Rick and Mitzi Pudlo
- All the Right Moves -
Rick and Mitzi Pudlo met in the summer of 1975, and were married in the fall of 1976 at a local county courthouse. They remember the judge pointing his finger at them and saying, “If you put Jesus at the center of your marriage, you’ll never have any problems.” At that moment, Rick had a vision of he and Mitzi, merging into one person; the two of them becoming one flesh (Ephesians 5:31). Although Rick was not saved at the time, his experience at the courthouse made a significant impact on him and left him with a decision to make; would he acknowledge God’s presence in his life, or continue on a path of destruction?
Although neither were living God’s plan for their lives when they were married, Mitzi had received Jesus as her Savior when she was eleven, and Rick had been raised in church. Rick had gotten into drugs in his latter teens, and for two years following their marriage, Rick and Mitzi continued to live a life involving drugs, all the while knowing God was trying to reach them. The first Easter the Pudlo’s were married, they attended a small Baptist church in rural Kentucky. When the invitation was given to receive Jesus, Rick audibly heard God speak to him, “Rick, come.” Needless to say, Rick was shocked. “It was like someone had bellowed through a megaphone,” Rick explained. Despite this experience, Rick still resisted.
Although the Pudlo’s continued their rebellious lifestyle, Rick soon came to the realization that he needed to change his course or he was going to end up in jail, or worse—dead. Rick got up one Sunday in July of 1978 and went to a Baptist church thinking that the Baptists never fail to give an altar call. He waited for the invitation, but it never came. Rick figured if they didn’t give an altar call, he couldn’t get saved. Later that same week, Rick went outside into his garden in the early morning hours, fell on his knees and looked toward heaven. “I didn’t say the sinner’s prayer or anything, no words came from my mouth, but the cry from my heart was one of help to the Lord. The moon and the stars are my witnesses that God touched my life and changed me on the spot. I got up out of the dirt a different person,” Rick said.
Mitzi acknowledges that Rick was indeed a “completely changed man” and within two weeks, the couple had sold nearly everything they owned, loaded up their Volkswagen and left town, throwing drugs out the car window as they drove. They had no idea where they were going, but figured God would direct them. Ten thousand miles and six weeks later, the two landed in Boulder, Colorado where Rick ended up getting a very good paying job. Things were looking up for the couple.
One day, while riding in his work truck, Rick heard Andrew on the radio. He liked what he heard and he and Mitzi decided to attend one of Andrew’s meetings in Denver a few days later. It was at that meeting that Rick and Mitzi learned about the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. Rick was baptized at the meeting and Mitzi followed a week later.
For the Pudlos, the Baptism in the Holy Ghost opened up a new level of intimacy with the Lord, and Andrew’s steady teaching continued to minister to the couple.
Over the next several years, Rick and Mitzi committed to do exactly what God led them to do. The couple moved from Boulder to Knoxville, Tennessee and then to Houston, Texas, where Rick landed a job at the Houston airport with a freight forwarding company. “I didn’t even know what a freight forwarder was or that there was such a business,” Rick said. He and Mitzi remember sleeping in their car at a gas station when they first arrived in Houston, trying to save money so they could ent an apartment. Rick’s boss happened to ask him about his living situation during his first day of work. After Rick explained their situation, his boss gave him enough money for first and last month’s rent. For four years Rick stayed with the company, during which time the Pudlos had two children; a daughter, Jordan and a son, Asher.
In January, 1985 Rick left his freight forwarding company at the Houston airport to work for an oil well completion company. Rick’s job was to transport the necessary tools, which included explosives to the company’s job sites. Although he enjoyed his job, Rick could not stop thinking about owning his own freight forwarding company. After much prayer and consideration with Mitzi, Rick decided to take another step of faith. “I told my boss my intentions and he and I drove to headquarters to talk to the president of our division. I told him I liked my job, but if I didn’t do this, I’d grow old wondering if I would have made it,” recalled Rick. To his amazement, the president responded, “I know exactly what you mean.” Not only did the president of the company support Rick’s new business venture, he offered him a safety net. He told Rick that if things didn’t work out, he could have his job back.
In 1988, the Pudlos started Pro Cargo. From humble beginnings, Pro Cargo now has four locations around the world. Today, the Pudlos enjoy sowing seed and giving back to the Kingdom. “One of Andrew’s teachings that ministered to us early in our walk with the Lord was on giving. No matter how lean the times were, we knew that giving was something we were called to do. It’s always been a joy to give, and it’s true—you can’t out-give God!” said Mitzi.