The Blood of the Martyrs Is Seed: Learning from Missions and for Missions

Bethlehem 2016 Conference for Pastors and Church Leaders | Minneapolis

One of the most vivid statements that connects gospel suffering and gospel witness is “the blood of martyrs is seed.” Tertullian, that great Luther-like, Christian apologist, who wrote around the year 200, actually said to the Roman persecutors, “The more you mow us down, the more we grow. The blood of Christians is seed.” Tertullian was brilliant at taunting the government and those who were screaming for more Christian blood. I think if Tertullian were around today, he would have a talk radio show, or be a brilliant blogger, or be a regular contributor to the Desiring God site. He would be well-read.

One of the things that Tertullian added in his treatise is this (and talk about taunting the government):

Despite Christianity’s relatively brief history, yet we have filled all the places that belong to you: cities, islands, forts, towns, exchanges, the military camps themselves, tribes, town councils, the palace, the senate, and the marketplace. We have left you nothing but your temples.

The gospel would go to every city and to the borders of the empire and beyond, and so would the persecution, because opposition to the gospel has a long, violent history, from the first century to the 21st century. As Christ has built his Church in and through persecution, the path of suffering, even death for the sake of the gospel, is not a path that God merely permits, it’s one that he blazed, and we’re just following him.

Death in Us, Life in You

In December 1777, after a year of mostly defeats and retreats, George Washington’s army made their way out of New York to winter quarters in the Pennsylvania countryside. They had little food and little hope. Many were dressed in rags and had no shoes. Washington grimly observed, “You might have tracked the Army from White Marsh to Valley Forge by the blood of their feet.” The vivid image of blood in the snow, in the wake of a battered and unlikely army is such a picture of the Church.

Like the soldiers of Valley Forge, it is an army whose march across the centuries and to the ends of the earth can be traced by blood stains left in their path. The blood of Christians is seed, sacrifice for the sake of the gospel, whether by violent death or through the day-by-day risks of living on mission, is the path God uses to glorify himself in the world and make his grace and saving power known. This is the truth that Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians 4:7–12:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

No Culture of Death

Now, Christianity does not have a culture of death. Militant Islam has a culture of death. Suicide bombings are so common that we just turn the paper and see what’s happening in the sports page or the comics. The global average for suicide bombings in the 1980s was three a year. In the 1990s, it was one a month. In the early 2000s, it was one a week. In our decade, today, the average is one a day, and much of it is the effort of deceived and hate-filled killers who are deceived. They’re promised fame on this side and a pornographic paradise on the other side of the detonator, but they wake up in hell. It’s a culture of death. They’re killing themselves and killing as many people as possible with them, but death and suffering for the sake of the gospel is completely different.

Death in us, life (gospel life) in you. Christians are not masochists. We don’t seek martyrdom. I’ve heard on more than one occasion, enthusiastic people saying, “I am ready. I am ready to go to Libya. I’m ready to go to Saudi Arabia. I want to go to North Korea. I want to tell them about Jesus. I know they’re going to kill me, but that’s okay. I’ll be with Jesus.” Now, I realize that that’s just enthusiasm. Frankly, it’s just silly talk and just driven by adrenaline, but it’s also unhelpful talk, because we have this tendency to sensationalize and even sentimentalize martyrdom. Things like this are said by people who’ve never gone to a morgue to identify what’s left of a friend. They’ve never stood in a lonely, distant cemetery and seen a lonely cross there.

Don’t sentimentalize it? The blood is real, the bruises are black and blue. There’s life out of that death, but don’t glamorize it. Don’t seek to die; seek to live as those who’ve been raised to new life. I didn’t say seek to survive, I said seek to live.

I really like the attitude of Dr. Eleanor Chesnut on this particular topic of seeking to live and leaving the timing and circumstances of your departure in God’s hands. Eleanor Chesnut was a medical missionary in China just over 100 years ago, and there was an uprising in her area. She wrote a letter back home to a friend, and it turned out to be, actually, her last letter. She wrote:

I don’t think we’re in any danger, and if we are, we might as well die suddenly in God’s work as by some long, drawn out illness at home.

Well, trouble came. A Buddhist-driven, anti-foreign riot erupted, and the missionaries were assaulted, including Dr. Eleanor. There was a lull in the fighting, the throwing of rocks and sticks at the missionaries as they were being cornered. There was a lull in that action, and Eleanor noticed a boy in the crowd who had been struck in the head, and had a wound. She tore a strip from her dress and dressed that boy’s head. One observer said she did it with skilled, kind fingers that did not tremble, just before being stabbed to death with a pitchfork. Eleanor lived to the end as those who’ve been raised a new life in Christ, and God took her in his own time.

