Saturday 2 April 2016

What will make the world listen?

“What will make the world listen?”  was the “headline” on my blog published on the morning of Tuesday 12th of January 2016. 
Coincidentally Magna and I were in Istanbul this particular morning. When returning from our furlough back in Norway, we should fly transit through Istanbul and back to Chisinau with a scheduled landing Sunday night. However, due to fog in Chisinau the flights were cancelled and our transit-time in Istanbul expanded from two hours to two days.

When we finally knew that our return-flight was postponed until Tuesday night, we decided to go on a city-tour in the morning. After having seen the beautiful Hagia Sofia, Magna and I followed our group across the Hippodrome in the direction of the obelisk on the Sultanahmet Square by the Blue Mosque. As we walked, we spoke about how generous God is who allowed us to see the beautiful city free of charge and Magna stopped and took a picture of the obelisk. The next moment a suicide-bomber triggered the explosives in a group of German tourists ten meters away from us.

I started to run, but realized after a few steps that something had gone through my knee. I managed to move myself another few meters before I fell to the ground. When I lay there, my only thought was:

“Is Magna safe?” 
– only a few seconds later she was at my side. When I saw that she was unhurt, a strange kind of peace filled me. I could see many people had fallen to the ground, either dead or unconscious. Remains of human flesh were spread all over the place, and Magna’s clothes and my shoes were covered with it.

I knew straight away what had happened, and I just thought: “So this is how it is in real life” – with reference to similar scenes flooding the TV-screens. Magna and I very often say to one another: “whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8). 

My second thought was a question to God:
“Lord, for what purpose can you use this?” 
I knew that the suicide-bomber wanted to catch the world’s attention for his evil cause, and I know that God’s solution is: 

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”. (Romans 12:21) 

I reminded myself that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). Therefore, I knew that he would give me opportunity to testify about his love to a wide audience.

As we sat waiting for the ambulances, I prayed for those who were killed and injured, and thanked him for life and for how he was going to turn this evil into something good.

After ten minutes the ambulances were allowed to start the rescue-work, and from then on everything went very fast. At the hospital, everything was very efficient and professional. In the midst of it all, media managed to get access to me despite the security, and I believe that less than three hours after the explosion, the first video of my testimony about God’s love as a the only remedy against evil, was on television.

And within the next 24 hours, it had been repeated to a number of journalists
and international news-agencies - and transmitted by national and international channels, like CNN, all over the world. God gave me the opportunity to speak and testify to two ministers of the Turkish government, one official from municipality of Istanbul and to the doctors and staff of the hospital as well as the Turkish police and members from the Swedish and German consulates.

When it finally calmed down in my room on my first day at the hospital in Istanbul, it was already late night, but I was able to pray and think. The first verse I thought of was: 
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”  Genesis 50:20. I experienced that; 

God already had intended to turn the evil into good. 
With some humour, I thought that it was a little bit sad that the projectile had gone through the knee. If it had still been in the knee and the surgeons were able to remove it, I could have kept it and engraved the reference "Gen 50:20". 
This thought was of course inspired by Lily, the wife of Samuel Logan Brengle, who kept the brick that was thrown at her husband and almost killed him. Brengle used the 18 months of convalescence to write his first book about holiness. Lily wrote the reference on the brick and they kept it for the rest of their lives.

This is not my doing. God mobilized a huge army of prayer-warriors around the world. By the spreading of the news, both in official and social media, I think that several hundred thousands have been praying. And we have received so many greetings, and have only been able to respond to a few, but we are so grateful to God and to you who represent his body. One of the greetings that came after a few days contained this message:

I will be careful to declare that I have received a word from the Lord to you, but it seems to me that the verses from Gen. 50:15-21 are meant for you. Particularly verse 20. Please take it for what it is, and ask the Lord what this may mean for you.

I could write back to him and confirm that it is from the Lord. The only thing that will make people listen today is when we act and respond with the love of God. If I do not let him work through me with his love, I can confess with Paul: I am nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2).

In Istanbul God taught me once again that his love makes the world listen! So if we want to see God’s Kingdom come to Russia and Eastern Europe Territory, all we do, has to be saturated with:
God’s love. 
Published in Вестник спасения issue №2 - 2016 - PDF-format

Link to the full version of Вестник спасения #2 - 2016 год

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