On the morning of November 14, 1993, exactly one day before starting my new job at Bell-Northern Research Ltd. (later to be amalgamated into Nortel, i.e. Northern Telecom), in Ottawa, Canada, and while still sleeping, I was almost overtaken, as it were, by an extraordinarily vivid dream. In the dream, I observed two men sitting in the front section of a jumbo jet flying in mid-air. It was the cockpit they were sitting in, but no flying instruments could be seen except for the table-top video game at which they were sitting, manning the controls. It was evident that the objective of the game was to get the little man to go wherever these two men wanted him to go, so that they could win the game. It was just like any game in fact. The objective was, to win.
Each of the two men held a joystick in their hands, each of which was connected both to the video game, as well as to the flying instruments of the jet, connected in an electro-mechanical fashion, as it were, so that, at one and the same time, the joy sticks each controlled the video game, as well as the electro-mechanical flying instruments of the jet. The men, however, were only interested in playing the game. They had no interest whatsoever for the people in the jet. Their eyes were glued, in fact, to the little “Mario man” in the game. That is what they were interested in — winning the game.
Jumbo Jet Is Northern Telecom As A Whole
What was this “jumbo jet” that these two men were trying to control? Could it be that it was actually representative of the corporation for which I was about to work (the next day)? It would remain to be seen. In fact, about three years would have to pass before I would realize with utter certainty and conviction that the “jumbo jet” represented the entire corporation of Northern Telecom Ltd., including its research subsidiary at the time, Bell-Northern Research. How did I know for sure? It had to do with the little “Mario” man in the dream. He, it seems, was the key to it all. And when I knew for sure that Northern Telecom was the corporation, then I also knew who those two men were that were sitting there, trying to “man” the controls, as it were. They were none other than Chief Executive Officer Paul Stern, and his right-hand man (Chief Operating Officer) Ed Lucente.
Did it not make sense that they represented the Chief Executive Officer as well as Chief Operating Officer of the corporation at that time? In retrospect (looking back), it is easy to see that this is who they must have been. Because even before I was hired with the company, this is what happened (I found out about this later. At the time, I knew nothing at all concerning this). A man by the name of Ed Lucente, then Chief Operating Officer of Northern Telecom, was let go (fired) by the company for his extremely poor performance having to do, in part, with a major project the company was working on. This major project was known as DMS (Digital Multiplex Switch), which was a software intensive product (later, many hundreds of software experts had to be called in to write software for this product, to solve all of its problems). Now, after I had been at the company for some time (over a year), I got the “inkling” that this little “Mario” man — moving around at such tremendous speeds as he was in the dream and doing all sorts of “interesting things” — was representative of the working of a software program. For this is how he moved:
As I watched these two men trying to control this little “Mario-type” man, it was extremely obvious to me that this little “Mario” man moved too fast to really be able to be controlled by them. In fact, in some sort of amazing way, I was able to clearly keep track of him for about 10 seconds. It seemed like a long time to me, because it was awesome how fast he was moving. He vibrated back and forth, just like a clock signal on a computer — it must have been in the MegaHertz that he was moving. It was very rapid, and it was exactly periodic (sinusoidal), which is the manner in which computer clocks are generated. So I believe it is fair to say that what I was looking at was a computer program. This, even, makes it more sure:
As he vibrated back and forth in this periodic (sinusoidal) manner, he also continued to move forward, along a main type of alley-way. Then, all of a sudden, he would “jump into” a “side alley-way,” as it were, perform a little song and dance routine (i.e. it was a subroutine), and then come back to the main alley-way where he had been before. Then, he would do the same thing again, jumping again quickly into another “side alley-way,” to perform another little “song and dance” routine. It was awesome to watch him do this! The two men (whom I would later learn were Ed Lucente and Paul Stern) were trying to control this “Mario” man, but, really it was a losing battle. How could they (two mere human beings) control such an incredibly fast, and seemingly intelligent little man? The answer was that they could not.
The final indictment was this. Just around the time when I came into the corporation (in fact, just a little before), Ed Lucente’s boss, as it were, Paul Stern, was “let go” for his poor performance, as well. Quoting from the June 1996 issue of Canadian Business, author Daniel Stoffman writes, “Under Stern, Nortel lost its top-tier position in global telecommunications; its morale degenerated and product problems mounted. The extent of its woes became clear in 1993 when Nortel lost a staggering US$1.03 billion in its second quarter and saw almost half its stock market value evaporate in less than three weeks.”1
What a staggering loss! That’s the single greatest loss in the company’s approximately 100 year history! No wonder both Stern and Lucente were let go. One of the key elements as to why they were fired, I feel (from the spiritual perspective) is that, as chief executives, they didn’t have any concern for the people in the jet. As detailed so vividly in the dream, all they were really concerned about was “playing the game” that they were playing. I guess they figured that, as long as they could “play the game,” things would go well. Unfortunately, things got a little out of control for them, and they were both without a job and full of disgrace. What a shame! That year (1993), Northern Telecom reported an overall loss of US$884 million. The major “player” linked with this loss was the inability of the company to control its “big ticket” item: a software intensive product known as the Digital Multiplex Switch (DMS).
In the second scene, in which the jet was still flying normally, I discovered that I was facing a rather tall man whom I could not immediately identify. Nevertheless, he was gentle, compassionate, kind, and, especially, very much in control. He seemed to know all about this jet, as though he really understood it. He was very much an authority. I felt he had very much power over my life. He had that sense of being very much in control, and very much the real “head” of the jet.
