I met Karol Smith back in 1999 when I was making an exploratory trip to Belize, Central America in preparation for taking students to that part of the world. Karol and her husband, Larry, had been Youth with A Mission (YWAM) supervisors and have lived in Punta Gorda all their adult lives (some 30 years). They lived in a thatched hut. Larry delivered all their babies in their hut and they both speak fluent K’ctchi, the native tongue of the Maya. I got an e-mail from Karol this week in light of attacks they have been experiencing on their lives from some self-proclaimed witches in their village. Here is an excerpt from Karol’s e-mail to me
Since I was a baby Christian (1971) I felt like the Lord showed me that one day I would have the great honor of being a martyr for Him. It seemed very unlikely until the world started tipping over in the last few years. I didn’t doubt it, I just didn’t see how it would/could happen in the kinder world we all lived in. I will be honored to give my life (and death) for the Lord as a martyr. I tell Him a lot when I pray for protection.Lord, I don’t mind being persecuted or killed for You…
I am reminded by my friend’s e-mail that we have entered perilous times worldwide and that persecution of Christians is becoming the modus operandi today. Our lives could all change in a moment. Each morning when I wake up refreshed from a night’s sleep in my warm, cozy bed and see the sun and am able to walk my dogs anywhere I wish to go I am so very thankful. Suppose, however, I would be awaking in a concentration camp facing a day of hard labor feeling always the perpetual gnawing of hunger? I am to be thankful still.
So, while I am on this side of persecution, I must ready myself for anything. Today I am thankful for
#800 Karol and her fervent love of the Lord Jesus.
#801 the saints who have gone before me and stood in the face of martyrdom.
#803 that He left us strict instructions on what to do about our enemies – love them.
#805 that ordinary people like Peter, the fisherman; Karol, the wife and mother and grandmother; and Alex, the doctor stand in the face of persecution.
#806 that all the little obstacles and annoyances of everyday life are my training ground if I will only seize them for Kingdom growth.
#808 my fellow soldiers who understand the price and we won’t have to talk to one another about it, we will just know what we are to do because of the sweet Holy Spirit.
#809 His presence through it all.
With the multitudes this Monday,