Monday, October 3, 2011

We're in Trouble

The pounding on the door indicated something was wrong, perhaps very wrong. When the door opened a man stepped through with an angry look on his face. Forcefully he asked why we were here. I answered him with a question that was not satisfactory. He introduced himself as an official from the local security office and requested our passport documents.

Unwilling to allow him to leave with them made him angrier. He ordered us to remain in the room until he came back. As the door closed I turned to my colleague and said I think we're in trouble. We both expressed hope that someone was praying for us at this moment. As we went through the activities of the day we could see nothing we did that was wrong. We were out on the street taking video, enjoying the market place, listing things we would later want to gather video of for our project, etc.

A couple hours pass and the knock on the door was much more normal. Opening the door the man thanked us for our patience and gave us some instructions which included an introduction to our new "personal" guide. Actually he was an officer with the public security bureau. I'll call him "Brian". After the security bureau did a check they found we were invited by the local university to create a video to attract international teachers for their university. These teachers would be believers with integrity, character, and honesty which would add value to student life on the school campus.

Brian went with us everywhere. I enjoyed getting to know about him, his family and his life. My job was to write a video script in the evening and get our speaker to learn it while my friend reviewed the video deciding what was needed for the next day. While the actual video was being shot I needed to keep Brian away from the process in order to allow the "talk" to get on tape.

One of my discoveries about Brian was his interest in stamps. Being involved with missionaries around the world (I didn't present it to Brian this way) I offed to keep the relationship alive and send used stamps to him when I returned home. He was ecstatic. Our relationship grew and when he had an opportunity to come to the United States to complete some studies at Baylor University I was able to connect him to a group who could receive and guide him during his time in the United States.

Factoid: Ninety two percent of international students coming to the United States have two major goals... Get an education and find ways to be part of American home life... they want to learn what makes us tick! REALITY: the second goal is only achieved by five percent of international students.

While at Baylor Brian was confronted with the gospel's message. He became what he was suppose to supress in his country, a believer. The lights suddenly came on for Brian as he realized why our relationship took the path it did. Brian began to understand God's sovereignty, His desires for Brian's present good and eternal life, and not just his but his entire family. Brian was becoming transformed.

Upon Brian's return to his country he sought out a person he knew was a believer asking him to continue the discipleship process with him. The believing leader was taken by surprise and questioned his conversion due to his employment in government security but after a phone conversion with me fear was eliminated and Brian's process continued.

Soon Brian requested a transfer and was granted a new government job. Oh yeah, his entire family came to know the saviour too. A family's life trajectory altered, father, mother, children, grandchildren, other lives... a new legacy.

Dare to reach to those who are different.

This is your investment. This is your joy.

Mark Szymanski

Won’t you please consider joining our financial support team? You can send contributions to: United World Mission, PO Box 602002, Charlotte NC 28260-2002 and write ACCT# 11013 in the memo line. Further info about on-line giving and other programs see Thank you to our present supports that allow us to impact the many lives across the planet. Again, THANKS!

1 comment:

Brian rice said...

Beautiful story and you are a craftsman when you tell stories.