January 2, 1956, was the day that 29-year-old Jim Elliot had waited for most of his life. He jumped out of bed, dressed as quickly as he could, and got ready for the short flight over the thick Ecuador (Eck-wah-door) jungle. Almost three years of jungle ministry and many hours of planning and praying had led Jim to this day. Within hours, he and four other missionaries would be setting up camp in the territory of a dangerous and uncivilized Indian tribe known then as the Aucas (Ow-cuz), known now as the Waodani (Wah-o-dah-nee). The Aucas had killed all outsiders ever caught in their area. Even though it was dangerous, Jim Elliot had no doubt God wanted him to tell the Aucas about Jesus. Jim and his four friends, were killed by the Aucas a few years later. Their wives did not pack up and leave! They moved in with the Aucas. They eventually knew the killers, and today, those killers, old grandpas at present, are walking and dying, while sharing with others the knowledge of the God WE killed, yet has come to give us LIFE! (www.christianity.com) 

Jim Eliott’s wife Elisabeth, died this past June at 88 years old. She was a great author of several Christian titles, some of which I have enjoyed reading. 

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Reflecting upon their lives, and the sacrifice of my Master Jesus, prompted me to pen down this poem.

A MARTYR’s MIRROR.

A martyr’s mirror may show freckled hair,
Yet each piece is known and counted, and the martyr is prepared to be an heir.

A martyr’s mirror may show a visage of agonizing despair,
Yet this agony is for souls to be freed, eternal gifts to embrace and share.

A martyr’s mirror may show tired eyes for lack of sleep,
Yet these weary eyes remain focused above intercession deep.

A martyr’s mirror may show broken skin on hands that bleed,
Yet these hands touch others deeply and the Cross they point to sets many free.

A martyr’s mirror may show wobbling feet from rugged paths of life’s terrains,
Yet such feet are strengthened to walk the golden streets in the eternal domain.

A martyr’s mouth may show little blisters for lack of bare necessities,
Yet filled with everlasting growths to help minds find perspective in times of atrocities.

A martyr’s voice may sound of fatigue and bleat with echoes for needed rest,
Yet the pure melodies from these vocals have entered many hearts with Good News at best.

A martyr’s tears may roll like an endless stream when an unbelieving soul dies,
Yet hope lingers in the martyr’s heart that yet another soul may choose to believe.

A martyr’s bed and pillow may not smell of fresh linen or speak of interior decor,
Yet the martyr’s heart rests on the Master’s pillow of peace as his anchor.

A martyr’s home may not showcase extravagant furniture and lacings of expense,
Yet at the foot of the cross he finds colors of grace and a place of eternal rest. 

A martyr’s shoe may show many tears over miles and no more color, no more shape, no pretty lacings, Yet the gospel of peace the martyr has scattered far and wide and many hearts have accepted divinity’s racing. 

Now, when a follower of Jesus signs up for duty, he or she is also signing up for both joy and peace, both pain and gain, both suffering and growth. Peter puts it well when he says, “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:13. In the book of Philippians we also find, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” Philippians 3:10.

How can I know His power to sing over me, if through a dirge upon life’s aisle I remain a foreigner?

How may I experience His soothing balm, if not that I have failed to count my own lack of peace?

How can I know gain, if loss has not been my walking mate, until gain took over upon the race? 

How can I know maturity, if not that I have several times been mediocre in my approach to divinity?

Not that we justify sin, but that we realize our sinfulness and His power to make us more than conquerors.

Isaiah 53:

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3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

May we be found upon the altar of surrender, totally yielded to taking divine risks, not matter the cost; for indeed the price of our redemption has been paid, but this has not left us to be objects merely on display. We are not window shopping for souls; looking and walking away! No. We are intentional about working with the Merchandise of Heaven to let the people know they have already been bought; bought with a price, not of cheap silver and gold, but of LIFE! Life eternal. 

We must remain functional, and add value to the lives of others. 

Heaven is waiting- for you- for me. 

~Beryl Nyamwange 

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