Courage is not the absence of fear; courage is acting in spite of fear. Sometimes I forget that the missionaries we advocate for at Advancing Native Missions are human. I so admire and respect them for what they do and the sacrifices they make that I forget they face the same struggles and fears that we all do.
By Sue Morris
I know that there are times I have felt impressed from the Lord to speak to someone, to give someone some money, or to say an encouraging word to a stranger. Often, I resist or argue with the Lord. I usually do obey, but frequently, it is not instant obedience. So this story was especially touching and poignant to hear.
One staff member was sharing in our Thursday morning Bible Study about being bold for the Lord and told about a certain missionary lady from the Middle East, Esther. She was flying to her home country where Christians are persecuted. She wanted to take Bibles to pass out, so she packed some in her suitcase. After getting on the plane, she began to regret packing the Bibles. She feared that she would be stopped at customs and when the Bibles were discovered she would receive harsh treatment. As she prayed, hers fears subsided. At customs, she was passed through quickly and her luggage was not examined.
Even with that miracle as evidence, she still felt fearful of passing out the Bibles in public. On her last day, she worked up the courage to go to the marketplace and look for a safe candidate to receive a Bible. She noticed an elderly crippled lady in a corner. She decided she would give her a Bible. She thought, “If there is trouble, I can outrun this elderly lady.”
So she approached the lady with the question, “Mother, do you know how to read?”
The lady quickly replied, “Yes, I do. Why?”
“Well, I have a gift for you.”
As she pulled out the small brightly colored New Testament the elderly lady exclaimed with joy. “Oh, I used to have one of those. My son found it and destroyed it. I prayed that God would give me another.”
Overcoming her fear of handing out Bibles blessed this missionary. Her act of obedience was a blessing to an elderly Christian lady who desired to be able to read the Word of God again.
I admire this missionary even more after hearing this story. Not because she is perfect, but because in her weakness of fear, she was still obedient and God used her to bless others. What are you afraid of doing? How can God use you if you will just trust and obey Him?
Elam Ministry in England has now completed translating the Bible into modern day Farsi. For $15.00 for a Bible or $7.00 for a New Testament, you can put a Bible in the hands of a Christian to share the Gospel in Iran. God is using these Bibles and New Testaments (that were published first) to change the lives of Muslims and other people in Iran who don’t know the good news of salvation. It is estimated that each Bible sent is used to lead 15 to 20 people to the Lord. That’s a good investment.