Here’s what two of North Pointe’s missionary families know about being fearless.
Brian and Val Rutten have served in Addis Abba, Ethiopia for the past 20 years.
“We support Church planters into a very difficult and dangerous area in North Ethiopia where there is severe persecution from the dominant religion of the area. Many times believers have been severely hurt by those hostile to the gospel.
The believers there wanted to hold special meetings, “even if it brings persecution,” and they invited me to speak. I felt I should honor their wish and stand with them. They set up a small shelter of tarps in the back yard of one believer.
As we entered the town and began the meetings we could feel and hear the opposition begin to mount. Stones began to be thrown at the shelter randomly at first then more steadily. The small group of about thirty very dedicated and serious believers were rejoicing and happy to be able to meet, in spite of the rising danger.
It was a special time but as we left the people on the streets around were getting uglier and bigger rocks were being thrown. Many of the believers were seriously hurt, but they rejoiced at the time spent together.
Their comment the next day was, “we have shed our blood here, we believe God will now do something special.”
As I drove away fear began to nag at my heart, realizing the seriousness of the situation I had been in. During the whole episode there had been no fear.
God’s presence gave us great confidence in the heat of battle. After the fact the weight of it hit home. I have seen this in many situations.
Fearless means to us: “A real, absolute trust in God and confidence of His presence with you.”
Bonnie and Peter Kozak and their daughter Kathe serve in Vicente Guerrero, Mexico with “Foundation For His Ministry.” The Ministry operates an Orphanage, Day Home, Medical Clinic, School, Prison Outreach, support for children with special needs and employment for 80 nationals.
As far as a being fearful or in a situation where we have faced fear…every time we cross the border.
We have chosen to let God handle the situations (ie: bringing things across the border). Sometimes when we travel back and forth from Canada to Mexico we are bringing things that raise questions by the United States border and the Mexican border. We answer every question honestly.
If we have items that they question and we know that God has provided those things for us to bring back to Mexico, He will make sure those things can get across the boarder. God has not asked us to lie for Him. We trust Him to make the customs agent turn a blind eye and ask us the easy questions to answer.
Sometimes these border crossings can be intimidating but usually we just end up wasting an hour or so and we are given the go-ahead.
Another fearful situation we face is just about every time we travel. The roads here in Mexico especially the highway to the border is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. We know that God has us here and He is watching over us when we travel.
Fearless means to us: “Trusting God to provide for all our needs and to watch over us in all our situations.”
Follow the Kozak’s on their Weblog.
APPLICATION: Please leave a comment for the Ruttens and Kozaks below.
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Praise God for the fearless lives you live as Christian Missionaries. You are doing what each one of is called to do; share the gospel, do good deeds, and fearlessly face persecution. The difference between you and the rest of us, though, is you are fulfilling your call in high pressure overseas environments, in extra ordinary ways.
I am grateful for the work you do, because it needs to be done, and the majority of us do not have what it takes to do it. As a child, I was fascinated by the stories Missionaries told us, but I was also frightened, and prayed, ‘God, please do not send me to Africa’. I had a child’s faith, but no sense of adventure. I wanted to stay close to home.
I feel selfish admitting I am glad God called you to do this work, instead of me, but, unfortunately selfish fits. Thank you for making tremendous selfless personal, and family sacrifices to serve as Missionaries. You left the comfort of your home, diet, culture, first language, and familiar climate to live among unreached people, and now you persevere to fulfill the great commission.
I pray that God in His goodness will continue to: give Brian and Val the confidence they need to fearlessly face opposition; accompany Peter, Bonnie and Kathe when they fearlessly face border crossings and travel on dangerous Mexican roads, and; bless all of you abundantly with peace and all good things.
Your observations are very well taken. Thanks Shirley!