For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:20)
Every man, woman and child who has searched for God has a story worth telling. As I have listened to these stories I have learned to discern the seeds of truth that God has sown into the lives of these people. Here are just a few:
‘The most dangerous idea in human history remains the belief that Jesus Christ was the son of God and rose from the dead . . . Because it alters the whole of human behaviour and all of our responsibility. It turns the universe from a meaningless chaos into a designed place where there is justice and hope. And therefore we all have a duty to discover the nature of that justice and to work towards it. It alters us all. If we reject it it alters us all as well. It is incredibly dangerous. That is why so many turn against it.’ Peter Hitchens, preface.
‘If I convert, it’s better that a believer dies than that an atheist does.’ Christopher Hitchens, Introduction.
‘I saw God using the most unlikely people, the unloved, the dispossessed, the uneducated, the little boys who knelt in the mud and prayed for a miracle. Can you picture them? Can you? Watching the gift of life being returned to their friend.’ Dr Paul, Chapter 2.
‘If I operated and he died that was my fault. That was blood money. My blood. That was the law of the land, Sharia law, the law of the country, just that.”You’ve spilled our father’s blood, we spill your blood. We kill you.'” Dr Jo.
And words spoken by Dr Jo’s nurse: ‘Our doctor cried last night.’
‘Grace is a beautiful leveller. It just transforms your view of people.I stopped looking at people for their academic ability or material possessions. I just saw them as loved by God and in need of grace.’ Revd Paul Dale, The Church by the Bridge, Kirribilli, Sydney. Chapter 7.
‘Imagine, imagine , if you want to think of something extraordinary. What if the fathers of this world turned their hearts to their children? That would create something extraordinary. Something that seems so ordinary, so simple, almost too basic would produce the most extraordinary result.’ Thomas, Care for Children, Chiang Mai, Chapter 8.
I asked Ha-neul what God meant to him. “He is my love dad.” he said. “He has changed my identity, my thinking, my perspective and my vision.” Ha-Neul, North Korean Christian, Chapter 11.
‘Our creator is looking for His creation. But creation is looking in all the wrong places. If you and I believe in this one man Jesus, who has taken our sins, pains, curses and all our difficulties upon himself, He will help us.’ Vijay, Chapter 18.
‘I am the living testimony, and I’m giving you this promise, if Jesus can heal me, He can heal your son. I stand before you as a living miracle. Of all these Gods that you are praying to, have any of them given their life for you? Well Jesus did. You don’t have to pay a price.. Jesus has already done that for you.’ Vijay.
‘It’s all about change doctor. I wanted to see lives changed. I wanted to see people set free from the bondage of Satan. I wanted to be a revolutionary like Jesus. He came to serve and to save and to change lives.He came to bring freedom and I wanted to be part of that and to see that in my people.’ Borin, Cambodian Christian, Chapter 16.
‘A man’s reputation is made or broken by his action under fire. Whatever he does will be amplified with the passing of time. It will resonate through his years of service and will never be forgotten.’ General Ajai Masih (retired), Chapter 12.
‘This is my prayer, every morning: Lord, give me that life that you have for me but it must be to live for you.. I am a cancer patient now Ern. I have prostate cancer and every day is a bonus. If he wants me to live, I will.’ Ajai.
‘The Holy Spirit . . . He’s the one who illuminates wonderful truths to me. He’s the one who convicts me of my sin but also of the joy of forgiveness. He’s the one who empowers me every day and who equips me to do whatever task lies before me. Revd Paul Dale, The church by the Bridge, Kirribilli. Chapter 7.
‘I have been through hell and back . . . I can walk with my head held high and my feet firmly planted on the ground . . . walking hand in hand with my best friend I will not let a situation define who I am.’ Michelle Knight, after the rescue. Preface to chapter 22.
‘God spoke to me and said, “Andrew, I have set you free from the inside out, I have given you life!” From that moment on I haven’t stopped worshipping Him. I had never sung before, never led worship, until Jesus set me free.’ Pastor Andrew Chan, member of the ‘Bali Nine’, chapter 20.
‘As I sat there in the darkness, Jesus, in an extraordinary encounter appeared to me and spoke audibly: “All the earthly things that you’ve ever wanted, power, position, rank, property, wealth are here for the taking; but they won’t last. On the other hand, I want to give you all that will last, for eternity – you are in the last minutes of your life – choose now.” I knew it was Jesus and I said, “I give you my life.”‘ Freedom fighter, pastor, Chapter 13.