Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ten Thousand Miles to Salvation

Our first convert on the field was not who we expected it to be. Maybe a neighbor or our gardener... Yes, I could have pictured that. But it turned out to be a little closer to home.

I'll just let him tell the story:

My story begins when I was five years old. I was scared of not going to Heaven and asked Mom about salvation. She showed me how to be saved and I prayed a prayer. From that moment on, I convinced myself I was a Christian. Looking back on it, though, I didn't remember any conviction. I was acting on the fear of missing out on Heaven and got "saved" because of the benefits. I asked Dad to show me from the Bible what God says about this. He turned in his Bible to a few different places, and told me that we are taught that without conviction, salvation is impossible.

I could also tell from the fact that I was able to sin and not feel convicted over it. I may have felt guilt, but guilt is something we all feel when we sin. By this point, I was sure I wasn't saved. I had convinced myself that I was saved insomuch that I was ignorant of the symptoms. Anyone who questioned my salvation even the slightest was dismissed as judgmental.

But now, I couldn't deny it- I was lost. But that changed on January 7th, 2014 at 5:15 as I called on God's name and was saved.

To God be the glory,
Ben (Our oldest son)

Last night, he stood up in church and happily gave his new testimony of true salvation and assurance. I asked him later if he was nervous.
"When I was heading to the front I was, but once I got up there I was fine. That was also my first time preaching... I mean... speaking through an interpreter. I really enjoyed it!"
Quite the contrast from the day before.

"But, Mom... What will all those people think? I am the missionary kid! I came all the way over here and am suppose to be the one they look up to. I am suppose to be the one setting the example. What will they think if they find out I wasn't even saved?"

He struggled with his pride. I remember having that same struggle when I was 18 and realized I wasn't saved. What would others think?

I left the room to give him time to think and God time to work. I told him when he was ready to quit pretending to be a Christian to ask his Dad to come speak to him. After an hour of thought and struggle, I finally heard him from another room approach his Dad and ask him to come to his room and talk.

They were in there for a long time. I was mopping the floor downstairs, praying. It seemed an eternity. When they finally left the room, neither of them said anything. I prepared dinner. Not a word from them! We sat down and began eating. NOTHING was said about the talk. The anticipation was killing me!

Then as we finished up eating, Ben finally spoke up. "I have something to tell you all. I know it might be somewhat of a shock..."

As he announced his news and his new life, Michaela's mouth dropped open. My eyes filled with tears.

Was it a shock for Daddy and me? Not really. We had noticed some serious symptoms for quite some time. We just kept praying. We cannot see his heart, but we could see the fruit. And the fruit wasn't quite right. There was no conviction when he sinned. There was no desire to do right. There was an apathy toward the things of God. He was happy to accumulate more knowlege of the Bible, but nothing seemed to reach his heart. He could quote salvation verses better than most people!

We just kept praying and waiting for God to work, but our suspicions were that maybe, in spite of what he kept saying, he had never truly been saved. The profession when he was younger may have been a work of the head and not of the heart.

But on Tuesday, it all changed. He was tired of playing the game. He came face to face with the truth, accepted it, and now he is free indeed.

No, not the first person we expected to lead to the Lord here, but certainly a wonderful way to start. Just imagine... God brought him 10,000 miles away from home and everything and everyone he knew to bring Ben to the end of himself. He brought Ben 10,000 miles away to be saved. And it was worth every mile.

by Charity, Southern Asia


Becky Godby said...

Praise the Lord! :') I realized when I was 12 that I was not truly saved. However, I waited until I was 16 to get it settled because I was worried about what others might think. Talk about some painful years. So glad you got it taken care of!

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord!

Danny Bell said...

Hallelujah!! What a Saviour! I am so happy! I was sitting here thinking back to when we were all in Bible College and Ben was in a stroller! While you guys were preparing for "His" service. So happy , proud of Ben! praying for you guys as you Serve Jesus there! miss you guys and pray for you often!

Jennifer said...

Wow. Just wow. I'm so happy for you all!

Joyful said...

Wow! So great is the love of God. God bless you all. x

Anonymous said...

Amen! Yall have been on my mind a lot lately and I have been praying. This really provides encouragement and a new idea of how to pray about a really close loved one. Thank you for sacrificing so much to spread The Gospel of Christ to your own back yard from 10,000 miles away. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

Charity said...

Thank you for your prayers. I am excited to share what God is doing with us, through us, and in us. He is so faithful, and serving Him is nothing less than an amazing adventure in grace!