Barnabas: I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel
Jan 22 , 2006
Barnabas, a Lisu missionary, works in the mountains known as the “Golden Triangle”. In this Southeast Asian region of 3 major countries that touch each other, China, Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand, drug dealers have become a major criminal force. They control much of the local population, and they sell opium and other related illegal drugs for the huge Asian, European and American markets.
Drug dealers in this Golden Triangle always carry guns and are constantly on the alert for government officials that may be coming to give them trouble. They tend to be “trigger-happy”, and many people have been killed by the drug dealers, deliberately or accidentally. Barnabas’ brother-in-law (sister’s husband) was killed in one border battle.
Barnabas has been preaching the gospel in these same mountains, traveling from village to village for many years. At times he is in the mountains for 20 days of the month. Often he works alone, walking on foot or going by motor bike. It is dangerous work since he is never sure that drug dealers could be in the vicinity.
One day Barnabas stumbled onto a group of drug dealers who were hiding in the jungle. Instantly the drug dealers drew their guns out, and pointed their gun barrels at Barnabas’ neck. His sister’s son was in the jeep with Barnabas. He had seen his father being killed, so he became pale and shook all over. The drug dealers shouted to Barnabas, “You are a government agent sent to spy on us!” “We will kill you!”
Barnabas said a prayer in his heart. He was not afraid. Hands up in the air, he declared to them “No, I am not a government agent. I am an evangelist. I am here to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is that God loves every one of us, and He loves you! ”Please put away the gun, you are scaring the child.”
The drug dealers demanded food and cakes. Barnabas only had a few cakes to give them. Then they demanded to see his papers. Fortunately, Barnabas had brought his papers with him. Satisfied indeed that he was an evangelist, they let him go. “You go and do your good work. But don’t tell the police that we are here!”
Barnabas said a prayer of thanksgiving, and went on his way, evangelizing from village to village. He knew his life was in the hands of God, and he did not worry about his life. He would often hear stories of how drug dealers would capture civilians and kill them. He thanked God for sparing his life, so that he could serve Him all the rest of his life.