Crossing borders into unfamiliar territory bears risk. As I travel into countries where governing authorities are hostile toward Christians, I am fully aware of the evil spiritual forces working against me.
Our global ministry called the 2013 World Outreach is well underway. I have already logged too many miles to count. And today I am at home in between journeys catching my breath before venturing back into countries in Asia unfriendly toward the Gospel.
Gratefully, the governing authorities in these regions have shown favor toward us. God has opened unprecedented opportunities to speak in places otherwise closed to Christian evangelism. This privilege requires that I demonstrate tremendous sensitivity and wisdom every time I speak.
I will never compromise my Christian convictions, of course, nor cower from my relationship with Jesus, but there are times when I need to let my life and testimony speak louder than any sermon I could give. Radiating the love of Jesus leaves people, even government officials, perplexed! They cannot figure out what brings this man without arms and legs such joy. And when they ask me why, I boldly profess my undying allegiance to the One True God!
One of the compelling reasons I need to be so cautious and diplomatic when I travel into these hostile settings is because I do not want to compromise the safety of my brothers and sisters in Christ who worship God with other believers in secret. After I leave their country and return home to the comfort and freedom afforded Americans, I do not want these dear brothers and sisters to be harassed by the authorities.
Even while you read my words today, these brave Christians meet privately where they find fellowship and read God’s Word together huddled around the flicker of a dimly lit candle. An open display of their love for God would bear dreadful consequences. At times, even their own families betray their trust, disown them, and report them to the authorities.
As I travel into these hostile settings, I cling to the mandate from Paul in Ephesians 6 and “put on the whole armor of God” in order to protect myself “from the schemes of the devil.” Remember his warning? Paul said, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Putting on the whole armor of God, I travel in safety! I wear the breastplate of righteousness, fasten the belt of truth around my waist, put on the helmet of salvation, wield the sword of the Spirit, and the best part … I slip on a pair of shoes (Ephesians 6:15)! This process is not a sentimental option. It’s a spiritual mandate from the Apostle Paul and I take his admonition with all the respect it deserves.
Our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world worship in secret and often times risk their reputation and safety to do so. Can you imagine? My risk in traveling to see them pales in comparison to the ever-present threat upon them.
For this reason, I boldly come to you and ask you for your generous support of the 2013 World Outreach. Don’t they deserve this from us? Will you join me in this effort to encourage the saints and call others to Him?
As an ambassador for Christ, I am willing to leave my wife and son at home for a period of time … knowing that God will use our efforts to advance His Kingdom. Here’s your part. Here is what I’m asking you to do:
• Pray for our repressed brothers and sisters in Christ.
• Pray for the success of 2013 World Outreach for God’s glory.
• Give generously to Life Without Limbs as God stirs in your heart to do so.
Thank you so much for hearing my heart and for joining me in this worthy cause!
In Him, Through Him, For Him,