Billy Worsham
I have trekked over high mountains,
I have walked by the shores of the seas,
I have floated down swollen rivers,
But, not any caused any fear to me.
I have pushed through crowds in the city,
Breathed deeply of the barren desert air,
Felt the pull of gravity in the canyon,
But never did I feel any fear.
I have piloted silver wings in the sky,
Rode the basket to the deepest mine,
Slept in the wilds of the forest,
Yet no fear came to my mind.
I have cried with the broken hearted,
And prayed with the ones who weep,
Yet at night as I lay on my pillow,
There is no fear to disturb my sleep.
I have lived through the pangs of death,
I have lost some of the ones I held most dear,
But my faith in God sustained me,
I have sorrowed but never did I fear.
My bones were broken, beaten and bruised in a foreign country,
I was in pain but shed not a tear,
Instead I told him of a loving God,
I suffered but had no fear.


Few, if any of us, have had the kind of experience that fellow-alum, Billy Worsham, endured early in his working career.   Told in his own words in the March-April, 2010 edition of the HLEN, this event and the accompanying piece is a strong witness to the grace of God.

In January of 1958 Gulf Oil hired me to go to work in Venezuela, and I would also receive credits from Texas Tech U. by correspondence course. I was really enjoying the work, as well as, helping the children in the small village where we were working. We received all kinds of food in our camp, so we had plenty to give to the kids. We also gave them baseballs, footballs, baseball gloves, and New Testament Bibles. I also got the oil company to let me borrow the testing rig so that I could drill a water well for the school and church. (They had no running water.) All of the oil companies in the area donated the parts needed for the well.

My good times came to an end one morning when I was going to work at the rig. Several men with machine guns stopped our bus and took Bob Barefoot and me. They blindfolded us and tied us up, and put us in some kind of vehicle. (Bob was an Indian from Oklahoma, and had been a football star at the U. of Oklahoma. He was ten years older than me and always called me "The Kid". He was always looking out for me.)

When we got to their destination, they took off the blindfolds, and we were introduced to Fidel Castro, Ernesto 'CHE' Guevara, and Emil Chaves.We were then put into a wire compound, beaten, hit with hammers on our hands, and had nails driven into our hands. They were trying to make us tell lies on the United States. They accused us of trying to overthrow their government. We were made to walk until we collapsed, and then they would kick us in our faces.   My body is covered with scars from being beaten with barbed wire and from insect bites. Castro and Guevara were two of the meanest people I have ever met. We got interrogated every day, and if they did not like our answers, they would bust our fingers with hammers, or drive a nail through our hands. They would also hit us in our ribs with rifle butts, or take a pistol and hit us in our faces.

We had to lie on the bare ground without any cover, and it got very cold at night. Insect bites were very painful. When we got a bath, our captors would tie a rope to one of our hands and let us take it in the river about once a week. Often, at night, one of the rebel guards would just walk by and give us a kick in the head or face.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: As I read the next section I was reminded of the stories of survival by POWs in the Viet Nam era.....they told of moments when little scraps of Bible verses and words of old familiar hymns they had heard as a youngster would come through the hallways of their memories, bringing them comfort and strength and enabling them to hold on a little longer.)

I thought I was in the valley of death. I give no credit except to God for surviving. Every Bible verse I had ever memorized came to me, and that was what sustained me. I know God just meant for us to survive.

One day, the interpreter for Guevara and Castro told us they were going to kill us the next day. The interpreter and I had become good friends. He helped us get some ammunition and helped us hide it by the guerilla's boat. We also got some shoulder-fired missles, and old bazooka, two M-1 rifles, and grenades. He left the boat unlocked for us.    The next morning Castro came down with his rough treatment of us.   He was always on me because I would tell him that Christ was my savior.   The Lord gave me such power that when I hit him hard in the throat it knocked him out.   Bob and I tied him to a tree and wired his hands with a grenade in each hand.   We told the others that if they came after us, he would be blown to pieces.   He kept telling them to let us go.   I fired a rocket into the tent where all the maps and records were kept.   Bob fired a rocket into the ammunition dump. All the rebels started running in another direction. Bob fired the bazooka at the tent and ammo dump and everything was burning.    The last thing I told Castro was that I had a loving God and that I hoped he found Him.

We loaded our ammunition in the boat and headed down the river to anywhere we could get to a town. We were strictly led by Christ, because we crossed rivers and streams which finally brought us to a bridge. We tied our boat in case we needed it again and made our way up to the street level.   We were one-half a block from the American Embassy in Caracas.   The Embassy staff knew we were missing. They took us in; cleaned us up; cut our hair; shaved us; and treated our bodies for the cuts and bites we had endured.   We had on the clothes that we had on our backs when we were first captured months before.    I was put on a plane that night and flown to Houston where I was taken to a hospital. Bob was flown back several days later. (He died in 1983 of a massive heart attack in Mexico where he made his home.)

I never did really know why they took us two. They accused us of being in the CIA. We kept telling them we did not know anything about the CIA. Some people said they were holding us for ransom.

I do know that God blessed me! God bless the United States of America!