Monday, September 05, 2011

Standing before Murderers for the Truth of the Gospel

A 22-year-old former guerrilla and new Christian named "Fernado" was one of those murdered in Columbia. The main pastor was afraid to preach at Fernado's funeral. So young Lily volunteered. "I was very scared, but I went to do this.' Lily had led Fernado to the Lord, and she and her husband had discipled him. "I did the funeral because ... God called me to do this,' she said.

During Colombia's guerrilla insurgency, which has lasted more than four decades, Christians have hindered the FARC guerrillas' ability to recruit new soldiers. Christian love is ultimately more powerful than Marxist hatred, so the guerrillas frequently murder Christians. Fernado had been shot eight times in front of the village church by guerillas on a Sunday afternoon. Most of the congregation would not attend the funeral, but Lily did.

Lily reopens churches that have been closed by the guerrillas, an act for which other believers have been killed. She has reopened four, by pushing or breaking the door open, cleaning the building and forming small, courageous groups of believers. One congregation has grown to 40 believers and another to 100, half of whom do not have Bibles.

"I am scared and I know I am in danger, but the One who is with me is stronger!" Lily said. "Also, my husband's family hates me. I have been married 15 years. We have three children. One of the things that worry us in our personal life is that we do not have a house that stays dry. When it rains, we all get wet, and we have to move the beds to keep them dry."

By sharing the gospel at great risk, she gives us a gift of equal value - a portrait of the aggressive love that Jesus and his disciples embodied in the face of their enemies.

(from Tom White, Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, September 2011)
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