“…‘Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?’” (Acts 2:7-8, NIV 1984).
“…‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you…’” (Acts 18:9-10, NIV 2011).
Dr. Gene Rudd rarely shares his stories from Rwanda. They are too deep and too dark for most us to comprehend. He was serving in Kigali with Samaritan’s Purse to keep a hospital open during the genocide when he was thrown by God into an experience that has become central to my understanding of our place in God’s redemptive mission.
In the midst of the killing time, Gene was caring for a patient with Shigella pneumonia. Buried beneath 20-hour days, patching up the victims of untold cruelty, Gene had been focused intensely on his work of healing. One day, as he was looking into the eyes of this dying patient, God’s Spirit reawakened him to his true purpose within the tragedy.
Unable to speak the man's language, knowing that the man and his family understood no English, Gene searched for his interpreter but was unable to track him down.
Compelled by God’s Spirit, desperate to share words of life with this dying man, Gene sat down with the patient and his family and began to share the gospel in English. When he had completed sharing God’s truth from his heart, Gene held hands with the man, his wife and his daughter, and he prayed a prayer of salvation. One hour later, the man died.
When Gene located his interpreter, he asked him to go and comfort the woman and explain the message he had tried to convey. The interpreter did so and reported their response back to Gene: “How did the doctor know our language?”
They had listened to Gene’s words in English and heard God speak to them in their own language.
Even more vitally, the wife, the daughter and the patient had each accepted Christ as their Savior as Gene held their hands and prayed.
It's all God's doing: His cross, His message, His power, His salvation.
And God will speak effectively—sometimes in ways impossible for us to comprehend, when Christians, like this physician above, passionately seek to serve Him and in that service speak the name of Jesus.
Serving and speaking; serving and speaking.
Will it take a Rwandan genocide for me to do likewise?
Awaken me anew to your great redemptive plan. Let me pour it out in words and with loving service so that your Spirit may not be kept silent.