I pray you are encouraged in faith in our Father in Heaven as you read these testaments of men and women who lived out each day in quiet and humble fashion.
Today we see a group of Swedish Christians who ventured into the hostile environment to bring the good news in Kashgar (at the westernmost tip of China). In 1892, these Swedish evangelicals established a medical aid station and school in this area. In spite of much harassment from the Uyghurs and the Chinese authorities, the stubborn Swedes under the leadership of Nils Höijer’s guidance stayed and continued their quiet evangelism. Sometimes they were met with violence, but they were rewarded with dozens of Muslims giving their lives to Jesus Christ.
The Swedes continued to expand medical dispensaries throughout the region, distributing medicine and food during times of great famine or pestilence. They established orphanages and schools, and translated the Bible into Uyghur. The Swedes were wise, respectful, and bold in their faith, all at the same time. After 37 years in 1929 it is estimated that there were only some 200 Uyghur adults who had converted from Islam to Christianity and were practicing their newfound faith. It was worth all the effort even if it was for one.
Tragically, in 1933 violent Muslims took control of the region and murdered many of the Uyghur and Chinese Christians. The surviving Christian women and girls were sold into slavery. The missionaries were beaten and expelled. For almost 50 years, there was no viable church among the Uyghurs. Fortunately, since Communist China has opened up to the West, courageous missionaries have gone back into the area, and once again there is a small, vibrant church of former Muslims in that land.
I personally find it humbling as we complain about so many things, live in luxury and are blessed beyond measure, there has always been men and women who made themselves of no reputation and quieting became servants for the honor of God and Christ. Today we hear about these lost stories and can only be grateful that even as we read about their lives, there are many people around the globe today that are quiet servants.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant” ~ Philippians 2