There is much international news and a legitimate concern over this recent trauma. Today I read a blog I would like to pass along for your consideration, and then also make some personal comments from my heart to you about it. This journal entry is exceptional because so far I have written primarily about personal experiences and testimonials here in the Philippines. I thought this particular blog entry (#2 article below) was noteworthy from a missions perspective, and am passing it along because it is drastically different from the common, world-view. Of course, Jesus wants us to be wise and use our head. Along with that being said, there needs to be freedom for everyone to do their best in personally rising up to obey the Great Commission without condemnation., or criticism by those may not be trying to fulfill it. Here are 3 articles as follows:
1) a link to the Fox News report of the incident https://www.foxnews.com/us/american-believed-to-have-been-killed-by-tribe-on-indian-island?fbclid=IwAR2sxzDk7xZHhD9iZZ06Po0L2z_maQMbUtHtqqW-LJOM7eaFPN1N9OrZMv8
2) Another missionary’s Great Commission focused perspectives: https://dchilds.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/john-allen-chau-he-was-no-fool/?fbclid=IwAR3Dwmoa-CXx8O0C3bOzWZ06A0s5ytRmr0evdtVhDUIe-5LFi1uUXmDWZ4
So the question is: was John a Martyred hero or a Fool?
Of course, none of us are God. It seems best for all of us to leave that
decision to the courts of heaven to be the judge, in this case. As
mentioned above, God’s perspective is generally
drastically different from the common, world-view. Of course, Jesus wants
us to be wise, and to use our head. Along with that being said, there needs
to be freedom for everyone to do their best in personally rising up to obey
the Great Commission without condemnation or criticism by those who may
not be trying to fulfill it, or personally be willing to make sacrifices to do
We met John and his parents at ORU a number of years ago, and are
respectful of all of them, and their sincere hearts for the Lord. I’m quite
confident that John Chau would not have been willing to take such life-
threatening risks if he hadn’t felt he was being obedient to do what the
Lord was putting in his heart to do, at the time.
We do missionary work here in the Philippines. We also face major risks
and danger at times, but just because there is an imminent danger should
not stop us from boldly doing what the Lord has called us to do, and
continuing to be bold witnesses of the gospel to the unreached! We need
to be faithful, even if that means laying down our lives, if necessary, to
advance the kingdom of God and obey the Great Commission. In Rev.
12:11, we find that the overcomers “loved not their lives unto the death”.
Let me share with you from our own personal experience. Over 4 years
ago my wife and I were in a life-threatening holdup, A gunman entered
the room where we were sleeping at our mission base on a remote island
around 4:00-4:30 a.m. It was still very dark, (with no electricity). He had a
headlamp mounted on his head, and with a loaded gun pointed directly at
us demanded money, or he said he would kill us. (For more of that story,
check previous journal entry). I won’t take the time and space right now
to go into that whole story. I would just like to highlight several very
significant things about it:
- Just because there continues to be danger and threats in that
location does not stop us from continuing to develop our missions
base there. Of course, there are real enemies, but “greater is he
that is in us than he that is in the world!” (I John 4:4)
- Regardless of what others might think or say, we need to faithfully
continue to pursue our missions call from the Lord to penetrate
isolated areas that desperately need the gospel.
Our dangerous trial of faith that morning didn’t catch the Lord by
surprise. In fact, I was awake in early morning hours before the incident happened with a clear impression from the Lord out of Ps.107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed (rescued) from the hand of the enemy”. As I dozed in and out of sleep, I realized that the Lord was giving me a special verse to consider together at our devotional time with our mission team that morning. I didn’t realize at the time that when we would finally gather with our team after the holdup incident, several of us would have been wounded by gunshots from the hand of the enemy, but our lives were spared, and we thankfully gave the Lord praise.
Does the Lord promise comfort and ease, with no danger or risk to
those proclaiming the gospel? Of course not! But He does promise
to be with us… (Matt.20:28; Heb 13:5,6)
I would like to make some concluding comments in closing, for now. In
Heb. 11 there’s a listing of quite a number of heroes of faith. Some of them
were miraculously delivered. Some were not delivered and even suffered
death. Yet they were all people of faith, and faithful. I would like to think
that John Chau was like one of them. The Lord only knows. We continue
to trust the Lord in all these matters, and not our own understanding…
(Prov. 3:4,5) May the Lord somehow work this tragedy together for good
in His Sovereign plans, because we know that John Chau deeply loved the
Lord (Rom. 8:28).