If you have missed any of the previous anonymized interviews with Christians from different backgrounds please go here. Continuing with the same format today’s guest too has been anonymized (so that the glory of the testimony) goes to God. Today’s guest has spent over 18 years working in disaster zones. He has come very close to death countless times while preaching the gospel. He is one unsung hero in many respects but today he will tell us what drives him on even when he is far from family, friends and safety.
ATCT [A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®] : Sorry you are masked from your audience today. Could you tell us what a typical week in your life is like?
CHRISTIAN: I don’t usually have a typical week. Travelling, ministering and lot’s of calls from folks around the world that the Lord has allowed me to encourage and minister to. Study, reading, Praying, meditating, talking to my bride, sharing with my kids.
ATCT: Did you have any Christian influence in your youth or childhood?
CHRISTIAN:I had basically no Christian influence in my life as a Child. I did attend a very tiny church roughly three times in grade two. I was never one who disbelieved that God existed, I did not however have a relationship with Him.
ATCT: What is the gospel in one sentence?
CHRISTIAN: God in Christ reconciling those who will believe, unto Himself.
ATCT: If you woke up this morning and found your self transported back in time, which preacher in the last 500 years would you like to listen to? Why?
CHRISTIAN: Oliver Cromwell. He was pugnacious and modeled tenacity and brilliance.
ATCT: How would you like to be remembered by your wife and closest family?
CHRISTIAN:That I esteemed Jesus of greater value than our earthly love or the children that were given to us. I had to say good-bye to my bride via satellite phone after being wounded and thinking I would die in Sudan. In fact I told her to be sure not to listen to the scoffer that would say I was foolish to throw my life away but instead to remember that giving ones life for Christ and His bride is an honor and divine. She wept, I wept and then she said, “He is worth it!” I hung up and ran for ten days through the desert.
ATCT: How easy (do you think) is parenting?
CHRISTIAN: Parenting is not about easy or hard, it is about being given an opportunity to fashion a soul to the Glory of God to fall radically in love with Jesus and obey Him at all cost.
ATCT: Your teenage daughter comes weeping to you and tells you she is pregnant. She doesn’t know who the dad is. (Yup, it’s that bad). She feels she has let you down and feels disillusioned about her walk with God. She got a phone number from a friend who can arrange to “sort out” this inconvenient unplanned pregnancy. It’s all a big shock to you. What do you do?
A) Pretend you didn’t hear her and continue reading your news paper.
B) Tell her to dial the number REAL QUICK!
C) Let her know in no uncertain terms she has brought shame to you and your testimony. And she has therefore left you with no option but to disown her.
CHRISTIAN: My oldest daughter was married in July and asked that I counsel her and my son-in-law and perform the marriage ceremony. My second daughter is married to Jesus and wears the same ring that her sister wore until it was replaced by her earthly husband. I cannot even think of this happening with any of my daughters as they have been taught by their mother to glorify God with there bodies and I as their father have taught them that sexuality is one of the most precious gifts that God gives to a young lady and no man should ever tough you let alone engage in other activities until he has given his life to you in Covenant and come to my wife and I first to discuss any possibilities of ever marrying my daughter.
ATCT: What major theological shifts have happened in your life as a Christian?
CHRISTIAN: After serving in war zones and disaster areas for 18 years I was utterly broken. I told the Lord I would no longer serve Him nor engage in any of my former life activities. I learned that He is big enough to handle my brokenness and I have learned that Jesus is a REDEEMER! That he not only bore MY SIN but my sorrow as well. That taking upon yourself, others suffering and venom of wicked perpetration is divine and in keeping with following Christ.
ATCT: We are sending you to a desert island. You can only take one book aside from the Bible. Which book would you take and why?
CHRISTIAN: A book on ship building
ATCT: What attribute of God do you struggle to understand?
CHRISTIAN: That He is the thrice Holy God.
ATCT: What are the words of your favourite Hymn?
CHRISTIAN: Approach, my soul, the mercy seat (By John Newton)
Approach, my soul, the mercy seat,
Where Jesus answers prayer;
There humbly fall before His feet,
For none can perish there.
Thy promise is my only plea,
With this I venture nigh;
Thou callest burdened souls to Thee,
And such, O Lord, am I.
Bowed down beneath a load of sin,
By Satan sorely pressed,
By war without and fears within,
I come to Thee for rest.
Be Thou my Shield and hiding Place,
That, sheltered by Thy side,
I may my fierce accuser face,
And tell him Thou hast died!
O wondrous love! to bleed and die,
To bear the cross and shame,
That guilty sinners, such as I,
Might plead Thy gracious Name.
“Poor tempest-tossèd soul, be still;
My promised grace receive”;
’Tis Jesus speaks—I must, I will,
I can, I do believe.
Thank you for sparing a few minutes of your time. May God impress upon all of us how close we are to the mercy seat. Till we meet again, if God wills, God bless you!