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Friday, 25 February 2011

Masai Evangelist


One day Joseph, who was walking along one of these hot, dirty African roads, met someone who shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with him. Then and there he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The power of the Spirit began transforming his life; he was filled with such excitement and joy that the first thing he wanted to do was return to his own village and share that same Good News with the members of his local tribe.

Joseph began going from door-to-door, telling everyone he met about the Cross [suffering!] of Jesus and the salvation it offered, expecting to see their faces light up the way his had. To his amazement the villagers not only didn’t care, they became violent. The men of the village seized him and held him to the ground while the women beat him with strands of barbed wire. He was dragged from the village and left to die alone in the bush.

Joseph somehow managed to crawl to a water hole, and there, after days of passing in and out of consciousness, found the strength to get up. He wondered about the hostile reception he had received from people he had known all his life. He decided he must have left something out or told the story of Jesus incorrectly. After rehearsing the message he had first heard, he decided to go back and share his faith once more.

Joseph limped into the circle of huts and began to proclaim Jesus. “He died for you, so that you might find forgiveness and come to know the living God” he pleaded. Again he was grabbed by the men of the village and held while the women beat him reopening wounds that had just begun to heal. Once more they dragged him unconscious from the village and left him to die.

To have survived the first beating was truly remarkable. To live through the second was a miracle. Again, days later, Joseph awoke in the wilderness, bruised, scarred—and determined to go back.

He returned to the small village and this time, they attacked him before he had a chance to open his mouth. As they flogged him for the third and probably the last time, he again spoke to them of Jesus Christ, the Lord. Before he passed out, the last thing he saw was that the women who were beating him began to weep.

This time he awoke in his own bed. The ones who had so severely beaten him were now trying to save his life and nurse him back to health. The entire village had come to Christ.

This is one vivid example of what Paul meant when he said, “I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body.”

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Warrior's Prayer



Long since, in sore distress, I heard one
pray, “Lord, who prevailest with resistless might,
Ever from war and strife keep me away, My battles fight!”

I know not if I play the Pharisee,
And if my brother after all be right;
But mine shall be the warrior’s plea to thee—Strength for the fight.

I do not ask that thou shalt front the fray, And drive the warring foeman from my sight; I only ask, O Lord, by night, by day, Strength for the fight!

When foes upon me press, let me not quail Nor think to turn me into coward flight. I only ask, to make my arms prevail, Strength for the fight!

Still let mine eyes look ever on the foe,
Still let mine armour case me strong and
bright; And grant me, as I deal each righteous blow, Strength for the fight!

And when, at eventide, the fray is done,
My soul to Death’s bedchamber do thou
light, And give me, be the field lost or won, Rest from the fight!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Time to Listen


One young woman came to us recently after going into hospital 3 times to have her baby aborted. Each time she would spend the day dreading the thought of what was before her. She would deliberately arrive 2 or 3 hours late at the hospital desperately hoping that her appointment would be cancelled. She would be prepared for the operation in a state of total panic. She would even come out in a nervous rash.

Like so many other women she was totally confused and without moral support when she discovered that she was pregnant. All but one of the medical personnel that she spoke to put forward abortion as the only solution. The hospital counsellor seemed to be trying to ‘sell’ the abortion to her, portraying motherhood as a silly romanticised notion.

Somehow, each time this woman found the strength to walk out at the last moment (once, literally seconds before being anaesthetised). Each time, the hospital staff ‘kindly’ booked another date for her abortion to go ahead. Finally, through the efforts of a good Christian soul, Good Counsel was put in touch with her. After having a chat with us (We spoke for 8 hours and she said "Nobody else had the time to listen") she is delighted to be keeping her baby, which is what she was crying out to do all along!