I came across this article written by a fellow-YWAMer - just after coming back from a YWAM NZ staff gathering... and it really spoke to me...
By Tim Heathcote
In YWAM we rub shoulders with some courageous and heroic people. Earlier this year I sat alongside leaders from around the continent of Africa as they met in Bamako, Mali, for an annual time of prayer and decision-making. I heard stories of fantastic growth and beautiful fruit. It was inspiring. But I also heard of violence and enormous risk. Africa is changing fast; the world is changing.
How will I live in the face of the challenges resulting from this change?
Life is often difficult. This simple message was the theme of a time of devotion in Mali. It led to a long discussion and time of prayer – because in Africa over this last year, life has been really difficult for many of our YWAM staff. There’s been martyrdom and the death of several key leaders. Many of our workers face the risk of abduction and kidnapping; most face the daily struggle for finances. YWAM friends of ours have seen several hundred Christians murdered in recent months and scores of churches burnt in their city. Life is not getting easier. In fact it seems to be getting more difficult.
As part of that time of devotion, we heard a message originally spoken just over a year ago, by a true hero who was martyred soon afterwards. As we listened to his voice through the tinny laptop speaker, knowing how his life ended, we were shocked by the prophetic nature of his words.
He began by quoting Thomas Jefferson, who said, “only those who can see the invisible can do the impossible”. He also mentioned Moses, who “endured, seeing him who is invisible.” He then asked the simple question: “Is my life about this – He, who is invisible – or is it about what is visible? Will people write something about me one day? If so, my prayer is that they will say, ‘By faith he did this for the Lord.’ My concern is that instead they might say, ‘Because of fear he did not do this; because of complacency he did not do what he was called to do.’ Let’s live for Him who is invisible. Faith and fear cannot coexist… Let’s be strangers in this world, our citizenship is in heaven.”
Shortly after giving his message, this man was martyred in a nation far from his land of birth.
It is a sobering reality. Life is difficult and bad things happen, terrible things. So will I live for what is visible? Or will I live daily for what is invisible and eternal?