Your Strongest Weapon
On the mission visit to Eastern Europe, we ministered inside a city in south-central Ukraine. This as being a major metro section of in regards to a million people, the church there hired us a person to chauffeur us around. Thus we met an old Soviet army colonel I’ll call Sergei, using the intimidating appearance from the army officer he was previously. Beneath his tough exterior, however, lay a light heart of gold.
Sergei eagerly told us his story, and that I never tire of repeating it. In the army unit would be a youthful private, a Baptist Christian. Every day the boys arranged information to recite the pledge of allegiance towards the USSR. Based on his Christian conscience, this youthful private declined.
Clearly, this caused an issue for Sergei, who perceived it as being a menace to discipline within the ranks. Frustrated and getting no clue how to proceed, he made the decision to talk with the youthful private’s pastor, and together they laboured out an answer. The non-public could recite the pledge to the part that violated his conscience, after which he could remain silent because everybody else could be facing forward at attention, nobody would notice. To date, so great, with the exception that Sergei now considered this youthful man to become a troublemaker.
To handle the issue, he started to assign this Baptist conscript all of the worst jobs, from cleaning toilets to shovelling dirt. It had not been lengthy, though, before he observed something he did not expect. Regardless of what he did for this youthful man, he never heard a complaint from him, no hint of rebellion or anger. He saw just the heart of the respectful servant.
Searching a little much deeper, he saw that whenever other people of his unit had problems, they switched for this Baptist private for counsel and solace. Sergei told us, “Which was the very first stop by the bucket toward me repenting and achieving a Christian.”
As so frequently occurs when cultures deny God, crime and thievery run rampant-so it did within the culture from the Soviet army. Two times or even more each year, each commander needed to go prior to the “minister,” because they known as the federal government representative, to take into account conditions under his command. No commander ever anticipated these conferences.
A Christian at this time, Sergei searched for the counsel of his pastor on how to lessen the crime rate in the unit prior to his next ending up in the Soviet minister. “Well, would you pray for the men?” the pastor queried. Sergei required his pastor’s advice and started to wish.
In the next ending up in the federal government minister, he reported that crime in the unit had decreased to almost nothing. Actually, he earned up two occurrences that did not really happen, wishing to prevent an accusation he was laying concerning the crime rate. The minister accused him of laying anyway, insisting that this type of huge decrease in crime couldn’t have happened. An analysis premiered that was discovered that Sergei had lied concerning the two occurrences to avoid being charged with laying concerning the decrease in crime.
After admonishing him not to lie again, the minister clearly mentioned the decrease in crime needed to be due to God otherwise it could have been impossible. Sergei’s wife then grew to become a believer through her husband. She offered to be an aide towards the commander of some other unit. She too searched for her pastor’s counsel by what she could do like a believer and started to wish. This brought towards the conversion of her unit’s political officer.
Within the USSR a political officer was, essentially, the priest from the communist way billed with enforcing proper communist doctrine and holding the military rank of major. Talking with this type of person about Jesus, therefore, involved tremendous risk, as atheism was in the past the state Communist Party doctrine regarding religion. She obeyed God, however, not allowing the sunshine to become obscured by fear.
Hearing the reality in her own heart and her words, the main gave his existence to Jesus. Battling with how you can continue spouting communist doctrine incompatible together with his new found belief, the political officer also searched for out his pastor for advice, asking, “Exactly what do I actually do now?” His pastor told him he must tell his troops about God.
All of this came into being because one minor, no-name private within the army of the godless government declined to permit a gift basket to become placed over his light. Darkness collected around him, but light shines brightest in dark places. His simple witness and servant’s heart were the pebble that began a landslide. He might have protested and reported injustice, but he chose to become a servant, strategically placed, who acted for each other and bore enormous fruit