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Heroes With God's Heart

Short Stories Of Christian Courage


Turkey: Mayor of Istanbul welcomes the 'Reconciliation Walk'

Mayor Guetuna welcomed the 'Reconciliation Walkers' to Istanbul on 22 October with the words "This project is important for Turkey, as you can see when Turkish people stop to applaud the walkers as they pass." The participants in the march from Cologne to Jerusalem, which hopes to start reconciliation for the unchristlike acts of terror committed by the Crusaders, report that the "message of reconciliation" constantly causes new exclamations of surprise. Both Moslems and Jews have cried, according to one report, when they saw that Western Christians came to them in humility. New teams will continue the march throughout Turkey during 1997 and 1998. The high point of the march will be in July 1999, 900 years after the 'Holy City' fell into the Crusaders' hands: the entry into Jerusalem. Lynn Green, one of the march's initiators, expects that over 1.8 million Jews and Moslems will personally hear the "message of reconciliation" from the marchers. Many further millions have heard mostly positive reports about the march in television and newspaper reports. Source: Lynn Green, Harpenden, England. Reconciliation Walk, CompuServe 101317,2565

Global Glimpse: Kigali, RWANDA

A PRISON ENCOUNTER brought a widow face-to-face with the man who killed her husband and children ... and she forgave him! The genocide that swept the country in 1994 claimed up to one million lives. A Youth With A Mission (YWAM) team has been working quietly to bring reconciliation between the rival tribal groups. After hearing a sermon about forgiveness one prisoner who had earlier become a believer wrote to the widow to ask for her forgiveness. When the woman received the letter she began to weep, explaining that she had become a Christian after the murders and had been praying for the man who had killed her family.

Reads from the Bible...

The Miami Herald reported in September that David McAllister, 77 and blind, a nursing-home invalid in North Miami Beach, Fla., receives daily visits from Chris Carrier, 32, who reads to McAllister from the Bible. Their only previous relationship occurred during a few days in December 1974, when McAllister kidnapped young Carrier at a bus stop and left him for dead in the Everglades with cigarette burns on his body, icepick holes in one eye, and a gunshot wound that left him blind in the other eye. Said Carrier, "I don't stare at my . . . potential murderer. I stare at a man, very old, very alone and scared."

Nuclear Fallout

Kiyoko Tanimoto is one of the survivors of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the Americans. "I can still remember how we were all buried alive in the rubble of our houses. Everything burned," he writes. "Whenever I thought about the bomber pilots, I had to cry. "I hate him, I hate him". I saw how people died terribly and slowly." Tanimoto later met one of these bomber pilots in a Christian meeting in America; "As I saw him, I was again filled with bitter hatred. But as I heard how he described the event, my attitude changed. In tears, he said "after we dropped the bomb, I shouted "My God, what have we done?!""" Tanimoto realized that it was wrong to hate this man. Tanimoto has become a Christian and was even able to forgive the bomber pilot. Today, he helps people who suffer under their hatred for other people. Source: SOON Gospel Literature. According to John Lewis, publisher of "Worldwide Easy English Gospel Literature", the mission agency's Internet address (www.soon.org.uk) is visited daily by 500 people. Fax (44) - 1283 - 702334

Only God Helps

"Nothing helps," said a Christian commenting on continuing acts of violence between the Sudanese tribes and the government army. As a result of these disturbances, the Christian church is literally the only stable institution in the country - and it is growing enormously. Take pastor Benjamin for example. He is pastor in a "displacement camp" in Khartoum, a camp for refugees from the South of the country. In addition, he is translating the Bible into his tribal language, Mabaan. Pastor Benjamin can see how fast his church is growing amid persecution. Christians are often refused permission to travel, they pay higher rent than Muslims and are constantly in danger of being imprisoned for their faith. Benjamin's church building, in which services are held for more than 800 people, was recently destroyed by fundamentalist Moslems. "But the Christians have great passion, especially for those who repress them," according to a report of the SIM, the Sudan Interior Mission. And the Mabaan tribe? "The Bible translation contributed greatly to church growth," said pastor Benjamin. "The Mabaan can now read God's word in their own language, which has led to them wanting to know more about God." Source: Sudan Interior Mission

Persistence...

Reverend Samy Hanna Ghabrial, leader of the Church of Grace, a growing Christian denomination in Egypt, has managed to publish a book he finds important in impossible circumstances. "Three times, I was on the verge of death, before I had finished translating the book," he says. "Once, my two sons suddenly jumped out of the small boat we were sailing on the Red Sea, even though they can't swim. I could not believe my eyes. Then I jumped after them, even though I can't swim either. Shortly before we drowned, two men on the beach saw us, dropped everything and rescued us at the last second. Once the manuscript was finally ready, the hard disk in my computer failed, and the whole text was lost. I had to start again from the beginning. On the day I brought the translation to the printer, not only did two of his machines break, but also four of his staff became suddenly ill. The printer told me afterwards that he had never before had so many problems with one single book. He asked what strange book it was. I know," says Hanna, "that the devil tried as hard as he could to prevent this book being published in Arabic. But he failed!" Hanna had translated the book "DAWN 2000 -7 million churches to go", by Jim Montgomery, because he believes that the vision present there will transform Christian leaders in the Arab world. Source: Samy Hanna Ghabrial, Cairo, e-mail 10221,2740@CompuServe.Com

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This article may be freely reproduced for non-profit ministry purposes but may not be sold in any way. For permission to use articles in your ministry, e-mail the editor, John Edmiston at johned@aibi.ph.