Saturday, September 08, 2012

Deliver me, Lord! I promise to serve You if You just let me live...

David Tseda joined a militia group as a young adult after 21 of his family members were killed in the Congo war. He proved to be an effective fighter and commander, but one day found himself in a hopeless situation, expecting to be killed. “Deliver me, Lord!” he pleaded. “I promise to serve You if You just let me live.”

And God did deliver him! David escaped from his captors, but ... he continued to live the same violent life.

A few years of fighting and more death all around him went by. One day his group captured a woman, who did not ask them for mercy the way they all do. Instead, she kneeled a few feet away from him, and prayed out loud. “Deliver me, Lord!” she pleaded. “I promise to serve You if You just let me live.”

David stopped dead in his tracks. Though the noise around him only grew louder as his militia group barked orders to the kneeling woman and their other prisoners, David heard nothing — just her words pounding over and over in his head. He, too, had prayed that very same prayer a few years before. He recalled his promise to God. I never kept my end of the bargain, he suddenly realized. It’s time to make it right.

David became the first demobilized fighter in the region in 2004 when he left the militia to study the Bible at Shalom University. Walking onto campus in his fatigues that first day, he had no idea what he would do or how God might use him — all he knew was that he had a promise to keep.

Now, eight years later, David serves as the pastor of a local church and has returned to Shalom to earn a master’s degree in theology. David said, “I want to help demobilized soldiers just like me experience the forgiveness and purpose of life that I have found in Christ.”

(adapted from Surprising Outcome in Congo, Crossworld, August 11, 2012)

From Crossworld: Most Congolese Christians lost their Bibles in the Congo war. They long to purchase new ones, but the current cost for one Bible is equivalent to $1,000 — an impossible price for people who make less than that in a year. Give to the Congo Bible Project #91025 and help offer Bibles at a dramatically reduced cost.

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