Counting the Cost…
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
There is indeed a price to be paid for following Yeshua and his teachings. The price is self-denial and the willingness to daily carry a cross of execution to our self-will and lusts of the flesh. And yes, true followers of Yeshua’s teachings must also be prepared for another type of suffering, that is to physically suffer for being messengers of The Glorious Gospel of redemption for which He himself paid the price in full by the sacrifice of His body for our sins.
Perhaps for many of us, the threat of physical suffering is where we inwardly draw the red line of our faith. We as believers can be so driven by the fear of confrontation and the risk of harm when presenting the Gospel to the unsaved, that we avoid sharing all together. It is normal after all to just want to live our lives without conflict and try to avoid any hostility that might lead to persecution, beatings, imprisonment, or even death. How then can we reconcile the fact that there is a price to pay which is often severe physical punishment for simply bringing the message of the cross (ultimate love) to a sick a dying world.
Here is the story of one man who was willing to pay that price.
Please meet Pastor Umar Mulinde...
Pastor Mulinde was born in Uganda in 1973 to a devout Muslim family comprising many children and wives. His maternal grandfather is an imam; his father is a well-known Islamic leader. Even though Uganda’s population is 80 percent Christian,” Mulinde explains, “it was declared a Muslim country under Idi Amin, and the Muslims were organized and motivated.
They always found ways to disprove Christianity’s claims by using passages from the Koran. But a pastor named Deogratias decided that if he wanted to convince Muslims about the truth of Christianity, he needed to study Arabic and be familiar with the Koran.”
Deogratias convinced Mulinde that Christianity was true by explaining passages from the Koran that mentioned Jesus, and he taught Mulinde about the New Testament.
Still, the 19-year-old Mulinde knew very well that converting to Christianity would mean being totally cut off from his Muslim family and friends, and thus from his future plans. Instead he chose to live a double life: Inwardly he was a Christian, but outwardly he fulfilled all the requirements of Islam.
Then, a recurring dream began to visit him: “My hands and my feet are tied. And I’m burning in fire. I am screaming. To my right, a man with a shining face is telling me, ‘Islam brings you this torture. Become a Christian and you will survive it.’” He went to his grandfather the imam to seek advice. “He said that maybe Christianity had sent an evil djinn to torture me and that we needed to cast it out using a prayer.”
But when Mulinde returned home, on the day before Easter, the dream continued to recur.
The next morning – Easter Sunday – he entered a church for the first time in his life. He announced to the congregation that he wanted to convert to Christianity. Just as he left the service, three of his Muslim friends spotted him and promptly reported to the sheikh that Mulinde had been in church. A group of them attacked him and beat him up. That was the beginning of his persecution. From that moment on, he was alienated from his community.
Nonetheless, he began to speak publicly about his new faith, and he did so before increasingly large audiences.
“I am a new person. I have started a new life.” He repeats these words a number of times during our meeting. Even from his sickbed and with his slurred speech, it’s not difficult to imagine him convincing great crowds of people with the peace and confidence that he radiates. Today, however, Mulinde is an Evangelical Christian pastor who leads a Kampala church of more than 1,000 believers.
On Christmas night 2011, a terrorist made his way through the holiday crowds, and while shouting “Allahu Akbar!” three times, threw acid at Mulinde’s face, chest and arm. The young pastor turned his head just in time to avoid being hit directly in the face; his right side bore the brunt of the injury. He was rushed to the hospital, but it was soon evident that the medical treatment in Uganda for such severe burns was inadequate. He called friends in Israel, and they quickly transported him to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer where he is still undergoing treatment.
If you would like to make a donation to Pastor Mulinde’s recovery, please click here.
We will hand deliver 100% of all donations given.
Holocaust Survivors at Haus Schonegg
What a wonderful time of fellowship we shared together with the latest group of Holocaust Survivors who we just hosted from April 22-29 with Isaac Tunik, Asya Barynis, Slava Tamarkin and Chaya Fuchs
We shared many wonderful experiences together while touring the sites of Switzerland, visiting Jewish communities and learning of the history of the Jews in Europe. However the best time for us was just spending intimate times with these survivors as they would open their hearts to reveal their accounts of survival and how they coped with tragedy and the loss of everything! The survivors were also invited to share with several groups and at a church meeting who hosted us for Shabbat dinner.
Please continue to keep these precious souls in your prayer and also pray for the next group that we will be hosting this summer…
Visiting the Bern Synagogue
Resting at Haus Schonegg
FZS blessings the needy…
Please meet Katya Vaysblat a single mother who immigrated to Israel 2 years ago from Russia. Katya’s little girl Luda is now 18 months old. Katya lives with another single mom and she is studding to be a tour guide in Israel. Her situation is obviously quite difficult as she is living on just $750 a month. She has requested to be placed on our food coupon program and of course we responded positively.
Life in Israel can be difficult for single moms like Katya
FZS also assisted The Karasik family who immigrated to Israel from Georgia. This family had pre-mature twins just after their first baby turned 1 year old. One of the twins has strong allergies and even at two years old, he still eats only baby cereal. Very often Nato sits in the hospital with her son who needs constant medical attention. Roman her husband works as mover of furniture and makes very little income. Of course Nato cannot work because she must stay home with the children. They have requested food coupons to help supplement their income
Nato Karasik and her 3 children all under three years old