A Shepherd's Heart

James is a pastor in Vietnam. Like many other pastors in his country, he is severely persecuted for his faith but continues working hard for the Kingdom of God. James walks to the many churches he oversees, delivering Bibles and encouragement to the hundreds of Christians in his care. He watches over them, like a shepherd to his flock, and is beloved by everyone he ministers to. Not a day goes by without James traveling great distances to hand out Bibles and pray with the people. The authorities in Vietnam heard there was a man in the area preaching and giving out Bibles. They came to his village and searched the Christians’ homes. When they found the Bibles, they threatened the families and forced them to confess who the distributor was. No one wanted to betray James but they were afraid of the police and eventually, someone named him as the culprit. He was taken into custody and put behind bars. James was beaten daily and interrogated about how the Bibles came into the country, but he never said a word. There was no doubt in his mind that the Lord was in complete control and he was determined to keep silent, putting no more Christians in danger. Some people visited him in prison and confessed that many members of his church struggled with much fear now that he was in jail. Their worry upset James far more than the beatings he endured. His shepherd’s heart was wounded, and he knew he needed to find a way to encourage the faltering believers. One night, during a massive rainstorm, he escaped the prison. He went back to his village and told everyone in his church that God would care for them through every hardship. James then returned to the prison that night, broke back into his cell with the guards being none the wiser. When the police could no longer detain him without pressing charges, they released him with warnings to stop delivering Bibles, however, James continues his outstanding work for the Kingdom and refuses to be discouraged or dissuaded from his calling.

We read in James 1:9: Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous, do not tremble or be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

James may not know what each day will bring, but he knows his God walks alongside him and gives him strength for that day.

James was beaten daily and interrogated about how the bibles came into the country.”

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