Don’t seek it; seek to live. The “death in us, life in others” principle is based not on our courage and strength, but on the power and presence of the risen Christ.

Incomparable Treasure, Surpassing Power

This passage we read in 2 Corinthians speaks of “treasure and jars of clay.” We all love that passage because we really get the clay pot part, don’t we? Treasure, though, is inside. It’s treasure like the treasure that a man found in a field and with joy, he sold everything that he had to obtain it (Matthew 13:44). This passage speaks not only of treasure, but of “surpassing power” (2 Corinthians 4:7). I love the word “surpassing.” I love words, but I can’t really define surpassing. I love a word that you can’t really completely comprehend. It’s beyond description. It’s beyond limits — surpassing power.

Thinking about this word, “surpassing,” I was thinking about this gospel song from a century ago, where the author is making an effort to describe the surpassing love of God. Perhaps you know this verse of that song:

Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made; Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry, Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.

Wow. Wonderful. Nice try. I couldn’t do better. We should strive to describe it and enjoy the power of the gospel and the love of God. This is the surpassing power that’s in us, the presence of Christ. The surpassing power is the power of God unto salvation. It is the gospel. It is the word of the cross. And we so identify with Christ’s sufferings and sacrifice, that it adorns his life-giving gospel.

Bearing People to Jesus

How? How does suffering and sacrifice adorn the gospel? How do we identify with Christ’s sufferings? Paul says here that they are “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:10). That doesn’t mean, “I had a bad day.” This is suffering and identification with Christ for the sake of the gospel, always carrying in the body the death of Jesus. How do we do that? This word, “bearing,” or “carrying,” helps me to understand when I go back to the time in the Gospels in which this particular word is used.

It’s used in Mark 6:53–55, which says:

When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him and ran about the whole region and began to bring (that’s our word) the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was.

Now, imagine their sick beds — the filth, the stench, the germs, the risk of them also becoming sick, perhaps even dying, as they’re picking up these filthy mats and mattresses and embracing sick people, putting their arms around them, and getting them to Jesus wherever they heard he was. They thought, “If we just get them to Jesus, they’re going to be okay.” But in the meantime, they’re the ones that are embracing them. They’re the ones that are carrying them, bearing them, and risking sickness or death themselves.

A Memoir of Suffering

In Armando Valladares’s prison memoir from Castro’s Gulags, he tells how he spent 22 years in horrific conditions in the Cuban prison system. In his memoir Against All Hope, he describes a fellow prisoner named Gerardo, but all the prisoners called him “the brother of the faith.” It’s wonderful to read how the brother of the faith would organize afternoon prayer meetings, and Armando would describe the times in which he was leading others in singing praises to God in the prison cells. In the times of the firing squads, he would encourage, counsel, and help men who were facing torture and the firing squads. I want to pick up a portion from the memoir about “the brother of the faith.” Armando Valladares says:

He helped many men face death with strength and serenity. He came and went constantly among the groups of men, trying to instill faith, trying to calm their spirits, trying to give support, and when they opened the prison wards, he would go through them, looking for sick men, and whether the sick men wanted him to or not, he would carry off their dirty clothes, and you would see him down there in the prison yard with a piece of burlap bag or plastic tied around his waist like an apron, standing over mountains of dirty clothes, bent over the wash basins with sweat pouring off him.

If some exhausted or sick prisoner fell behind in the furrows or hadn’t piled up the amount of rock he had been ordered to break, the brother of the faith would turn up. He was thin and wiry with incredible stamina for physical labor. He would catch the other man up in his work and save him from a brutal beating. When one of the guards would walk up behind him and hit him, the brother of the faith would spring erect, look into the guard’s eyes, and say, “May God pardon you.”

The Empowerment of Enemy Love

Later in the memoir, about 10 years later, 10 long years of suffering and witness for this Protestant pastor and his fellow prisoner, Armando wrote this:

It was a time of unrest in the prison. Soldiers were called in and guns were being fired. The soldiers entered the hallway, leading to the blackout cells and began to open the doors. As the prisoners came out, they were pushed and kicked to the end of the hall. The prisoners were beaten. They were stumbling and tripping through the hail of blows from sticks and bayonets and chains, but suddenly, as though to protect them, there appeared a skeletal figure with white hair inflaming, blazing eyes, who opened his arms into a cross and raised his head to the invisible sky and said, “Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do.”

