This newsletter has primarily been used over the years to highlight victories. We have seen sport used as an effective platform in advancing the gospel in restricted contexts (where sports professionals are welcomed but missionaries are forbidden). Sport has served as a universal key that has overwhelmingly succeeded in unlocking the doors of different cultures, languages, and systems. We have continually shared stories of fruit being produced among some of the most difficult soil this world can offer.
But the reality is that the countries where we primarily work are unreached for a reason. It’s difficult. Travel logistics, government permits, corrupt politicians, and broken infrastructures, not to mention the principalities and powers not eager to give up their dominion over these regions, make progress painfully slow.
Recently, an Uttermost affiliate working in an Islamic country communicatied he was about to be blacklisted by the government for refusing to bribe high-ranking officials. Years of work, dozens of relationships, and layers of networks, potentially lost. One signature on an official document could change the trajectory of a family’s life and potentially, a country’s destiny.
There are real casualties in this war and it is appropriate and even necessary to pause and grieve when failures and set backs occur. Eternity is at sake, and what could be more important than this?
The Scriptures don’t go out of their way to explain pain and suffering. They offer little insight into the origins of heartbreak and devastation. The Bible simply claims that suffering is not random, and it’s not unchecked. The pain believers face has real value and will ultimately be used for the advancement of God’s glory and His people’s joy.
In the garden, our Savior, the founder and lead missionary of our faith, was overwhelmed and physically devastated, sweating blood to the point of death. A corrupt government, armed with false charges and under the cover of darkness, ended His ministry. But what was thought to be the darkest hour of Christianity was actually the platform for our salvation.
Jesus always brings life out of death. May it be so again.
“Though He slay me, I will hope in Him...” Job 13:15
Bubby Bryan, DOC