Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:2
In December 1999, a Muslim mob attacked the Doulos Bible School on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia. One of the main aims of this Bible School is to evangelize among the 30-million-strong Sundanese, the largest unreached people group in the world, who live in west Java. One student died and forty-four other students were wounded. About eighty percent of the buildings were destroyed. Domingus is a young student who was injured. He shares his personal story of the events that fatal evening:
That night I was asleep in bed so I didn’t know what was happening. Suddenly a friend woke me up and shouted that we were being attacked. The building was already burning and I did not know where to run to. I knew if I ran to the main gate I would be killed. I ran to the back of the campus where my friend lived. I prayed “Lord, if I die, I know I will go to heaven.”
Suddenly the crowds arrived and they shouted to kill me. They grabbed me and blindfolded me. The Lord spoke to me “Don’t be afraid, I will be with you.” They hit me with a big stick and I lost consciousness. I felt my spirit leave my body. Through a sequence of events I was brought to a place where people were singing and worshipping God. I saw a very bright light and I closed my eyes and bowed down. A voice said “Your time has not come yet; it is time to go back!”
I regained consciousness and realized where I was. I tried to look at my watch but I discovered my neck was very badly cut. I saw all the blood. I prayed that the Lord would send someone to take me to hospital. I thanked the Lord that I could be persecuted for the gospel and that through this I could meet Him.
When the police arrived they asked, “Where did you find this corpse?” They took me to hospital. I tried to open my eyes and I still saw the angels around me. The doctors said I would be paralyzed but as you can see I am not.
Upon the conclusion of his testimony, Domingus was asked the obvious question: “What now? They will come back to finish the job and kill you. What do you want to do with your life Domingus?” He replied with great conviction, “I just want to serve Jesus.”
A Chinese Bible Woman shares the following situation that helped train her and her children in righteousness while her husband was in labor camp: One day I said to my children, “The Lord has told me that today I will go to prison for Him. Father is also in prison so please behave. Love each other and don’t forget to bring food for your mom!”
During that time there were so many prisoners that the government could not provide for all of them so family members provided their food. The children cried when they heard this. Daniel replied, “But mom, we have only five catties of rice left. How can we have rice and also send you some? When it’s all gone, we’ll die!” I told the children, “The Lord can turn nothing into something!” and I reminded them of the story of Elijah and the widow. They had a simple child-like faith and believed that God could provide for their need. So they concluded, “Even though our rice is not enough, we will cook for you too!”
After talking with the children, The Public Security Bureau police came to the door and arrested me. Daniel followed me to the prison to find out which cell I would be in. The younger two children knelt in prayer. As I was taken away, my heart was wrenched as I heard their little voices trailing off.
I was in prison on that occasion for thirty days. All the while Daniel faithfully sent rice for me. When I returned home I asked, “Is there any rice left?” Daniel’s response was, “Mom, our rice container is overflowing!” It really was. Those five catties had inexplicably grown to about forty catties and were literally overflowing the container. I said, “Praise the Lord! Now we can continue to cook for the other inmates and feed them as well.” The Lord’s grace is beyond measure.
“Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come into power. The first night I was there some of the Christians were commanded to come to the police station to register. When they arrived they were arrested and that same night they were executed. The next day the same thing happened with other Christians. The third day it was the same. All the Christians in the district were being systematically murdered.
The fourth day I was to speak in a little church. The people came, but they were filled with fear and tension. All during the service they were looking at each other, their eyes asking, “Will this one I am sitting beside be the next one killed? Will I be the next one?”The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screenless windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches.
I told them a story out of my childhood. “When I was a little girl, ” I said, “I went to my father and said, “Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.” “Tell me,” said Father, “When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?” “No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.” “That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need – just in time…”
My African friends were nodding and smiling. Suddenly a spirit of joy descended upon that church and the people began singing, ” In the sweet, by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.”
Later that week, half the congregation of that church was executed.I heard later that the other half was killed some months ago. But I must tell you something. I was so happy that the Lord used me to encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of God. I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He would give a crown of life.
Just received an email from a good brother in the Lord about what is now happening in Pakistan…
“But in addition, sadly he told me about the situation in Pakistan. The Muslims have taken to kidnapping Christian girls and forcing them with threat of violence to marry Muslim men and of course convert.
I have preached a couple of times in a little village called ______ , and a small Christian church. One of the elders there had 2 of his daughters kidnapped. This is happening from Karachi up to Lahore and beyond. The Christian girls are very afraid.
Please pray for them, and for the Pakistani police that they would not passively allow this stain on their nation.”
“Wuillie Marcelino Ruiz, an attorney and an evangelical Christian, was wrongly accused of and sentenced to twenty years at the maximum-security Castro prison in Lima, Peru for the crime of “terrorist collaboration” by a special faceless court. Growing up in a close-knit family, his mother’s death during the first year of his imprisonment was a cruel blow for him.
During a visit by an Open Doors team, Wuillie said, “Not everything inside the prison is sadness. Many of our fellow inmates are receiving Jesus Christ as the deliverer of their souls… God is touching the hearts of the authorities in Peru; here in the prison we are not treated so harshly anymore. As the scriptures tell us, we are not confined because the truth makes us free.”
Jesus is the Truth. Truth is on your side. Truth will win over the enemy’s lies. Fill your heart with truth and stand by it. Put on the belt of truth!”
“Sister Pasqualita spoke at the “Mexico, I Love You” Congress. She had suffered severe ostracism in her small town in the very southern part of Mexico because she had become an evangelical. Other Christians had already been forcibly driven from the town.
One night a group of her persecutors surrounded her grass-roofed home setting it on fire. As she opened the door, someone fired a gun at her. A co-worker shares her story in his own words:
“When she was sharing her testimony she was crying. She said, ‘I thank the Lord that only twenty-one ammunition bits touched me.’ She had been shot all over her body and even in the neck. She was still able to run and fell into a hole where her persecutors couldn’t see her in the dark. She was losing blood quickly but some other townsfolk who appreciated her testimony somehow took her out through the mob to another nearby town’s clinic. She survived but three other family members in the house were murdered.
“She complained to the Lord saying, ‘Lord, why now that I’ve given you my life and my family am I suffering this way?’ The Lord reminded her of a song that she used to sing very often, ‘I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.’
“She continued, ‘Then I understood that when I decided to follow Jesus, it was in the midst of any situation, any persecution. My life now belonged to Him. I gained strength in that song. I am preaching again and I am encouraging the rest of the believers that when we decide to follow Jesus there is no turning back.’”
Today Pasqualita continues to be a strong Christian leader and teacher in her community and she still loves to sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.”
“I call to remembrance my song in the night”
The real purpose and value of our history in God is to give us hope in our present circumstances. Many times in the Psalms those who knew God would call to remembrance His former graces to lighten their current situation. The God who answered them in the night seasons of life would surely answer again. He who gave songs of hope in the past will surely arise now. The songs of former times are to be unto us present encouragement. How good God is!
“I call to remembrance my song in the night”
Note here it was not just a song that the Lord gave unto David in a specific night season; it was HIS song given to him for future strength and provision. Faith always takes the truths of God and makes them personal truths. The Song of the Lord becomes MY song by the living faith of Christ within.
Whatever our present circumstances are in this day there are resources to call to remembrance whereby we may arise renewed and strengthened in Him.
“Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us”
2 Corinthians 1:10
Delivered – past tense Does deliver – present tense Will yet deliver – future things to come