Tuesday, September 28

Thesis Paper Update...two interviews

As part of my research, I am interviewing certain missionaries and (international) national Christians about their experience with suffering.

On Sept 18th, I interview an Ethiopian Christian who is now living in West Virginia. Ethiopia is considered a hostile nation and Christians are severely persecuted there. This man's story was heartbreaking and shocking but all along he gave glory to God. Would you like to hear a snippet of his story?
  • During one time of not being in jail, this brother was baptizing some new believers that he had just led to the Lord when some Muslim rebels surrounded them having been led there by a deacon in this brother's church. When refusing to denounce Christ, some of the new believers were gunned down immediately. However the Muslims took this brother to a jail and proceeded to torture them. They tied him upside down and began to pour hot oil over him and slash him, all the while demanding that he too denounce Christ as Lord and Savior. At one point, this brother cried out to God asking for death but God assured him that He has a plan for him. So he then asked for God to fill him with love for his captors. The love that immediately entered him so filled him with joy that he started laughing. At this point, his captors thought he was crazy...that he had lost it. So they let him down and asked him why he won't deny Christ. So this brother told them the Gospel and in the process, saw them come to know and believe in the Lord. Isn't that amazing???
Yesterday, I interviewed a friend who was in my youth group. She and her family are missionaries with Wycliffe in Tanzania although they are presently in Colorado. They spent their last term, 3 years, in language study and in seminary in Kenya. Every time I hear her story, it takes my breath away...but they too give constant glory to God, even in spite of what they experienced. Would you like to hear a snippet of their story?
  • Jamie and Jeremy moved to Kenya in 2006, when their then youngest, Annabelle was only 15 months old.  Shortly after arriving, Annabelle starting having allergic reactions to everything. There were sores all over her body, raging fevers, constant crying and pain. For several months, they visited numerous doctors, trying antibiotics, medicines, diets, etc only to find that she is severely allergic to chemicals. This enabled them to help Annabelle, who is now doing just fine! From there, Jeremy started seminary and other experiences followed. In 2007, the Kenyan elections happened which provoked mobs and killings between two tribes. The seminary went into lock down but all around the school lives were being taken, affecting their friends. During this time, Jamie became pregnant. She's one of those ladies whose body struggles with pregnancies. This pregnancy was filled with gestational diabetes, low blood pressure, an intestinal parasite, a broken foot, severe weight loss, and hemorrhagic shock upon delivering...one thing after another. Needless to say, this was not what Jamie's picture of what it means to serve the Lord. But through this, she learned of God's presence and love. Jeremy, who kept up his studies in the midst of taking care of his wife and kiddos, spoke to me of God's faithfulness and how real that became to him, during this time. Despite this and more, they are anxious to go back and continue to serve God. They know that suffering will continue to accompany them but they also know God is in control of it all.
These interviews, along with the other research, are convicting me, challenging me, encouraging me, enriching me, and changing me. To God be the glory!

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