The Brother of the Faith hardly had time to finish his sentence, because as soon as he appeared, Lieutenant Raúl Pérez de la Rosa ordered the guards to step back, and as the brother of the faith was speaking, he fired his AK submachine gun. The burst of fire climbed the brother of the faith’s chest up to his neck. His head was almost severed, as though from the blow of an ax. He died instantly.

Armando continued to write:

The news of the death of the brother of the faith had soon spread all over the prison system and all over Cuba, and it even leaked abroad. Before he died, he had repeated those words of Christ on the cross, and all of us, when his blood dried, struggled in our consciousness to achieve that difficult but beautiful ability to pardon our enemies. However ferocious my jailers were, with the help of God, my heart was filled with the faith that gives a man the strength to go on, and not out of resignation or masochism, but rather out of joy, freedom, and inward peace, because I felt accompanied by Christ through those labyrinths of horror and death and tried to follow his lesson of forgiving my tormentors.

Embracing Loss for Yourself and Others

Here was a man that was carrying in his body the death of Jesus. He was embracing loss for the sake of the gospel. He knew, as Jesus told us in Matthew 16:25, “If you save your life, you’re going to lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you’re going to find it.” In other words, you can’t save your own life. You can only spend it. Spend it well. Embracing loss, whether the loss of your life or the life of someone you love.

How many young men have come to me for counsel about serving God in a hard place? They say, “I’m ready to take risks for the gospel. I want to go to the hard places. I’m ready to sacrifice everything to go.” Sometimes they marry a woman who’s also of adventurous and gospel-centered focus, and together, they’re going to make it, they’re going to go and take those risks for the gospel. I mean, they have enthusiasm, a heart for going and sharing Jesus in a hard place to people who’ve never heard the gospel before. They’re all about it. They trust God to use them, to take care of them, and to take them home. Don’t you love that spirit?

But then after about nine months, this sweet, little package comes into their life? This little bundle of joy. I have witnessed this in family after family. They had a big view of God until a baby came into the family, until they had children, and suddenly, this big God got a lot smaller. I don’t know, maybe he just really couldn’t take care of them anymore. So they stayed home. Embracing loss isn’t just about embracing loss for me, it may also mean and often does mean embracing loss for those that you love, and that’s the hardest of all.

The Family Altar

When I was growing up — I think this is an old-fashioned expression — my father would open the Bible and read after supper, and it was called “the family altar.” Today, often the family is the altar. Moms and dads, we must not communicate our fears to our children. We must help them to grow in faith, to know that they can trust God, to know that God is bigger and better than mom and dad, as good as they are. We need to teach them that. They also need to understand what suffering for the sake of the gospel means, and in your churches as well. Embracing loss means embracing loss even for those that you love.

Samuel Zwemer, the Apostle to Islam, served Christ in the Arabian Peninsula with his wife Amy. Part of that area today is Iraq, and part of it was also in Egypt. About a year ago, I was on the eastern side of Arabia and I extended my airport stay just for the purpose of tracking down the “Old Christian Cemetery” (and that’s what it’s called) in Bahrain. I wanted to find the graves of Samuel and Amy Zwemer’s children, three-year-old Amy and seven-year-old Ruth. By the way, this Old Christian Cemetery was filled with little graves, because the children, the weakest, the most vulnerable, are often the first to go.

There were the graves of Amy and Ruth, buried side by side. They died within a week of each other. It was their three-year-old daughter and seven-year-old daughter. In Zwemer’s he takes the curtain back just a little bit on their sorrow, and simply writes that his wife wrote their epitaph, which said, “Worthy is the Lamb to receive riches.” They embraced loss for themselves, yes, and for those that they loved.

It’s not only 100 years ago but just a few days ago that this is happening. Another Amy, a missionary named Amy Riddering wrote in a Facebook post about her husband Mike, who was killed in an Al-Qaeda attack in Burkina Faso. This is what she wrote on the day that she got the news:

Heaven has gained a warrior. My heart is so heavy and I’m having trouble believing he is gone. Mike was an example in the way he lived and loved. God be glorified.

This is embracing loss for ourselves, and the hardest embrace of all, for those that we love.

I Believed, Therefore I Spoke

Paul continues in 2 Corinthians 4:13–15:

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

Paul here is quoting from Psalm 116, and the psalmist there had some near-death experience, but lived to tell about it. He praises God for his delivering power in the Psalm. Now, Paul’s belief in the ultimate and unfailing deliverance that he would experience through the power and presence of the risen Christ compelled him to speak. He said, “We believe, and so we speak.”

