The Maoists tore down this man’s church.  They told him, “You cannot worship here anymore.”  Then they put him in prison where he was abused for three months.  Once they beat him so severely he was unconscious for three days.  His fellow prisoners told him, “We thought you had died.”  With little food he lost much of his body weight.  At the end of these three months the Maoists told him, “We will let you go if you promise never to worship Jesus again.”  

This small man said, “I will always worship Jesus.  Even if I do not worship him in a church, I will worship him in my home – and others may come to my house and worship with me.  I cannot make this promise.”  Surprisingly his captors released him.

Today this pastor is in his 70s – 20 years past the normal life expectancy for men in this Hindu country.  He serves three churches.  Once a month he walks six hours to a church to give the Lord’s Supper to the people there.

He is kind and humble and always sits at the front of our workshops.  He is so quiet and unassuming it is easy to look past him and not notice him.  His heart is filled with love for the Word of God and for the family of God.  He has a quiet peace and a cheerful spirit.

When one of our leaders was in danger of being put in prison, he called and called until he could finally connect with this man.  When he spoke with him, he wept tears of compassion knowing what he was facing.  By the grace of God, this other leader has not been put in prison.

What does this have to do with LWMS?  Everything!  At the recent LWMS convention in Orlando, Florida, the women provided half of the offering – about $40,000 – to help our mission to this Asian country.  The women of LWMS with their offerings and prayers provide great encouragement to the missionaries and the people they serve in countries like this.  

As a WELS pastor of 30+ years, I have never attended a gathering as inspiring and uplifting as an LWMS convention.  Much of Christianity today seems to assume a defensive posture as if a Christian’s goal in life is simply not to lose one’s faith.  At LWMS I am reminded that the main goal is to continue in faith, of course, and to share our faith with the world.  This group of women is on the offensive and is storming the gates of hell.  If you want to be a part of this exciting team, come to an LWMS convention.  If you haven’t been to one, you don’t know what you are missing.  If you go, you will not be disappointed.  

Note: Author’s name is not listed for security reasons.