So I just got back from a bonfire a group of us had down by Reflection Lake here at Northland. It was actually for society rush...great fun =) Anyways, the Mary Slessor society, & their brother society, the Brainerds, got together & had s'mores around a campfire down by the lake. We also sang some songs, & gave testimonies. Two of the testimonies really stuck out to me. There was a guy here from the island of Guam, & his story told about how he had really not been walking with the Lord up until this year. But God was working in his life, & He was leading him to Northland. He provided a significant amount of money for his college tuition, a laptop, & winter wear (he's coming from a tropical island, so he wasn't exactly prepared for winter here in Wisconsin. Lol!) I'm doing NO justice to this story, but believe me, God is doing some awesome stuff!! =)
The other guy was from Zambia. Well, technically he's from Zambia & Minnesota. Figure that one out, haha! But anyways, his dad was in politics of some sort, so they would move around to the different countries whenever there was like an uprising or anything like that.
He obviously grew up in a Muslim society, & he went to a Muslim school. He speaks Arabic & English, but the other boys at his school didn't know that he spoke Arabic. So there were talking about how Christianity was 'foolish' & Jesus was an impostor. So Mana (the guy whose testimony I'm trying to retell, & not doing very well. Lol) Mana told them in Arabic that Jesus was the only way to get to heaven. So the other guys told the teacher, & the headmaster of the school came in & told him that he needed to put on the 'holy dress' & read the qu'ran. He refused repeatedly, so they called the police. The police came to his home (they were in Pakistan at the time) & they began to beat his mother. This was when he told us that when all of this took place, he was only 9 years old. They beat his mother, & threatened the rest of his family. Then his father came home & asked what was going on. They shot & killed his father that day, & for the next two years they could not go to church. They would hold prayer meetings in their home. Through all of this, Mana was just praising God for how good He is. His faithfulness, His grace, & mercy! What a challenge, huh?
We as Americans take our religious freedom for granted so much! It's so amazing to see Christ shining through guys like Mana, & challenging us all to be bold in our faith. On Sunday, the Pastor was talking about how when the church in Acts was persecuted, they never prayed for the hardship to cease. Instead, they prayed for boldness to share their faith, no matter what! I know this is really convicting to me.
I wish you all could have heard him tell his testimony, I know I really can't convey the story nearly as well as he did, but I hope that if nothing else, if makes us all think about the things we take for granted, & that we remember the faithful & steadfast love of God, not matter what our situation.