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Asia Church Planting Field Story Georgia (Republic)

Crispy Rice, Death and Dry Eyes

"What kind of deity would ask you to love your enemies? This concept challenged his way of thinking and sparked his search for truth. "

He was big and had a scruffy beard and his enthusiasm for explaining the food in front of me was surprising... since I had hardly exchanged a smile or word with him previously. He declared what we were eating was practically the national dish of his home..and went on to “force” loads of tahdig (the crispy bottom of the rice pot) onto my plate. (It’s delicious so I didn’t mind.)

I asked him about his family, none believers. I asked how he became one and he told me this story. While teaching abroad in a war torn neighboring country east of his own, he experienced a radical night.

During these days he had no real interest in our Creator and was disgusted and broken over his experiences of death and violence to his family and those around him. With wet eyes he told me, “I saw family killed.” He explained the story by saying, One night however, as he was writing a political paper, he heard screaming. Unable to concentrate on his work, he got up and went out into the dark street. Following the sound of screams he came upon a brutally wounded woman. The hospitals, overly full, refused to take her and his brother helplessly held her hand. As the woman lay there dying, she repeatedly handed him a copy of the Word that was lying beside her.

Confused he kept putting it down. Saying the equivalent of.. Why are you giving this to me? You are dying, stop this! Soon, she died, and his brother returned to his room with the now owner-less book. Unable to shake the dead woman from his mind… he began digging through the copy and came upon Matt 5:44. The verse lit a fire in his head and heart. What kind of deity would ask you to love your enemies? This concept blew up his world and sparked his search for truth. As my brother finished his story, he wiped his eyes and explained the pain of loss felt from being exiled from home.

Please lift him up. There is still so much healing that needs to take place in his mind and heart. He is no longer at the training center with us, many of the men and women that come have imminent expiration dates on their stays and we know our time with them may be cut short. We are asking our Father for maximum heart transformation as we walk through the Word together, work, and live in community the months, weeks, and sometimes only days are precious.

We rejoice in the promise that one day all of our brother’s and sister’s tears will be wiped from their eyes by the hand of our Father, they will be “home” at last, and we will share crispy rice (tahdig) at the largest feast in history!

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