Willingness and Desire to Sacrifice and Serve
In the summer of 1991, a small group of people took a ‘mission’ trip to the former Soviet Union. Now if you know anything about the ‘Cold War’ and the Soviet Union, you would know that mission trips, churches, and bibles were strictly outlawed and prohibited. The Soviet policy, under communist ideology, made atheism the official doctrine. The county advocated the control, suppression, and the elimination of religious beliefs. The Soviet Union was committed to the destruction of religion by destroying churches, mosques, and temples.
The purpose of the mission trip was to smuggle bibles into the city of Leningrad, now called St. Petersburg. Not only did they smuggle bibles into the largest, most powerful communist county in the world, but they also had to bribe certain individuals to do so. These missionaries, if captured, would have been is serious trouble. But they were willing to sacrifice themselves and serve in a way most can never imagine. It was worth it. The Russians citizens were so touched and so moved by the sacrifice the missionaries made. As a way of thanking the missionaries for the bibles, they invited them over for dinner along with other family members and friends. It was a huge feast of traditional Russian food. The missionaries were stuffed and grateful for the wonderful meal they just experienced. It wasn’t until later in the trip that they realized their hosts, along with their family and friends, had pooled together a week’s worth of food rations to provide one meal for the guests – just to say thank-you for the bibles. Wow!
As much as it tried, the ‘Iron-Fist’ of the Soviet Union could not crush religious beliefs and practices, as people worshiped underground, in houses, or other secret meeting places. In December of 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed. These two groups of people, from opposite sides of the world, had one thing in common – faith and belief in Jesus Christ. Both served and sacrificed for the other – ultimately acting like Christ. Matthew 20:28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. ~NLT
Dear Lord, thank you for the ultimate sacrifice you made by allowing your son to die on the cross for our sins. Thank you for the example of serving others. Help us to look for and seek out opportunities to serve and sacrifice for others. It’s in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.