Thursday, February 24, 2005

They'll know we are Christians by our love

Today I want to tell you about the greatest testimony I've ever heard. It was given by one of the professors at my school, Alliance Theological Seminary. I remember his story very clearly, unfortunately, it was 15 years ago and I've forgotten some of his personal details.

This professor, I'll call him Abraham, was a young Indonesian (I think), not much older than we seminarians. I didn't have him for any classes, so I never got to know him well. He seemed to be a cheery fellow, but I did notice he always walked using crutches for both legs and his face was disfigured. One day we had an assembly and he told us what happened to himself.

When Abraham lived in Indonesia, he would go to villages and preach the gospel. Often times he was met with hostility and abuse. Sometimes he was dragged into the jungle and beaten, but he never gave up his mission to bring the gospel.

Eventually it happened that some villagers tied Abraham to a tree in the jungle and beat severely. He realized they intended to beat him to death. But rather than fear, his heart was filled with love and mercy for his torturers. He told them, they should wear gloves so the police would not be able to identify the killers by the fist-marks on his body. He didn't want to get them in trouble. God used this message to break their hearts. They untied Abraham and brought him battered, but alive, back to their village.

Of course he needed a great deal of medical attention and could not continue his ministry. Somehow, he ended up with us as a teacher. There may be many men of faith such as Abraham, I am privileged to have met one.