Saturday, October 20, 2007

Deep smiles

I spoke recently with a friend and asked how the church was doing in the country where they minister. Her eyes lit up and she explained how some had come to faith and had been baptized this summer. Exciting indeed, especially in a country where the cost of following Christ can be huge.

Having visited her about 18 months ago and going to the house church in their city, I remembered a few things about the people who were there. As she related how one of the men was taking such a pastoring role with the people and was so passionate for evangelism, she started to try to explain to me who she meant. It took just a few words for me to figure out who she meant. It was "the man who is always smiling" — I knew right away. When I met this man, though I could not speak his language, you just knew that he had joy in his heart.

Driving home later that night I thought about this man’s smile... and this man’s story. Because of his faith in Christ, his Muslim wife eventually left him and divorced him. He hasn’t been allowed to see his children for years. In short, knowing Christ has meant big costs in this man’s life. But what was it that stuck out to both my friend and I? He had a JOY in his life that shone from his face into his whole life.

What an encouragement to "press on" is the memory of this man's radiant smile!


Annette said...

Janice, sorry I've been away for awhile. Hard to find time to read blogs with a toddler in the house.

Anyways, just wanted to say thanks for sharing "the man who is always smiling". Stories like that encourage me.

Hélène said...

So true. In a country like ours, where our Faith and its lasting effect on every facet of community life are largely taken for granted, it is difficult for us to come to terms with what the cost of following our Saviour can be. And he is ready to lead! If only more of us could see that having been placed in a truly blessed environment like Canada, we have such tiny, little reasons (reasons here meaning excuses) not to lead.

Thanks so much for sharing this encouraging story.

Hélène Vallée