Hello All, Grace and Peace be to you from our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST,
I am posting this article from "The Voice of the Martyrs" in honor of a VOM worker known as "Alexander" and for others who willingly give of themselves to the point of death. GOD Bless you all as you walk in the midst of your mission field.
This article really touched my heart! I know it is lengthy, but worth the read! May it bless you as it has blessed me.
We hear the stories of those who have been killed for their faith and we can become angry. We want those responsible brought to justice, however, Matthew 5:44 says, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." What is the role of the church in winning our enemies to CHRIST? How do we practice this "LOVE"?
Our founder, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, always spoke of the need to love one's enemies. While speaking at a pro-life rally, Rev. Wurmbrand applauded those willing to stand up for the life of the unborn. He also asked if the protesters had invited the abortion doctors into their homes and cooked them a nice meal.
In Columbia, a VOM co-worker recently reached out a to a guerrilla commander with extreme kindness. His story may be controversial. Some may feel the mission worker is guilty of aiding and abetting a terrorist. His response would be that the BIBLE teaches us to "overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)
"Alexander" has been called to reach out to the FARC guerrillas in Columbia. Along with his co-workers, he frequently travels to very dangerous areas to distribute Bibles and Christian books, including those by Rev. Wurmbrand. Alexander has been shot at, threatened with execution, and has had his workers kidnapped.
On a recent trip through a guerrilla camp, guerrillas told him, "Our commander can no longer walk and lives with unbearable pain. We have been carrying him on a stretcher for days. We would like for you to help him and return him to us."
It would have been easy for Alexander, who had been intimidated, harassed and threatened by guerrillas, to say, "Good, a commander cannot walk, that's great for me." But Alexander saw it another way. He agreed to take the commander , Leonardo, home with him. He took home a man who presided over dozens of guerrillas, who landed his top position by killing, kidnapping and causing general havoc. Alexander put this injured man in his son's room. He gave the commander food and clothes, and took him to Christian doctors.
Doctors discovered Leonardo had multiple hernias in his back that were cutting into his nervous system. A specialized surgery was required to relieve his pain. Alexander was determined to help Leonardo get well. Most people would struggle to help their friendly neighbor in such a way, yet Alexander was willing to help Leonardo. It was more than the guerrillas could ever do for him.
Abandoned by his single mom and forced to live with an uncle, Leonardo was known as a "troubled kid". At age 12, Leonardo burned down a neighbor's house with a young girl still inside. His uncle, also a guerrilla, thought giving Leonardo to the guerrillas was a good thing. The youngster seemed to have the aptitude for aggression required for a new recruit and the training might give him some discipline.
Leonardo proved to be ruthless. He had no issues with assassinations and kidnappings. And he knew how to obey orders no matter how violent or dangerous. At age 20, Leonardo became a guerrilla commander. A few years later, he was appointed to oversee an exclusive unit assigned to protect the top guerrilla leaders.
It took over a month for Alexander to get Leonardo the surgery, followed by five months of recovery. During that time Alexander's family took care of the ailing guerrilla commander. His wife cooked his meals, and his son showed him how to play video games. They all shared Christmas and their faith in Christ with him.
When Alexander gave him a present at their family Christmas gathering, Leonardo began to cry. "I have never been to a Christmas gathering, and no one has ever given me a present. And I have nothing to give you." Alexander told him, "Having you here as a part of our family is your gift to us."
Shortly after Christmas, it was time for Leonardo to go back to the guerrilla camp, but before going back, he set a three-day speaking tour for Alexander through a number of different guerrilla camps. These were camps Alexander would have never had access to without someone like Leonardo. With Leonardo now serving as his personal bodyguard, Alexander was free to enter these camps and preach as much as he wanted. Even if the other guerrillas were upset, they did not protest because of Leonardo.
Alexander was also able to pray with many of the guerrillas and distribute Bibles and VOM literature. Leonardo has not accepted CHRIST as of this writing, but has certainly been moved by the love of those often considered to be his enemy. Leonardo considered not returning to the guerrilla camps, but not returning risked Alexander's life and that of his family's.
Christians working in hostile and restricted nations face unique challenges, and it takes boldness and tenacity...an extreme devotion to build GOD'S KINGDOM among the persecutors. Some workers have been spared, while others have paid with the ultimate price. May we take courage in their boldness and share in their love of CHRIST.