Rooting for the Underdog?
Though it’s taken a new shape for me as a mom, the work of my life as a “professional” Christian is basically to cheer on the Truth. To my daughter who has found it in her heart to test her new teeth on my shoulder. To the college students I will likely encounter this fall on campus. To my neighbor who has disregarded faith in favor of a library of humanist and new-age self-help literature. I admit, sometimes in the realm of uplifting the True, the Honorable, the Just, the Pure, the Lovely, and our Good God of whom they speak, it can feel like we root for the underdog.
Luckily, central Florida has no shortage of reminders. Today I attended a women’s lunch at Wycliffe Bible Translators, one of Cru’s close partners, and literal next-door neighbor. The keynote speaker, Elizabeth Schenkel, has recently returned to the U.S. with her husband, the new director of The JESUS Film Project. (We talked about this briefly last month.) And, like most overseas missionaries, she tells stories that could make even your goosebumps cry.
Today, she spoke of a man from a small village in central Asia. To say “Muslim family” is an understatement – his father had memorized the Quran. After the fall of the Soviet Union, his tribe went to war and the young man was recruited by Al Qaeda.
Meanwhile, his sister headed to the capital city to attend university where she would meet a believer who shared the message of Jesus with her. When she told her brother of her decision to follow this Jesus, he was outraged. His family was shamed! So much so that he decided to go with her to this house church where he would kill her, and everyone there.
But that day, as the preacher shared, God moved something in the young man. He repented of his decision and began to read and meet with the pastor! It would be three more years until he would surrender his life to Christ, but now – what proof of the transforming power of the Truth! Kindness and servanthood practically glow from his face. And though the house is tight with their three kids, he and his wife don’t dream about how to change their situation or acquire more things, but how to share more with widows and orphans, how to extend the good news in more places — schools, hospitals, prisons…
All this to say, the Truth of Jesus Christ is not the underdog in our world! Like Paul reminds the Colossians, “The gospel, which has come to you as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing – as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth…” Thanks for the part you play!
Please Pray For:
- Growth and safety of Muslim women like this sister who are responding to JFP’s resources about Jesus in un-namable places.
- Revival and transformation in our diverse Orlando community. We have already made friends from Australia, Puerto Rico, Palestine, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, and Mexico.
- The JesusFilmMedia.org site that Jayson put together (twice due to technical problems) and launched over the course of the past week. It could be a huge first step for the next season in the JESUS Film Project’s history.
Grace & Peace,