Mission Work in the Philippines
Today’s meditation is another story from Standing Strong Through The Storm, a daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks for Open Doors International.
She stood outside the doorway of the church intrigued by the love and joy displayed by those inside. The missionary had asked her to come in, but she had politely declined. This was a hostile area in the Philippines, and her father had strictly forbidden her to have anything to do with “those Christians.”
Unknown to the little Filipino girl, the missionary was praying fervently for her soul. Finally one Sunday morning, the little girl accepted the invitation to attend the Sunday school class. There she also opened her heart to Jesus and became a child of God. The missionary presented her with a beautiful white dress, representing the fact that Jesus had washed all her sins away.
The next Sunday the little girl was nowhere to be found. Concerned for the girl, the missionary travelled to her home village. Arriving at her home, she found the young, new believer lying in the dirt. Her white dress was torn, filthy, and soaked in blood. The girl’s father hadn’t shared the missionary’s joy in his daughter’s new-found faith. In a drunken rage he had beaten her, repeatedly kicked her, and left her to die.
The missionary gently lifted the fragile girl and carried her back to the church where a doctor rushed to help. But there was nothing he could do. He removed the ragged dress and cleaned her up, but her injuries were too severe. The missionary stayed with her, trying to comfort her during her final hour.
Upon regaining consciousness the little girl made an unusual request. She insisted on holding in her hand the white dress the missionary had given her. They explained that it was torn and soaked with blood and dirt. With the simple faith of a child she whispered, “I just want Jesus to know that I was willing to bleed for Him.”
This is how the church of Jesus Christ has grown from age to age.
“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” — Tertullian, early Christian theologian (155-240)
I Peter 5:19-23 — It is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to Him who judges justly.
I Peter 5:8b-11 — Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith,because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong,firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 2:10 — Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
I have suffered much;
preserve my life, Lord, according to your word.