Richard Spillman has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and has taught Computer Engineering for over 30 years. He retired two years ago.
Since a university professor has summers off, he used that time for mission work. In 2004 he founded the Kingdom is Near (KIN) Ministries. Through KIN he has supported an orphanage in Uganda as well as a church/school for kids from conflict zones in the Philippines. The primary call of KIN has been to take Christ-saved indivuals who would otherwise not be considered by other ministries due to histories of drugs, prison, or homeless on short term missions overseas. He has also taught in DTS for YWAM in Mali, South Korea, India and the Philippines.
After his retirement, Richard took up his life long dream to write novels. His first novel, The Awakened, was a Genesis Semi-Finalist and a Cascade finalist. That novel was inspired by events during a 2014 Philippine mission when he took a team to work at a school on the island of Mindanao. They were scheduled to teach at a jungle church on the southern tip of the island. Several days before they arrived he received word that the pastor of that church had been kidnapped by a group flying the ISIS flag. If the kidnappers had delayed a week they would have taken his team as well. In an amazing story of God’s intervention and protection the pastor escaped as was picked up by the head of KIN’s school. When Richard arrived, he provided funds to hide the pastor and his family. While in the hands of ISIS, they took the pastor’s cell phone which gave them all of KIN’s phone contacts. ISIS proceeded to send Richard and his team death threats (to behead him in the standard ISIS form) because he was harboring the pastor.
This led him to write about man’s capacity for acts of great evil as well as acts of amazing sacrifice. That became the theme of The Awakened. The characters struggle with this dichotomy throughout the events in the story. He also wanted to write something that made Jesus real – something that clearly points to Jesus as the one who has already provided a way out of conflict.
Richard is active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Wattpad and LinkedIn. On Wattpad he as posted several short stories from the world of The Awakened.