I want to share a story with you of a dear brother, Sayid, and a brother named Aaron. It’s from a documentary taken in North Africa not too long ago. They are two men who believe to the point of speaking. Sayid was threatened repeatedly after coming to faith in Christ. Isn’t that a little counterintuitive? They were threatened by police, jail, potential torture, and persecution. The solution is, of course, to lock the doors and to stock up on your ammunition, right? You make sure you have a lot of canned goods and pray, right? No, he would pray and then immediately go out and tell someone about Jesus as a way of casting out fear. You see, speaking is the issue — to believe in such a way that you also speak.

The public space for Christians in this country is narrowing, wouldn’t you agree? Praying in Jesus’s name, displays of the Bible, the 10 Commandments, manger scenes, and crosses are all being taken away. That’s just what the Supreme Court has to tell us. What about in your workspace too, some of you? If you talk about Jesus, you know what it’s going to do for that next promotion? But actually, the public space for Christians is wide open, if you keep your mouth shut. As long as you keep Christianity between your ears, inside your head and your heart, you’re okay. But Paul said, he didn’t just believe; he believed to the point of speaking. He couldn’t hold it back.

Resisting Intimidation

But you know, what persecution looks like in our country is mostly intimidation. When we think about persecution, we often think about blood, bruises, torture, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, poison arrows, and all of that. Well, in our country, and in many countries, persecution just really begins with intimidation, because if you can get people to shut their mouths, then that’s all you need. You don’t have to get into messy things like arrests, torture, and other things. It starts with intimidation. That’s the way it started with the early Church. In Acts 4:1–3, it says:

And as they (I expect there was a formerly lame man there that was jumping, and leaping, and skipping, and probably throwing in a testimony) were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.

Then it continues in Acts 4:10–12. After the counsel asked them, “By what authority are you doing this?” they said:

Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Well, that didn’t go over very well with the council, so they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Intimidation. So the believers, they released them, they gathered with other believers, they prayed, and this was their prayer in part:

And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness (Acts 4:29).

This is what we need boldness to say. This is the most controversial thing in the world. There is no other name given among men by which we must be saved, except Jesus.

How Can We Help?

Now, Christians can often exhibit a lot of boldness, or maybe a better word is eagerness in speaking when they are attacking each other. Oh we’re good in that category, aren’t we? We think, “I believe, and therefore, I’m going to blog against this brother.” We attack each other over preferences and opinions.

We can also be very eager in terms of missions about opening franchises of our church or seminaries in places that are already stuffed with churches and schools, but we need boldness to go and speak to people who have yet to hear all the grace and gospel joy that we’ve been celebrating these past few days.

A few months ago, I was in northern Iraq in a refugee camp. I was with a friend, and another pastor was visiting there from the States. I heard an interesting conversation between these two men. The pastor said to my friend, “Back home, people are asking me, ‘What can we do? We know we can pray and we can give, but I mean, what can we do about this refugee crisis? These Syrian refugees, these Yazidis, these Christians? What can we do?’”

That sounds good, right? Now, in their mind, I think generally, what they had in mind about doing was making a trip over there, giving out some blankets and medicine, hugging some babies, hearing some stories. They’re thinking of helping. My friend answered this way. He said, “Ask them to move their family over here, invest in learning the language, and pour their lives into these people for the sake of the gospel, and tell them if they are unable to do that they should pray that God would raise up the family that would do that.”

There’s no quick fix, as if to say, “Let’s make a little two-week trip over there, and we’re all going to be able to feel better.” No. Go, move, invest your life, and embrace the loss that’s a part of that for the sake of Christ and for the sake of the gospel.

What is the result of speaking the message of the gospel that’s adorned with acts of mercy and lives of Christ-like sacrifice? It’s that more and more grace extends to more and more people. More and more gospel witness is proclaimed in the midst of more and more suffering through the word of the cross, which is the power of God to save. It results in more and more believers for more and more tribes and languages and nations growing into a great choir of praise and thanksgiving to the boundless glory of God, the more and more glory of God. So do not lose heart.

Why We Don’t Lose Heart

Let’s continue reading in 2 Corinthians 4:16–18:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

It says, “Do not lose heart,” and yet, we are. We’re losing heart in this country. The headlines even this morning were using words like angst, and worry, and fear, and we are hearing the news of the Islamic State (ISIS) and reports coming in from Baghdad, Istanbul, Paris, Jakarta, San Bernardino, Philadelphia, and where next? We’re losing heart in this country. I also want to say that the news is designed to make us lose heart.

Keep your eyes and ears open and your mind working. I mean, even the weather channel is designed to make us afraid. It’s good for ratings, but it’s not good for our hearts. And we’re not only losing heart in this country, we’re losing heart in the church. How often do I hear people say, “God is just not working in this country anymore.” Really? Our churches are filled with fearful people, and perhaps our pulpits are filled with fearful men. There’s a reason why the most off-repeated command in the Bible is, “Fear not.” It’s because we are naturally fearful people, and we build walls out of our fear.

