Duration: 365 days
PAYING THE PRICE
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20
Martha was a young Chinese Christian engaged to be married but decided to postpone her marriage for two years to answer the call of God to deliver Bibles where they were urgently needed in her country. David Wang shares her story:
I recall meeting her once in the city of Xian. We had arranged to meet at 9 p.m., but she did not turn up until about 1 a.m. She was delayed because she had been delivering Bibles in a nearby village. But the local commune leaders discovered what she was doing. They beat her up, robbed her, and threw her on a deserted road. It was a miracle that she was able to make it to our appointment.
I noticed something was wrong with Martha. She was thin as a wire and her face was bloated. I asked, “What is the matter with you? Did they beat you up?”
“Oh, no,” she said, “I’ve had this problem for some time now.” Then she rolled up her pants to show me legs covered with stings and mosquito bites. As she traveled in the remote countryside of China, often she had to sleep in deserted huts or even out in the fields. She was literally eaten up by bugs and mosquitoes.
“Tomorrow we must go to a doctor,” I urged her.
“No, no,” she said, “I have to catch an early train tomorrow to go to Inner Mongolia. Where are the Bibles?” Her only concern was to get Bibles delivered!
In August 1983, Martha disappeared – as though she had just vanished into thin air. That was during China’s ‘Anti-Crime Campaign’ when many people were arrested and executed throughout China. We became concerned for Martha.
Later we got a letter from her through her friends. It was not really a letter – just a little piece of paper. She had been arrested and charged for distributing “superstitious materials” in the People’s Republic of China.
The little note read: “I don’t know what the penalty will be, but please pray for me.” She quoted Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:19-20. A few weeks later, we received word that twenty-four-year-old Martha had been executed. She paid the price.
RESPONSE: Today I will pay the price in serving Jesus in my area regardless of the risks.
PRAYER: Lord, Martha’s story humbles me. Help me love and serve You as much as she did.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.