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A Heart of Hatred Becomes a Heart of Hope

June 5, 2014

The phone rings.  You answer.  The voice on the other end demands that you quit talking about Jesus.  You hang up, rattled by what you’ve just heard.  Ten minutes later, the phone rings again, and once again, the caller erupts into a hateful rant about your commitment to sharing the gospel.

Now you’re conflicted.  Persecution often goes with the territory of serving Christ.  But the threat is growing, and you don’t know what to do.  Call the police?  Change your number?  Quit talking about Christ?  What’s the right response?

This scenario would be frustrating at best and terrifying to most people.  But this is exactly what happened at a Thai radio station in June.  When the station aired “God-related” topics, the phone would ring, sometime several times an hour.  The antagonistic caller continually pressed the station to stop talking about God.

The station manager grew more and more conflicted.  It’s impossible to share Christ in challenging places and not expect resistance.  At the same time, he felt responsible for the safety of his staff and station.  He wrestled with the thought of calling the police, but something else tugged at this heart.

The manager called Kiet, the manager of another Reach Beyond partner station, and shared the problem.  He knew that Kiet was a wise man of God who would give him good counsel.  But what Kiet told wasn’t what he expected.  “Go to the man’s house.  Listen to him.  After all, even though he opposes you, he may be your most loyal listener.”

The station manager pondered and prayed about Kiet’s advice.  He was right.  The reason the station existed was to break through spiritual darkness, not be protected from it.  The manager assembled a group of willing volunteers from the station who would go the man’s house, and simply listen in love.  They also prayed that God would open the opportunity to share the gospel with this man.

To their surprise, Anapan, the hostile caller, allowed them in.  But instead of antagonism, they found a man who’s heart had been softened to the gospel.  The volunteers lovingingly shared about Jesus and the hope Anapan could find in Him.  That day Anapan committed his life to Christ.

Anapan now knows Christ because of the work of the Holy Spirit and a group of believers who were willing to reach beyond their own security and risk being ambassadors of God’s love. 

Is there an Anapan in your life?  Risk reaching beyond the fear this may cause.  You may be surprised at what God does!