I was thinking about this passage in Pilgrim’s Progress, where Bunyan describes Christian who got off the path and ended up with Giant Despair. Giant Despair, after beating the daylights out of him, throws him into a filthy dungeon filled with the bones of the previous victims. It’s very bleak for poor Christian there. After three days — and there are rich resurrection analogies in this passage from Bunyan — early on the morning of the third day, Christian realizes, “Hey, I have the key of promise,” so he tests the key and it opens every door in the prison, and he escapes with great joy.

It’s interesting that it’s called the “key of promise.” It’s interesting to hear the resurrection analogy. It’s interesting to consider the fact that if you think about it, this entire episode that Bunyan is describing was something that Christian built. Giant Despair, the beatings, the dungeon, and the fear of death were all there, but once he embraced the key of promise, the promises of God and of the risen Christ, every door opened. The walls vanished. He was on his way back on track to the Celestial City. There are a lot of Christians in our churches who are living under the rule of Giant Despair, and we need to open the word and take out the keys of promise and give them to them, and remind them that our Jesus is alive. There is no door that can be shut to him. There’s no wall that’s going to hold him back. There’s no border that’s going to hold him back in building his church among the nations.

Suffering Connects Us with Reality

Now, when Paul says, “Do not lose heart,” is this like positive thinking, just a pious, Pollyanna talk? Of course not. Paul knows that there’s a secret only the Christian sufferer knows, and he sets up three contrasts: the outer self and the inner self, momentary and eternal, seen and unseen. Paul underscores the truth that suffering — “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus” — connects us with the reality that there’s something more than this body, there’s something more than this time, and there’s something more than just what you can see. All of that everlasting life, joy, and beauty is because Christ has risen. He has risen. He who raised the Lord Jesus up will raise us also with Jesus.

There’s a popular and rather foolish catchphrase used by political and media elites if you disagree with them on an issue, like the redefinition of marriage, or climate change, or whatever their issue. If you disagree with them, you are on the wrong side of history. Have you heard that one?

The fact is that we don’t even know our own history, and we’re always stumbling into the future. But I do know this, that God has already given us a glimpse of the future. This is a passage that has been striking to me. Like the passage in Revelation 5, this one in Daniel 2 has strengthened my heart to lift up my eyes over the obstacles and the barriers to see the bigger picture of what Christ is doing.

A Never-Ending Kingdom

Now, in Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. Daniel is interpreting the dream for him. This dream is actually like the history of civilization in miniature, with all the political systems and empires one after the other. Let’s just go right into it:

You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay (these are successive empires). As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:31–35).

What a vision here, and yet, where are we in all of this? Well, it describes a time of breaking, right? The gold, the silver, the bronze, the clay, and the iron are broken and pulverized like the chaff of the summer threshing floors, and the wind blows it away. We are in this time of breaking, and dust gets in our eyes, and we can’t sometimes see the big picture if we’re trying to see it through the headlines.

Our Sure Victory

In any great battle, every soldier has his own story. One may be pinned down on the beach, while another is the one that raises the flag over the smoldering battlements of the enemy. They’re in two different places, with two different stories, with two different experiences, but it’s the same battle because no one has the whole picture. No one can see the tide turn, but this passage in Daniel and in other passages remind us that all of history is moving toward a decisive and dramatic conclusion. Christ is King, and he will establish his kingdom over the whole earth.

Revelation 12:10–11 says:

I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Knowing this, brothers and sisters, do not lose heart. That’s how it’s going to end. You may be down in your little foxhole, you may be pinned down on your corner of the beach, but I want to tell you what, the battle is already over. The victory is won. That happened on the cross and in the empty tomb. It’s secure, so do not lose heart. Believe in such a way that you also speak the gospel, and as we embrace the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, we will know and others will know, too, the power of his rising. In this dark hour, it is not a time to retreat, it is a time to advance, which is another way of saying follow hard after Jesus, for with joy, we can sing:

For my life he bled and died Christ will hold me fast Justice has been satisfied He will hold me fast

Raised with him to endless life He will hold me fast ‘Til our faith is turned to sight When He comes at last!

He will hold me fast He will hold me fast For my Savior loves me so He will hold me fast

is the founder and executive director of Frontline Missions International. He has traveled to more than ninety countries, reporting on the church. He is the executive producer of Dispatches from the Front and author of A Company of Heroes.