While eating breakfast this morning, I opened the latest issue of the Baptist Courier. I was captivated by the article “Slain Yemen workers still inspire 10 year later.” The author writes about her trip to Yemen to an IMB hospital. One of the stories she tells is when the missionary Bill Koehn was having back issues and couldn’t easily bend to tie his shoes. So to help him, the author bent over herself and tied them for him. Immediately he started apologizing to the Yemen leadership who were in the room and they were able to leave without the author being arrested or in deeper danger.
She tied his shoes. What’s the big deal?
Culture. In Yemen it is forbidden for women to look a man in the eye, let alone tie his shoes.
This brought to my mind the story of Jesus and Mary who came into the dinner party and broke perfume over His feet and washed them with her hair. We might look at that and think, “Wow. What a humble act of service and love.”
Now I think…Wow. That was not only a monetary sacrifice on Mary’s part, and a humble act of service; but it could have led to the ultimate sacrifice of her being killed for going against the culture of the day.
And if you read the account in the Bible, the men DO ask Jesus if He wants them to “take her away.” I wonder what they meant by that?
But in His grace and mercy, He shows the men what true love is. That one would love enough to be willing to lay down her life for another.
In December 2002, Bill Koehn, and two of his hospital staff were shot by a Muslim militant. Going against the Islamic law, the people of the town where he served for 25 years, made him and the other two missionaries coffins and buried them on the top of a hill.
I know, at least right now in my life, that I am not called to be a missionary overseas. But I sure need to be praying for those who are called and supporting them financially. The scriptures tell us that He blesses some with money and some without. But He blesses some WITH money so that they CAN GIVE to those who don’t have anything. Anyone in the USA is blessed with much. Yet we are so stingy.
I know not everyone who reads my blog is a member of the Baptist church, but I do know that EVERYONE can find a charity somewhere. There are so many that help. But just to plug the International Mission Board, all money given goes straight to the missionaries.
This story is extreme. But we Christians are called to take up our crosses daily, to deny ourselves, and to love others sacrificially.
What do you think?
- Southern Baptist 32-year legacy lives on (hopeforthisworld.wordpress.com)
- Lottie Moon (lights4god.wordpress.com)