martes, 21 de agosto de 2007

Korean Missionaries Abducted in Afghanistan

The News:
One of the 23 South Koreans in the hands of the Taliban was murdered in the east of Afghanistan… "He was sick, he couldn’t walk and the Taliban members just shot him", related to the press Khowaja Sedeqi, one of the members of the delegation that carries out the negotiations with the insurgent Afghans that maintains abducted the Korean missionaries… (

Two missionaries have been executed, among them the shepherd and leader. Although two women have been freed, nineteen remain in captivity, among them 16 women. Several of them sick.

It seems that to carry the Word of God has its price. Since the death of Jesus, many missionaries along the history have died, some in deplorable conditions, but they have accepted martyrdom with a sense of pride, the pride that comes by obeying the call to spread the Gospel.

The first thing that is important to emphasize is that these missionaries were there, willing to follow the call of God. We read in Isaiah 6:8:

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Not less important is the courage they had in assuming a mission in a country so full of conflicts and as dangerous as Afghanistan. When they found the second Korean missionary body in that country, signs were found of physical torture. A thing that is outrageous, but certainly, God didn’t promise tourist destinations or leisure trips.

Even Paul suffered a great deal because of the Gospel and more than once he was close to die. He offers testimony of this in 2 Corinthians 11:25-27:

Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness.

Matthew 10:16-18 says: Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

Even though we can think that these words are dedicated to "the missionaries", peculiar persons that have the ability to sleep on the ground, to eat raw cereals with water only once a day, that do not shave (they have always long beards), that are capable to live with the same clothes during a month and that have an enormous facility to learn "tongue-twister" dialects, we better think twice. Maybe God is speaking to us all, not just to them.

Perhaps we should at least be so brave as to invite our neighbors to the Sunday service. Considering that the worst we will receive, if they don’t accept, is an ugly look or a shut door, how much courage is required? In America we have the freedom to preach Jesus and, to be sincere, little advantage we take from it.

For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:13-15)

These missionaries were brave and we firmly believe that this will carry a result, if not in the short term, in the long-term regarding the spiritual fight that is developing in those countries. We should maintain unanimously in prayer for these missionaries.

What the Bible says:
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)

The reward that they will receive should motivate us to place a little more effort in spreading the Gospel. Shouldn’t it?

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