Constant Danger. Safe Return Possible.
The following article was written by Austin Gardner, and I wanted to post it on my blog as well.
In Derry, Northern Ireland one of the men read the following at our World Evangelism Conference. I wonder what God is doing in your heart today. As you read this article I want you to prepare to hear about what men and women are doing to get the gospel to the world and it is often unappreciated!
In 1915, twenty-eight men were alone, trapped in the ice-covered waters of Antarctica’s treacherous seas. “Frozen,” as one man put it, “like an almond in the middle of a chocolate bar.” These were the men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in the coldest climate on earth. They suffered frostbite, gangrene, hysteria, starvation, all for the glory of being the first ones to cross the Antarctic continent from sea to sea, the greatest polar journey ever attempted to date. The leader of the expedition, Sir Ernest Shackleton, had put an ad in the newspaper that read:
“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success. Ernest Shackleton.”
And 5000 people applied.
They wanted some great purpose and passion in their lives. Samuel Zwemer, missionary to the Muslims said that “so many young people’s minds and hearts are occupied by weak things, by inconsequential things. Their eyes have never been illumined by a great vision, their mind has never been gripped by unselfish thoughts, their hearts have never been thrilled with the passion for the lost, their hands have never grown weary and strong in the lifting of a great burden.”
If you want to be gripped by a cause greater than yourself…I present you with the cause of the Christless millions and the call to leave houses and lands and family and friends…and find some pocket of people who haven’t heard the Gospel, like gypsie nomads, urban businessmen, or isolated mountaineers.
Would you give up your life? Would you go?
This week three of our men went where few men are willing to go and did what nearly no man is willing to do. They were giving out Bibles in a Muslim country where it was against the law. They go blindly into towns looking for people who have asked for a Bible over the Internet. They always know that they might encounter danger. Someone, a spy, the police, could be watching and arrest them.
Just this week three men were in a remote village in Northern Africa. They were meeting a man that had asked for a copy of the Bible. Two of the men were Americans, one was a northern African believer. The man came to the bus station. He met the North African believer and preacher at the bus. Turns out that he was a policeman.
His son had requested a Bible. One of the Americans and the North African were arrested. The American was held for about 10 hours. We were praying all over the world concerned about what was going to happen. After 10 hours our American friend was freed.
Not only was he freed but all the incriminating evidence was turned over to him. The police didn’t even look at it. They had many Bibles, a computer, a video camera with them. It would have been horrible if the police had looked but God closed their eyes.
Still for over another 12 hours the North African preacher was held in custody. He is an unbelievable man. He is one of my heroes. He didn’t not back down. He didn’t try to deny who he was or what he was doing.
He went through the plan of salvation at least two times starting with Adam. He told them why he loved Jesus.
I just want you to know that God is still at work. Great and wonderful God things are still happening everyday. God is being magnified. He is still protecting His people and answering prayer.
Some of my friends think that you will criticize this effort or maybe it will make you afraid to serve God. My answer to them and you is that you have yet to grasp the importance of what God is doing in the world. You have not yet realized the power of a life totally surrendered to God.
Maybe no one today will recognize what happened. Maybe no one will honor them but our God does.
I am just thankful that I know men of God like these today.
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