On Sunday morning, during my present visit in northern MN at Susie’s, I had the blessed opportunity to go to a fellowship meeting. About a dozen folks were in the house, mostly 60 to 70-plus years old... and when I walked in I knew I was at “home”... they were joyfully worshiping and praising the Lord.
I attended because a couple I met about a dozen years ago, from another portion of northern MN, was going to be there, the husband speaking. I always LOVE listening to him share.
Voice of the Martyrs is their present ministry. Between their involvement with VOM and other groups, he has been in China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. He has smuggled Bibles, attended underground church meetings, baptized brand-new Christians –- once in mucky water right next to cobra-infested river banks. He's 70 now and still ready and willing to go.
When I left the house and was climbing into my car, something caught my eye. In the midst of a very gray day, bright red berries hanging in a tree.
And that is one of the principles most of us don’t quite understand. Before I was told about this word carnival today, I had already been thinking about the manner in which God drops His bright red color into our lives and the lives of others ... especially the persecuted, imprisoned, martyred in many locations of our world.
When Doug quoted pastors and others in persecution-oriented locations it caught my attention... and my heart. You see, they see persecution and imprisonment –- gray and dark in our perception -- as God’s colorful strategy to bring more and more people to Jesus. They know that at some point, just like us, they will be taken Home –- maybe far earlier than most of us will experience –- but before that occurs, whatever it costs here on earth, their focus is to draw people to Jesus.
The Blood of Jesus sprinkles and sparkles throughout our gray world. HE is the World-Wide Strategist.