Story Shorts – April 22

Living His Dream

Osman began taking English three years ago at a COI that uses an Adventist school facility for its evening classes. Intrigued by what happened during the day in the school, he began begging his father, the son of a local imam, if he could attend school where his English classes met.

He’s 16 now and his dream came true when he was accepted this past fall at the school. Today he is thoroughly involved in all the campus activities–the Bible classes, the religious programs, the service opportunities. “At one point,” one of Osman’s teachers explains, “I felt I should connect with Osman’s father so that he would be aware of the spiritual nature of many of our activities. I wanted him to decide if Osman could participate or not.”

His father responded with unusual candor. “He is in a Christian school! I have no problem with him having his own Bible and studying it with you or being involved in your activities. Osman can choose what he wants to learn.”

Osman’s dream has created opportunities for his whole family. His brother and sister are attending the language school now, and his father spends several evenings a week at the school waiting for his family—and getting better acquainted with the world where his son is learning more about God.  

My Testament

On a recent Sabbath, I joined a house church of believers who had experienced a sobering level of persecution. As we gathered, I noticed one woman wearing heavy make-up. When she shared her story I realized she was trying to cover the bruises from a crushing blow a relative had given her for attempting to share a Bible story. 

Afterwards I offered my support, “Shouldn’t we find a way for you to be somewhere else in the world where it is safer?”

Her reply was instant and well thought through. “I have more than one passport. I could leave any day I want. But if I go, how will my family hear? There is no victory if I leave the battle now. If I die, my blood will be my testament that will speak to them. It will be the seed that plants more believers.”

Tears threatened to choke me. For a solid five minutes I couldn’t speak. When I finally asked what we could do to help, her request was simple, “Just pray that my faith will not waver.” Her courage struck me to the heart; how little sacrifice I have made, how few risks I have really taken for Jesus. As she stood there before me, a deliberate, living sacrifice for the sake of truth, I felt the power of Jesus in her life.  Only someone living completely for Jesus could express a willingness to die for Him.