I gazed at him, being some 15 feet in front of me. He didn’t say anything to me, but we did make eye contact. Then, he began lifting up the wooden floorboards in the jet. He proceeded to lift up a section of the floorboards, all at once, in order to show me what was hidden underneath. I saw many emotionless people lying down with their faces staring upwards. They were awake, but they didn’t say anything. They were, really, without expression of any kind, except that they looked weathered, and beat upon.
Why were they contained within wooden floorboards? Why had he decided to stow them away there? The floorboards, actually, were like the floorboards you might expect to find on Noah’s ark. That was it! These were saved people who were underneath the floorboards … those contained within the ark! The wooden floorboard was what one could call the “wooden ark” within the larger “metal ark” (the jet). The Lord was showing me the Christians who were within this corporation, Northern Telecom. But why were they underneath the floorboards? Perhaps God was signifying simply that they were not being noticed, and it was time that they should be noticed within the corporation. God was going to begin raising up … the Christians … to a noticeable status.
Part Three: Global Impact
In the next scene, which was really a carryover from the previous scene, the man left me with the stowaways. Evidently, the intention of his being “gone” was that I was supposed to now manage them in some way. (The floorboard scene was not there anymore, I was facing them as they were standing up). Somehow after this dream occurred, I began working on a web site to try and help the Christians. Unbeknownst to me, this was one tool which God would begin to use to “manage” His people within the company.
I distinctly noticed that there were three geographic groupings of people present. They were distinct geographic groupings, yet I did not know exactly which three were represented. Furthermore, I noticed that, for each of these three groupings, there was a (male) representative. I gazed at each of the representatives. They were from regions of the earth such as: (1) Latin America, (2) Asia (including China and India), and (3) Africa. Finally, I approached and embraced each of the three representatives — one at a time — saying to each of them, as I did, “I love you.” As I did this, I felt a great sense of compassion towards them.
There was a little bit of what I believe to have been intentional murkiness as to the exact countries of origin of these three groupings of peoples. The point was that three nations were representative, symbolically, I believe, of all the nations of the earth (perhaps relating to the fact that we all, as a global people, originate from three “nations,” the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth).
What the Lord was showing me, I think, was that He wanted to use me to reach people around the whole world, with His compassion, and His love.
Finally, in the next and final scene, another man (or, it could have been the same man as before, but it was not made evident to me at the time) was with me yet another time, who led me along the outside the jet, along its left wing, just near to where it is attached to the main body of the jet, as it continued to fly speedily along in mid-air. Just then, I noticed that there was a guard rail around me which was designed to protect me in the event that anything should happen while we were flying. (The guard rail came to a “V” a short distance in front of me, much like a person might expect to find at the front of a ship.)
Suddenly, the jet went out of control, and I was thrown into the “V” of the guardrail. The jet began to nose dive and was about to come in for a crash landing. Suddenly, I couldn’t help but notice that there were skyscrapers all around us, and that the speeding, diving jet was desperately close to hitting these buildings. In short, we were in the midst of a modern-day city, and the whole city would have been covered with the debris of the jet, had the jet, in fact, crashed. But, to my astonishment, the jet did not crash or even hit one of the many buildings which surrounded us (by this time, skyscrapers were towering over us!)
I began to pray to God, and I confidently declared that the jet would not crash, based on two passages of Scripture.2 I said something like this, “Lord, I know it’s not Your will that this jet should crash. Also, You said that if we ask anything of the Father in Jesus’s name, then we have the requests which we have asked. Lord, I ask You to take this jet right up to the heights. And I declare that this jet will not even touch one building, but it will go right up!” This was the essence of the prayer which I prayed in my dream. (In fact, very close to the actual prayer.)
Immediately, with the power which only God Almighty could bring about, the jet was completely and powerfully lifted up, supernaturally, into the sky, where it was safe once again. The power which resulted from that prayer was absolutely awesome and fantastic. It felt something like the power which a person experiences when a 747 jetliner takes off into the sky. The entire corporation was now safely in the hands of God.
The Nortel Christian Fellowship Takes Off
On November 15, 1993 — the very next day after having this dream — I began my work with Bell-Northern Research Ltd. Slowly, unbeknownst to me that I was actually fulfilling the dream that I was given, I began to form a World Wide Web site for the Nortel Christian Fellowship, which could be used to help “link up” Christians within Nortel around the world. To date (Sep 25, 1997), two hundred and eighteen people, representing 57 independent sites in 7 countries, have placed their names on the Nortel Christian Fellowship’s “Stand Up Page,” which is designed to help Christians find Christians within the company, and which provides a visible testimony to non-Christians as well. As a result, some chapters, also, have begun to form. For example, Richardson, Texas, has their own chapter officially underway.
To date, one-hundred and sixty full-time employees, one assistant vice-president, three directors, twenty-three high and low level managers, six independent contributors (IC-7s), eight secretaries, five coop students, two intern students, seven contract workers, and one part-time worker have registered their names with the Nortel Christian Fellowship. And the list continues to grow on a regular basis. Glory to God!
(1) Canadian Business, June 1996, p. 59.
(2)These two passages are John 14:14 and 1 John 5:14-15.
(3)The Nortel Christian Fellowship itself, as a local Ottawa chapter, dates back to the 1970s.