Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Good Soil

Frodo was 22 when the civil war tore his country apart.It was a scary time. Since he was originally from Ithilian his people were persecuted here in Gondor and with the civil war in full swing his life was in peril daily. He and his young wife stayed locked up in their apartment in constant fear of discovery by bands of ruthless men with lots of guns and no scruples. One day as he was sitting in his room a voice suddenly said, ‘Come to me all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.’ He was terrified. Who had spoken? What did it mean? He told his wife and she was afraid for him as well. What was going on?

One day Frodo was contacted by an old friend. His friend’s father was missing and feared dead. Frodo went out to see him. They searched but did not find anything (later he would be found murdered in a basement). The friend had a book that he had no need for. He gave it to Frodo. Frodo opened up the book and there near the beginning where the book fell open to was a sentence. ‘Come to me all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).’ The book was a small children’s Bible. Frodo went weak in the knees. He had to sit down. He felt physically sick. What was happening to him? He was terrified. His older brother had moved to Angmar when the civil war started. Far in the north he had become a Christian. Frodo called him and asked him to send him a Bible. It came in the mail a few weeks later. Frodo disliked the look of it from the first. It had a big cross on the front. That represented the religion of the people of Angmar. They were terrible godless people who were not to be trusted. But he opened the book and he read it. He read the gospel of John and from the first verse he said, ‘This is my God!’ It would be a full year later before he could finally cast off the grasp of Islam and be baptized.

The civil war finally came to an end. Frodo and a couple of friends had been in a band before the war. After the war one of his old band members called him. He had become a Christian as well as one other of the old band members. They joined a fourth guy and began a church in Minas Tirith. It grew to more than forty people. It was then that the enemy really attacked. The original group split up. Frodo and one other guy from his church joined my team. After a couple of years of healing from the experience Frodo is leading the team to the unreached villages of Gondor. He lives his life of faith out before others daily. Just this morning he was in my office and we debriefed his trip yesterday. They had gone to a small village and met a believer there. This believer said he had not seen another Christian in more than a year. They met with a neighbor and one man was dying. He had been sick for a long time and the family believed he would not last much longer. Frodo and Sam prayed for him. He was against their teaching about Jesus but this man was completely healed that moment in Jesus’ name. They shared some more truth with the family, prayed for the one believer and promised to return next week. I don’t know what will happen but I know Jesus promise in Mark 4:20, ‘And these are the ones sown on the good soil; they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’

3 comments:

GuyMuse said...

What an incredible testimony! I wish I could meet Frodo, Sam, and some of the others you have shared about over the past months. I love the way God is putting together 'bands' of workers who are highly committed to the 'cause'. LOTR describes so well what God is doing around the world these days.

Tim Patterson said...

Great story! God is amazing!

David Rogers said...

Strider,

I can see in what you write here why you have chosen to call these guys "Frodo" and "Sam". They truly are strategic players in what God is doing there in "Gondor". I am so glad God has given you the opportunity to pour your life into theirs. That's what it's all about.