For 10 years, my wife, Carlene, and I traveled all over Latin America as Foursquare missionaries-at-large. On one of our trips to a large coastal city in Colombia, a man asked to speak with me. “My pastor says that I should not do what I am doing,” he began. “I want to know what you think.”
The man described how he left the city every other weekend to minister to guerilla soldiers in the mountain regions of Columbia. He said that every other Saturday he would travel by bus for two hours, and would get off the bus in the middle of nowhere and simply wait under a tree.
Sometimes he waited for only 10 minutes, and other times an hour, but eventually the soldiers came out of the mountains to get him and take him back to their camp. From Saturday until Sunday afternoon, he would sit with different groups of between 10 and 12 men, and talk to them about the Lord Jesus Christ.
At noon on Sunday, they would take the man to the highway, and he would catch a bus back to town. He was aware that at any moment the guerilla soldiers could kill him, and no one would ever know what happened to him.
What many people did not know is that most of these "men" were actually boys, between just 12 to 14 years of age.
As he finished telling me his story, the man looked at me and said, “Pastor Dean, If I don’t tell them, who will?”
In Acts 3, we find Peter entering the temple, where he has an encounter with a beggar. We have no way of knowing how many times Peter had passed the same man on his way into the temple; surely they crossed paths many times, and it seems Peter had never noticed him. This time was different. This time, God opened Peter’s eyes to see the need of the man.
Peter told the man that he did not have money; instead, he had something better: “ ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’ And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:6-9, NKJV).
The world we live in today is lost and hurting. Every day, we walk by dying people and, too often, we don’t see them or their needs. We have the message that the world is dying to hear. God is saying to each of us that we need to break out of our churches, notice these people, and tell them about Him.
That man in Colombia said it best: “If I don’t tell them, who will?”
By: Dean Truett, retired Foursquare missionary and active prison chaplain
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