Yesterday we spent our time getting to know a wonderful couple. Saul and Renee have been married for 26 years and during that time they have accomplished much for the Kingdom of God. I’m not using their actual names because the potential for physical persecution is very real in this country. They were at risk just in meeting with us.
We entered their modest home and were served a delicious snack of milk fruit and bananas. If wasn’t long before I was captivated by their stories.
Saul was born into a Christian family in 1962. He gave his life to Jesus at an early age and distinctly remembers seeing the American soldiers in gun battle with the Viet Cong near Saigon during his elementary school days.
After the end of the war, life changed drastically for Saul. In 1975 his education shifted to a communist agenda with very different priorities; all individual effort was now to be in support of the state
Saul kept his focus on serving Jesus.
When he finished his university education with a major in engineering, he was given a most difficult choice. Join the communist youth group or officials would withhold his degree. He refused, and consequently didn’t receive his certificate for ten years. Ten years where he was unable to get a job in his chosen field. But Saul knew to accept the atheistic membership would be to deny Christ and he couldn’t do that.
His wife Renee was born into a Buddhist family; as a 17 year old she became consumed with three questions about life:
– how did I get here?
– what is my purpose?
– where do we go when we die?
She found no answers in Buddhism until the day she encountered a Christian missionary. She gave her life to Christ and never looked back, eventually leading her entire family to the Cross two years later.
After several years being discipled by a Campus Crusade for Christ ministry, she met Saul and they soon were married and began working in their area of passion, training underground church leaders in youth and children’s outreach.
Many times they have been hassled, even arrested for teaching, but they never waver in their calling.
In the five hours we spent together, I learned much about two people who seek to give everything they have to proclaim the good news of the Gospel.
It made we wonder, how many of us would give up our profession rather than compromise? Would any of us walk away from our family?
Would we boldly face arrest if necessary to maintain our calling to share Jesus with others?
It is a great blessing and humble honor from God to be in this place. I only hope I can somehow honor the example of this dear Christian brother ad sister as I call myself a member of the global church.