Henk Medema

Stories of peace, people of peace

CapeTown2010, the second day of LausanneIII, the Congress of World Evangelisation. Ruth Padilla DeBorst was explaining, with quietness and clearness and warmth, Ephesians chapter 2. I followed the flow of her argument, was reminded on well-know elements that I had studied myself while writing a commentary on Ephesians, discovered several new argument and lines, made a few notes for my new book. Being peace, making peace, preaching peace, everything that Christ was and is essentially, incorporated in His Body, the Church. And I felt my heart warmed, strangely warmed, to quote Wesley. It was only after Ruth had finished and we broke up, that the brother sitting next to me (a missionary to Nigeria) told part of her story in a few words: how her husband was murdered by robbers in Quito, Ecuador. She had not mentioned that, or even alluded to that. But in hindsight it immediately added a deep power to her words. Those who want to read the story can check how she felt sustained by the peace and love of God, in the midst of such an ordeal, see http://bit.ly/bpoduz, but I am afraid you won’t be able to read it with dry eyes, nor without being deeply encouraged. The night before had already given us an example of peace-making: a young Korean girl told the story of how her father, closely working with the North-Korea leader Kim Yung Il, became a Christian, escaped to China, and through South-Korea came back to work as an underground missionary in North-Korea, which eventually brought his arrest and death. She now announced that she feels called to go to North-Korea to announce the gospel of peace. (Read her story, http://bit.ly/a3Lyce, including a story on the same topic from Nigeria). You could hear a tissue fall in the audience of 4500 people. The common denominator? Stories of peace, people becoming narratives of the Gospel, embodying God’s peace and reconciliation like Jesus, in their own fysical existence. It’s not just that we bring the Gospel, but (in a sense) we are the Gospel itself. It is remarkably seen in many, many of the stories that people are telling here in CapeTown, in their very life.  

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