Burned to the Ground

Timothy lived in a small village in Vietnam. He had heard very little about the Christian faith and wasn’t really interested in knowing more. Then one day, an evangelist came to his village to share the Gospel and pray for the sick and dying. He witnessed multiple healings that could only be considered miraculous and he gave his heart to Jesus. He made it his mission in life to learn all he could about the Gospel so he could tell others about a loving God capable of healing the sickest among them. His transformation did not go unnoticed by the authorities who opposed Christianity. They came to Timothy’s village and demanded all of the Christians drink pigs’ blood and sacrifice to idols but everyone refused. In retaliation for Timothy standing up to the police, they burned down his house forcing him to flee his village. He settled down nearby with his family and started telling his neighbors about Christ almost immediately. He prayed for the sick and many were healed instantly. Word spread of Timothy and the powerful God he served and hundreds came to know Christ through his gift of healing. It did not take long for the authorities to track him down once again. When he was in their custody, they beat him viciously, severely injuring his eye, but after his church prayed for him, God restored his sight completely. Then the police burned his house to the ground a second time and beat his pregnant wife, making her lose the baby. Timothy moved his family to yet another village and built yet another house. He was heartsick and grieving for his wife and lost child, and determined not to share Christ with anyone. His revolve didn’t last though. He couldn’t keep silent about Jesus and, once again, many embraced the Gospel through his witness. When the police heard about the conversions they raided the village, they set Timothy’s house on fire for a third time forcing him to hide in the jungle with his wife and seven children. I was so angry and wanted to hurt the people that hurt my family. But God stopped me, He gave me peace,” Timothy said when asked how he could continue after so much suffering. Seven times his house has been demolished, seven times he has been protected from death, and seven times he has had the opportunity to settle into another village and preach the Good News.

Matthew 18:21 – 22 says: Then Peter came to him and said to Him, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” And Jesus said to him, I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

Timothy needs God’s wisdom to live each day for Jesus. In his own strength, he would fail. And so, he continues to pray and lean on the Lord continually.

They came to Timothy’s village and demanded all of the Christians drink pigs’ blood and sacrifice to idols but everyone refused.

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