Faith & Courage

middle east

I met a young man last year whose story and mission blew me away. We’ll call him Jorge. Originally from Guatemala, Jorge came to the United States to study English, and to be trained by a mission agency here to serve oversees. In talking to him, I discovered he had trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior as a teenager, and while in a university in his homeland, felt God calling him to a most unique ministry. One night, in his bed, he had a vision of men, women, and children in the faraway lands of the Middle East, each dressed in white robes, addressing him and pleading, “Will you bring the message of Jesus to us?” He pondered the dream for several days, sought the council of trusted older Christians he knew, and concluded God was indeed calling him to leave the quiet comforts of his life at home, and follow Him into the unknown.

A year later, we have heard from him in an email newsletter he sent to my friend Greg. He told of purchasing a small home in a remote village, raising goats, and building relationships with the locals. He attached several photos, including one of him with about 20 or so village men, several of whom had their faces digitally covered. He told us these men with hidden faces were members of the local Islamic radical group, and here he was, teaching all of them English, using Psalms and Proverbs in the Bible as the curriculum! Incredible! He gave praises and prayer requests in the email, one of which was simple yet sobering- “I am thankful to God that I am still alive.”

To add more, Jorge stated he had met a girl there, with another mission/relief organization, who was from Switzerland, and they had begun a courtship. Imagine this- a young South American Christian man, trained in the USA, serving in a closed, hostile Islamic country in the Middle East, and now courting a Swiss girl there. His is a story only God could write.

What story are you and I living right now? One of our own writing, full of safety, tranquility, and security? Or are we living on faith and courage, trusting in and obeying “the author and finisher of our faith” as He leads us to a life of adventure? Sometimes, as I get older, I want to live in the comfort and safety. But I know in my heart, if He calls me to new adventures, I don’t want to say, “No thanks, I’m good here.” I want to always say, “Here am I Lord, send me!”

(names and places have been changed for security reasons)

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