Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Father Is Always at Work

A few years ago I got a call about a flash flood. There were several villages affected so we went up to see if they needed any help and do an assessment. We traveled over two high passes through the mountains and then to the major city in the north of Gondor. We spent the night at a friends house there and the next morning we traveled up a valley along the edge of a huge reservoir and then up over another mountain that looked like the landscape of the moon. Then we crested a ridge and there was a beautiful city, all green and surrounded by barren granite mountains. This city is known for Islamic militants and in fact a year after we were there a wonderful local believer was martyred in that city. We drove on. We turned south to a very narrow valley and drove between great cliffs. An old fortress was up on one side of the mountain guarding the pass from ancient times. We traveled on through that valley and drove straight toward the cliff wall. I wondered how we would go on when suddenly we saw a fissure in the wall to one side and we drove through a very small pass. It reminded me some kind of old movie like 'Land of the Lost' or something. Then came the Redhorn pass and we drove through that pass and on to the next valley. There at the end was our destination and to our surprise the reported disaster was no disaster at all. Four houses had experienced some water damage but no serious need was in evidence.

But the trip was not a complete waste of time. First of all, it was a really interesting journey but more important it gave us a chance to try and connect with a group up in Redhorn. Years ago someone had wandered that way and gave out a video cassette of the Jesus Film- which is a Campus Crusade film of the life of Jesus based on the Gospel of Luke. Now, some forty people gather several times a week and watch the film. It is all they know to do as they don't have a Bible. Later a Bible was provided for them and some of them received some discipleship from the guy who was later martyred. The group still continues to meet and that to me is miraculous. How on earth, with so little input and teaching can a group of untrained believers continue in a fundamentalist Muslim area? The Father is always at work. Some time when like Elijah you think you are standing alone and everyone else has lost faith remember this group who truly stand alone, and can continue to stand because the Spirit makes them able to stand.


Alan Knox said...

God has surrounded me with very encouraging brothers and sisters, so I don't feel like I'm "standing alone." But, I still appreciate your story. It sounds just like our Father, doesn't it, who always takes seeming "waste of times" and turns them in to kingdom opportunities.


Strider said...

Thanks for coming by and reading, Alan. Yep, we follow the God who uses every side-track to His own glory, and that is very reassuring!

I'd Rather Rhyme said...

What an awesome story! haha I kind of laughed when I read that these people got together to watch the Jesus film a few times a week. like it was the only movie they had. it reminded my of Tropic Thunder where the only movie those people had seen was Simple Jack :P was that sacriligious to think of Tropic Thunder while reading your blog???? :P

rick said...


I've been very impressed by your latest posts on Impact. I've been teaching through the book of Mark in SS class (college & career age) and have been challenging them to be more missional (although I avoid that particular neologistic titinabulation). Your last two posts have served as both an inspiration and have been incorporated into my lessons. From you post on Church Planting and Humanitarian Aid, I adapted the following (with attribution to the URL, of course)

Being on Our Mission

1. Ask the Holy Spirit what the people need, then begin meeting that need.
2. The Holy Spirit will gift you in what he has called you to do or he will give the authority to act where he is calling you.
3. There are no small visions.
4. Everything you do must be worship to God.
5. Discipleship begins when you meet someone.
6. We share the Good News of his Kingdom and let Christ build His Church as he sees fit.
7. You reap what you sow – Sow to an individual, reap an individual; sow to a community, reap a community.

This Sunday I will be talking about Jesus' use of parables and how we can encapsulate the gospel in the stories that we tell. I will be sharing your thoughts on the Essence of Church and how we apply parabolic musings in a relational way as a means of outreach. Thank you once again for an inspiring post that provides grist for the mill.

Keep up the good work there in Middle Earth and my God richly bless you.


Strider said...

Thanks for the encouraging comment Rick. May the Lord bless you as you promote His Kingdom.

Boom is cool but I would rather be on His mission. I realize that BOHM is not as hip though.

rick said...


I love reading your posts on Impact and here at the blog. I think a lot of your journey and approach would do well in a book. Not sure we can turn it into a trilogy, but I think you have a story worthy of telling. I'd love to help with that, if you are interested. I'm not keen to post my e-mail to a public blog due to spammers, so feel free to contact me through our web site, www.ill-legalism.com or through one of my blogs (which I've not kept up) if the prospect interests you.

If it does, I would be happy to pitch the proposal to some publishers, either Broadman and Holman, or the wider Christian press. Most of my professional writing has been in the business community, but I have enough contacts in the publishing industry that I think I could get your story out.

Strider said...

There are several who would like me to make this a book. I am not sure that I should take them seriously. I appreciate the offer though and may one day take you up on this offer is I feel led to write my memoirs.

I'd Rather Rhyme said...

hey, you need to follow my blog and comment and stuff. cuz I like comments :)

Strider said...

Yes, Rhymer I have been, read, and been very blessed and impressed. I will leave a comment if you wish.

David said...

Dear Strider,

I bring you tidings of good will and cheer from a place far from Middle Earth, near a place of seven hills and seven bridges named for a wood long since gone. Please recall a time before Gondor, a time when you walked among castles, and a fellowship of faith stood between us and the fears of our unnamed children. In my recollection we were Raiders then, not yet molded into the messengers we were ordained to become.

Tonight I pray that you feel the fellowship that is not lost, does not change from one age to the next, that comes from a well of no none depth.

God's grace be with you and your family.

Strider said...

Thanks for coming by David. I remember our Raider days very fondly. The great Mormon debates honed my theology and made me think more than anything else I did in High School. You were a very encouraging part of that. Come back by here anytime.

John Alexander said...

Saw something today that reminded me how dangerous things can get in Middle Earth. Praying for you and others in your area.

Paul Burleson said...


As always, I so appreciate your posts. Your heart is laid open for us to see and share and we are enormously blessed because of that.

I concur with comments made about what you write at other places as well. Blessings on you and your family continually.