was the only way their predicament could be kept secret.  The lying began first with the landlord as they were able to stall him with excuses for six months. When they realized eviction was imminent, they located an abandoned fisherman’s shack down by the Mississippi River. They worked together to clean and repair it as much as they could and moved out of their rental house just before the landlord called the authorities.

They managed to live for a short time by finding and selling copper, glass bottles, and other discarded things of value they could scrounge up. Once they found an old crank style washing machine in a dump. It still worked, so they could have clean clothes. All this was not sufficient for their needs, so Frank started selling newspapers, one at a time. He bravely ventured into some of the old dive bars around Peoria. The drunks sometimes felt sorry for him and not only bought his papers, but would give him large tips that allowed the kids to have enough money to live on.

One cold night, as Frank was walking home after selling his newspapers, he heard some singing. Following the voices, he wandered into a Salvation Army church meeting. He had never heard a message such as the one that was given at that meeting! What he heard caused him to think deeply about his life as the Spirit of God began working in his heart. The gospel of John in chapter one and verse twelve the Bible said “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on his name:” The next night, after selling his papers, he hurried back into that same place, entered the service, and gave his heart and life to Jesus. He didn’t have an earthly dad or mom, but now he had a Heavenly Father.

What a drastic change in his life followed that amazing night! He started reading the Bible given to him by the Salvation Army. He even read to his siblings and his sister and younger brother would later tell him that they, too, had called on Jesus during these Bible readings. Two of them lead very successful lives. His sister is a Christian wife and mother and his younger brother is a college professor with a PHD. Sadly, his older, mentally challenged brother experienced abuse and led a very difficult life.

The kids next big scam was getting themselves enrolled in a nearby Catholic school without a parent ever making an appearance. That lasted for a couple of years until their situation was finally brought to the attention of the child welfare people. As they had feared, they were finally split up and sent to different places when Frank was 11 years old
He was placed with a good family, and when Frank was 18 years of age, he joined the army and accomplished the difficult feat of becoming an Airborne Ranger. He was always striving to prove that he was worth something, and he ended up in Advanced Sniper Training where he excelled. Even to this day, Frank does not share many details of his life in the army. He later exited military service and asked Mary Morgan, his childhood sweetheart, to marry him. She agreed, and they partnered together until her death many years later.  Subsequently, the Lord blessed him with a second wife, Margaret Murr, who was also his partner in ministry with Child Evangelism. Margaret was his faithful wife until just recently when she went home to be with her Savior.

You are probably still wondering about that phone call that changed Frank’s life. The call came from a man he met while employed by a major international airline. It was his responsibility to set up VIP flying arrangements at all the airports where the airlines had offices. It was during one of these situations that he met and assisted a presidential candidate’s special advisor. That meeting gave him an opportunity to attend the political party convention with the advisory team of the man who would become the next President of the United States of America. This later led to a special meeting in Washington D.C. where he was asked to serve his country again as the lead sniper in a Special Ops Team that would act at the Presidents direction. Evidently Frank’s Airborne Ranger reputation had preceded him.

The team showed him an 8mm film clip that a self-appointed dictator in central Africa had filmed of himself. The film documented this evil man lining up old men, women, and children in front of ditches they were forced to dig.  After the ditch was dug, he then had them shot down like animals so they would fall into the ditch. Of course, the young boys escaped this awful fate if they agreed to enlist in his army.

He was told that the government of that nation had requested that this beast of a man be eliminated before he could kill hundreds or even thousands more civilians. Frank had expected that this type of situation was going to be presented to him and had been in prayer about his involvement. The answer God gave his heart was the fact that he would be taking a life in order to save many others. As he had seen before, it seemed that the hand of God was working in this difficult situation.

There was one important caveat to this dangerous mission. He could tell no one what he was doing, including his wife. That was a tough one, but God gave him grace and peace that this falsehood was for her safety and the safety of others. In his regular work schedule, he was flying all over the world so his normal work life was not interrupted. When he took these “special” trips, Mary never knew about the dangerous service he was doing for his country.
In his spirit, Frank received freedom to depart with his team and fly to Johannesburg, South Africa, and then flew by helicopter to within 10 miles of that evil man’s camp and worked his way through terrible terrain to set up the shot. He placed the wicked, self-appointed dictator in the crosshairs of his scope and made sure that he would never again abuse the people around him.
Frank would serve three Presidents over the next 20 years, on numerous missions in places like Mexico, South America, Africa, Central Europe, and Russia. Sometimes things went according to plans and other times they had to fight their way out, while sadly losing some of their team members. He would never be publicly praised or receive any medals, even though his targets were ethnic cleansers, drug lords, human traffickers, and terrorists. Of course in this day and age, they have other options for taking care of these types of things.
What we see here is the hand of God working in the life of a man who grew up an impoverished orphan, met the Lord Jesus Christ along the way, and ended up as a deadly sniper who also loved to win children to the Lord. He has spent his life providing temporary freedom, from evil men, to people around the world and eternal freedom to children by helping them come to know the Savior.
Isn’t God’s grace a wonderful thing?

Roger Allen Cook

I love to write stories about God’s grace.  If you have a story I should consider, please contact me at:  
Sources: “What a Coincidence?” by Frank Tracy and “Now They Have Drones” by Frank Tracy