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Archive for May, 2014

100_9529From the time I was 12 years old, I wanted to become a missionary. Back then I had a romanticized view of it – the men wearing pith helmets and facing all kinds of deadly predators; tramping through the jungles with their machetes to take God’s Word to the hidden tribes.

The stories of men like Hudson Taylor, a doctor, translator and evangelist to the people of China, were a big influence in my life as a young teenager.  Stories about Nate Saint and Jim Elliot, the missionaries who lost their lives making first contact with the Aucas deep in the Amazon rain forests, beckoned to me to come to South America to become involved in Bible translation work through the pages of a book given to me by a young female missionary who spoke at my church.

Their stories had the power to tug on my heart strings; to give purpose and motivation to my teenage years. I wanted to be like them and those dreams helped me to  avoid the growing influences of drugs and promiscuity of the late 1960s.

While I never did make it to those steamy jungle mission fields I dreamed of as a teenager, my heart is still moved by missionaries and their stories. This past weekend was no exception. We met an inspiring missionary couple who were born, raised and married in Romania. They became Christians there despite the growing Communist influence and eventually were forced to flee from home and family. God performed many amazing miracles in their lives and eventually opened a way for them to return to their beloved country to minister. Their story tugged on my heartstrings yet again, stirring dreams of  going on a missions trip myself or of becoming involved in missions work in some other way.

A similar story motivated me to write Daughter of Scarlet several years ago after seeing a missionary video  clip about the plight of young women trapped in the hopeless web of human trafficking and sexual slavery. Their anguish cried to me from the stories of missionaries involved in their rescue and after care so strongly that I had to find a way to help. After praying I sat down and wrote Daughter of Scarlet, the story of Rahab the prostitute of Jericho, dedicating the profits from it as a way to help raise funds for several mission organizations involved in rescue efforts.

Stories can be powerful motivators in our lives. I know they have been in mine. Whose story has tugged on your heartstrings, calling you to reach beyond your own  world to  help others? I’d love to hear from you!

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