Monday, December 18, 2017

Salvation at Midnight’s Stroke

July 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Going Global, Monthly Articles

Salvation at Midnight’s Stroke By Karen Elengikal

Go Tell the World

Suddenly my eyes snap open. Ah, morning, I quickly observe. I collect my sleepy thoughts and get my bearings. Oh yes … India. I calculate it to be about 7am and already the tropical heat is bearing down making sweat run freely on my skin. Check for the vital signs, I urge myself. Yes, the fan is moving. Yay! We have electricity. Pulling my heavy body up from the bed I check the still peacefully sleeping family. All is well.
Waddling across the main hall I head for the kitchen. Is there water today? With a last sleepy yawn I turn the tap. “Ahhh … water! Thank you for this blessing today, Lord!”
Okay! Now it’s time to open the kitchen window and fill my lungs with the invigorating morning air. I love this time of the morning – fresh, uncluttered with demands, allowing for moments of quiet reflection before the rush of the day. With difficulty, I lean across the deep kitchen sink to unlatch the windows. My swollen stomach is in the way. With a final lunge, my well-practiced fingers pry the tiny latches to release the steel bar from its secure holding. With deft fingers I fling open the windows.
The Beggar Scrummaging For Food “Aagghh!” I scream. A wild man is standing at the window. I recognize him. He’s the old beggar that I’ve often seen on the main road scrummaging through the rubbish for a scrap of food and always lugging behind his worn out figure a soiled duffle bag hosting his worldly possessions. But I’ve never seen him here before … at my house! With wild gesturing and incoherent words the dirty, unkempt beggar proceeds to tell me something.
I’m struck with horror, alarm! Does he have plans to attack me? I can’t understand what he’s saying. Panicking, I call for reinforcements. “George!” I bellow, unable to flee as my feet are planted to the floor in paralyzing fear.
Abruptly woken by my scream, my darling husband George rushes from the bedroom and into the kitchen. Disheveled and still groggy, he arrives ready to annihilate the intruding large hairy spider that he thinks has dared to enter my personal space. With eyes bulging he discovers the cause of my alarm – the frenzied beggar man grunting and groaning at me through the kitchen window!
He’s Hungry! I relax. George is here now and talking to the pitiful man. Numerous questions course through my mind, What’s he doing here? Why is he yelling at me through the window? Does he realize how scary he looks? My mental investigations are suspended with a directive from George. “He’s hungry. Quickly make him some food and tea!” With urgency, I reheat some of last evening’s meal and boil fresh Indian tea. My own need for a ‘cuppa’ is suspended for the moment. I start to pray as I ready the meal.
I can hear George sharing the gospel with the poor, wretched man. Shortly, I carry the beggar’s food and tea on a tray out into the front compound. Placing the food before him with a prayer of blessing, I stand back to allow the starving man to eat in privacy.
Does He Know About Eternity? The forming child in my womb suddenly moves and I affectionately rub my bulging stomach, delighting in the miracle of new life. Lifting my eyes I’m drawn to the beggar once more. I scan his face and figure. He’s very old and obviously sick. His clothes are rags, his skin is caked in filth. His meager belongings of a chipped enamel cup, a few old tins and another scrap of threadbare cloth are retrieved from his bag. My heart cries out with compassion and prayer. Does he know about eternity? Will he accept Jesus and enter into heaven when he dies?
The hungry man swiftly finishes every last morsel and sips his tea. All along George talks to him, sharing with him the love of God. The thought that he may leave our house unsaved is truly unbearable. Fervent prayer gushes from my heart for his salvation – here and now! He may not have a tomorrow! All too soon the nameless beggar heaves himself with great difficulty from the ground. He has other beggarly duties to attend to. George and I watch him slowly lumber up the street towards the main road, to his usual dwelling place.
How Did He Respond? “That’s the first time he has ever come here!” I say to George, “I’m so glad that he came.” Then I ask the question that is hammering in my heart: “How did he respond to the Lord?” George’s reply will be forever impressed on my memory as a story of the remarkable love of God. “I’ve been praying specifically for him for some days. He will die soon. The Lord has directed him here so he can be saved before he dies. He has heard the gospel and accepted Jesus.”
Tears stream down our faces. We are speechless, overwhelmed by the depths of God’s love and mercy for a shunned beggar – forgotten, ignored by men, but not by his Creator.
Prepared Through Prayer My mind swirls with the early morning events: God inspires George to pray for an unknown beggar’s salvation. The Holy Spirit compels the beggar to leave his search for food in the rubbish heap and to instead visit our house. Having been prepared through prayer, George is ready to share the gift of salvation to the dying man! Did he know that God was ordering his steps? All events orchestrated sovereignly by a merciful God. Simply awesome! Simply the amazing love of God!
That was the last ever seen or heard of that beggar.
Missions…Is It Worth It? Missions: is it worth the inconveniences, long separations from family and friends, deprived of the ‘norms’ of familiar culture, unbearable weather conditions that weary body and soul?
Is one soul worth it?
Oh yeah!

Karen Elengikal is a published writer and photographer from Sydney, Australia. Karen’s articles and stories appear in 5 books to date, in numerous Christian magazines and ezines and her own book, “Kidz Battle Zone” is to be released in Australia on 07/07/07. Her series of 12 illustrated children’s stories, “The Adventures of Bobi Giraffe”, will be released in 2008.

Karen has been a missionary in Papua New Guinea and in India for 8 years. She met her husband George and married him there in 1993. Since then they have been blessed with 7 beautiful sons. Karen and her family are currently living in Australia, but they plan to return to India in 2007 to resume their ministry.
Karen’s background is in graphic design which has well suited her creative talents in Photo Artistry. Her website, ˜Godinspired-PhotoArt.com” has been created to provide ongoing support for their missions work in India and in the nations.

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