While I was visiting South Asia, our regional manager, Richard*, shared a story about a time when he was called to minister in a dangerous village.
While they were on their way to the training event, Richard's phone rang. It was the receiving church pastor, informing him that some of the local people had heard they were coming—and were waiting to try and burn their van as they passed.
“It will be dangerous, but there are 110 people wanting to hear you teach at the church! Is it still worth it come?” Richard knew what he had to do—he had to take the risk. “God will protect us or take us home! I will go... unafraid.”
It was getting dark, so when Richard and his driver approached the village, they took a side street, cut the headlights, and drove in silence almost all the way to the church.
Once they were in a back alley, they got out of the car. And in the pitch-black darkness, they walked the rest of the way. The dim light from their cellphone was the only thing that allowed them to see if they were close to a snake, leopard, or other creature lurking in the night.
Finally, the men spotted the church. There were 110 people waiting for them, just as the pastor had said. As they walked in, the doors were immediately locked behind them.
Richard walked straight up to the front of the crowd and led the training quickly, quietly and effectively. After the session concluded, he unassumingly motioned for his driver to follow and the two left the same way they had come.
Our South Asian representative concluded the story by telling me that whenever they do their ministry work, they always feel protected. And if the day comes that the Lord chooses to call them home, then home they will go.
—Nicki Coles (Paraphrased) *Name changed for security reasons