February 1st 2013 No comments yet
My wife Valmae and I have travelled together in our 47 years of marriage to over 80 countries during the time we served as missionaries and when I was director of an international missions organization. We served in Indonesia, and our two children were born there.Â We both come from a strong missionary background: my wife came from a missionary family that went to Indonesia in 1949, and I have two siblings who served in Papua New Guinea. Both of our immediate families have known the dangers of missionary life.Â My wife’s father is buried in Indonesia, and my sister is buried in Papua New Guinea. Both died during their pursuit of God’s call on their lives to serve Him in distant lands.
Missionaries face many dangers in unpredictable places. My wife contracted malaria and pleurisy, a blood infection, from giving blood at a clinic in Nepal. My wife had to flee Indonesia with her family several times during periods of political turmoil. Valmae and I served in a dangerous area, but I feel like we were not as aware of the dangers as we should have been. Indonesia, at the time, was an unsafe place. We served in the aftermath of a failed communist coup.Â During the subsequent chaos following the coup, it was estimated that over 300,000 people were killed in retribution. We also spent a year in the southern area of the Philippines, where a MuslimÂ rebellion was beginning. There was always an abundance of guns around, crime was rampant, and things could deteriorate at any time. We wereÂ either naÃ¯ve or full of faith, but danger did not occupy our thoughts often.
At times, we faced outright physical danger. On one occasion, I was preaching to a crowd of about 100 people at a Philippine village church. As I was speaking, I observed a young man leave the church, and I could see through the open window that he was going to the house next door.Â He appeared a short while later walking down the middle aisle welding an axe. Fortunately, the deacons quickly “˜jumped’ him and held him down on the ground. Later we were told that the man was unknown by the locals and had never been to that particular house before. Somehow, (and we know how), he located an axe. The service was obviously interrupted as the believers began praying for the man, who showed signs of demon possession. After fervent prayer, the man was set free. This type of experience was not uncommon.Â As you enter “˜enemy’ controlled territory, you can expect opposition and resistance.
To read more, pick upÂ your copy of the Connection at various locations around our church!
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