A young couple in South East Asia, let’s call them Otto and Anita, set out to reach an unreached tribe a couple of years ago. With great excitement, the couple made a plan on how to convey the loving presence of God to this tribe.
Contacts from the marketplace
Each morning Anita would make portioned meals and together with Otto they would sell the food at the local marketplace. This is how they were able to introduce themselves to the people of that tribe. The food sold well, but the people ended up having prejudices toward them because they were foreign – and especially because they were Christians.
The shunning attitude from the locals made living the everyday life a heavy burden. Then slowly the opportunity opened up to share their faith with the locals. They were able to tell them that Isa Almasih (Jesus) is not only a prophet, but that He died on the cross for all of our sins, providing a way for us to receive forgiveness. During our discussion with Otto, he said faintly: “We have done everything in our power, but we’ve won just one soul to the Lord…”
Just one soul?
My heart ached to hear their sad words. Otto and Anita had such high hopes, when they left, to touch the hearts of these tribes and to win souls with the Gospel.
‘Our calling was being put to the test. Will we succeed? Do we stay in the place we were called to, no matter the cost?’
I tried to find the words to encourage this couple in despair.
Heroes in dark places
Then it occurred to me to tell them how important this work really is! In truth, they were hastening the coming of the moment described in Revelations (7: 9), the part in the Bible which declares: “I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from ‘every nation, tribe, people and language’, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”
Others may not appreciate what Otto and Anita have done, but they are still pioneers of God, real heroes! They can be sure that they were true in their efforts and tried their best. Also, one day they will get to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!”
Hope gives motivation
I could sense sorrow diminishing and hope beginning to rise. This understanding gave them hope which turned into motivation. Before leaving, I blessed Otto and Anita, promising them that we would always remember them in our prayers when returning to Finland.
Amongst all of the mass events and large congregations, we may have lost sight of saving that one soul. That one soul’s value is actually immeasurable, because that one soul is of great importance to God. Also, that soul will eventually transition from here to eternity.
Once we reach heaven, there will be an even greater measure of value for the effort we make to win souls.