What an amazing day!
The last two weeks I have been really struggling in prayer with the Lord. My schedule is like an army medical doctor in the midst of a war zone on the front lines. The mail hardly gets through, days blend into weeks, months into years, and years into decades. And the last 2 weeks I was wondering: “Lord is it all worth it? 20 years plus of praying, and talking, and teaching, and counselling Somalis…wow! And my sick daughter Liz is so weak and thin, and my 18 year old son is showing symptoms of this dreaded whatever curse, test, disease or spiritual oppression or whatever it is.”
I was crying. I was tired. I was discouraged and depressed. I didn’t write and study my Bible as I usually do.
Then yesterday around 1pm I got a phone call from a Somali Christian with whom I have never spoken to before. She called and said she found the website and was very happy to know that she is not alone. She was very encouraged and shared her miraculous story of how she became to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
I shared with her how the last few weeks I was feeling very discouraged. That it was very difficult as many Somali Christians would like to help out but don’t want to be seen or heard to avoid problems with going public with their faith. I shared with her the hard work over 20 years that I’ve been doing and how I was just ready to give it all up …. And then she said:
“Keep carrying the torch! Don’t give up! Many people are encouraged by the materials on the website! Keep reaching out!” Then she said: “It is a miracle how I found the website today and God put in on my heart to contact you and tell you not to give up, not to stop, but to keep carrying the torch!”
I then shared with her about my very ill daughter Liz and somewhat disabled son Marty and how sad and discouraged it makes me feel to see them so disabled…in fact Liz is slowly dying; and there in the grocery store while talking on the phone with this wonderful Somali Christian I started to cry. Tears welling up in my eyes and flowing down my face like oil on a pan.
I was in the flower section of the store. I looked up and saw these little balloons beside the flowers; And on the balloons there were messages that said: “Thank you!” “Happy Anniversary!” “Get well soon!” “Happy Birthday!” And I was so amazed at God’s timing. He took a Somali Christian and put it in her heart to call me during her lunch hour at work to encourage me and to tell me to keep on trusting in the Lord and to keep carrying the torch!
It’s like in Acts 16:9 “That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” Only my prayer was Lord send someone to encourage me and give me a good word – and He did.
The woman also said to tell the Somalis that Jesus said: “But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”
And you know the message that is really burning in my heart is this one. Jesus said:
“If you love me, obey my commandments.” And what are His commandments?
His commandments are:
“preach the Gospel to all people”;
“feed the hungry and clothe the naked”;
“take care of the widows and the orphans”
“don’t deny me”
“love one another”.
And so many, many others.
And sometimes Jesus tells us to do things that are not written in the Bible, like He told our Somali Christian sister “call Andrew and encourage him, he is very discouraged.” And she listened and obeyed.
That may not seem so remarkable but it is. In a world where people say one thing and do another, or where Christians think it is acceptable to say: “Yes I will do that” or “Yes I will be there” and really they have no intention of following up on what they tell you they will do. They think it better to say they will be there, and then make up an excuse why they didn’t come, rather than tell you the truth “I really don’t want to go.”
So when Jesus tells someone “pick up the phone and call so and so” and that person does it – Wow! That’s remarkable. This life if filled with commands that Jesus has spoken that no one has listened to; the world’s garbage dumps are filled with broken promises, and empty tin cans. But this one lady called me yesterday and changed my perspective, changed my life.
I’m back in the saddle again. I’m back to reading my Bible and writing. I’m back to reaching every Somali on the face of the earth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I believe that there will be 1,000,000 Somalis who will accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and maybe more. Our job is to keep carrying the torch with the Light of the Word of God and let our glorious God keep doing His work.
Oh…if I could count all the people who have been against me in this work it would fill a library.
But nothing will stop the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know what He said: “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
And Jesus hung there on the cross with gates of hell pouring out against Him, and He just hung there taking it all and then crying out to His Father: “Father forgive them they do not know what they are doing.”
And then Jesus said: “it is finished” and the gates of Hell could not stop our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ from dying on the cross for our sins. Hallelujah! What a Saviour.
And nothing will stop us His Church from reaching every Somali on earth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.