I Am The Judas

I received this email from a trusted ministry partner today and thought it was so impactful that I wanted to pass it along. The author of this story is a missionary in a heavily Muslim country.

Hassan has been a friend and confidant for ten years. He came to know the Lord as a refugee in Eritrea before moving back to the country I’m in looking for work. He started working with us as a teacher at one of our English centers, and over time rose up through the ranks to become its director. Personable, caring, charismatic, and intelligent, Hassan grew the center and it now ministers to over 500 people on a daily basis.

Different people on our team have interacted with Hassan over the years in his home, on ministry trips, and at the small Bible study that he led for other believers from a Muslim background. Many of us can point back to times of sweet fellowship, worship, praise, prayer, and ministry. I have seen Hassan cry real tears in the presence of the Lord.

Three months ago we discovered Hassan stole tens of thousands of dollars from the ministry center. Time revealed that he has taken a second wife, more time revealed he actually has three wives, is possibly a security informant (he knows everything about us), and allegedly paid other Muslims to pretend they were believers to widen the deception.

I am of two hearts on this. On one side I wonder how Hassan could live in both worlds so convincingly. I also realize that I am just as skilled an actor, I have two faces. I can move from praise and legitimate worship to carnality in a moment. I can read my Bible and my eyes mist up at some discovery of Jesus, and then rise up out of my chair to yell at my sons. I can stand in the pulpit and scan the audience for pretty ladies.

I am the “Judas” in the midst. Oh Lord, have mercy on me. O Lord, have mercy on us all.

May we take this word to heart and all take a deep look in our heart—

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]. (1 Corinthians 10:12)

Shop With A Purpose

Why do you go shopping?

Just for fun?

As a stress-buster?

For real needs?

Where do you go shopping?

Whichever store is closest?

The one with the best prices?

     The one with the most desirable styles?

How about shopping somewhere that really makes a difference?

Betsy and I were wandering around Rockford, MI, last weekend and stumbled upon an incredible store called The W.A.R. Chest Boutique. W.A.R. stands for Women At Risk. (Please read more about the mission of W.A.R. on their website.)

In a nutshell, W.A.R. sells items made by women who have been rescued from slavery or other oppressive conditions. These women have been taught a skill to make jewelry or clothing or other one-of-a-kind items for your home. And here’s the great part: 90% of the proceeds go back to the women who made the items! Yes, 90 percent!

You can get involved by:

  • Educating yourself on the plight of at-risk women around the world.
  • Shopping at the two W.A.R. boutique locations in West Michigan.
  • Shopping W.A.R.’s items online.
  • Hosting a W.A.R. party in your home.
  • Praying for these women, and for organizations that are helping them.

Don’t just shop. Shop with a purpose.

Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person. (Proverbs 3:27)

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