from February 2023 ALERT / from ALERT
Most Closed, but “with God…”
— From an itinerant USA recordist
For some unknown reason, the Lord has placed closed countries upon my heart. I’ve thought about those who have never heard the wonderful name of Jesus and those who might gather around secret fires to listen to the word of God. I’ve shivered at the danger they might face as some could be imprisoned or even killed on the spot if discovered. I began to daydream about secretly entering some dark nation, my recording backpack in tow.
My thoughts often settle upon one specific nation from which only tales of imprisonment and torture escape. I think of missionaries who braved starvation and death to take the Gospel to far-off lands. Why not me, Lord? I look down at my wrinkled hands and glance at the cane resting, as always, nearby. Not the best specimen, I fear. But I remember: “With GOD, all things are possible.”
Last year, while visiting a nearby ethnic congregation, I found a pastor who prayed with me about this country, perhaps the most closed on earth, that we would find someone from there willing to record with us. He started contacting other area pastors to help locate this person. Weeks passed, then months, with no word of success.
Then, one Sunday when I returned to visit the congregation, the pastor rose to begin his sermon. Glancing up, he spotted me and waved with a big smile. “I would like to welcome today, a young lady who has just escaped from _____. “ And yes, he named the exact country I’d been praying for! Thrilled, I turned my head and marked where this answer to my prayers was sitting.
After service, the pastor smiled as he shook his head. “We couldn’t find her, so God brought her to you.” The young woman even brought along her own interpreter. After speaking with her, I asked the young lady if she would help record the story of Jesus to be sent back to her country. And she agreed.
In due time, the recordings have been made and are now in the editing and processing phase. It turns out that her language variety had never been recorded before! These precious recordings will be able to introduce Jesus to several million speakers. How humbling that God not only heard our prayers, but performed a wonderful miracle to bring this about.
What a kind Father we have. How generous to allow us to participate in His plans. Plans that He could accomplish without us, yet He allows us the joy of witnessing His faithfulness, power, and love. Praise His Holy name!