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Missionary Stories

Do you like missionary stories? Are you interested in possibly pursuing the mission field? Maybe my story will be interesting to you. I had just finished visiting the nation of Central African Republic. In Bangui, the capital city, I boarded an airplane to return home to Nairobi.

On the first leg of the flight home, we landed in Brazzaville, Congo, for a layover. It was late at night, about two o’clock in the morning. All the passengers got off the airplane and were escorted to a separate building next to the airport, which was closed. All passengers, including myself, gave our tickets and passports to the attendant sitting at a desk.

We sat for about two hours before he began to call the name of each passenger who had departed the last plane. The attendant gave each passenger his or her ticket and passport back. Then the passenger was to walk outside and board the next flight.

While waiting, I discovered I was not to get on this particular airplane, but on another one that would leave later that morning. Every passenger in the room received their ticket and passport and left.

Being the only one in the room, the attendant looked at me as if I were a bit of a nuisance. He motioned for me to come to him. He gave me my ticket and passport while saying something to me in French. My confusion must have been evident because he stopped talking and began motioning what he wanted me to do.

He pointed toward another door, which led outside to the airport parking lot. Moving his hand, I interpreted that I was supposed to go through that door. He turned his hand, symbolizing that he planned to lock it behind me.

“I understand,” I said. “Leave this room and go outside!”

I took my luggage and walked outside into the dark of night. The moon was shining, so there was a small amount of light. But not much.

Next to the building was the airport entrance. It, too, was locked for the night, though airport personnel milled around inside. The attendant left the separate building where I had been waiting. I assumed he went home.

I looked around and saw a bench, walked over to it with my luggage, and sat down. I thought, This is crazy! And dangerous! I am out in the dark, with no security, all by myself.

But what else could I do? Nothing but sit and wait until the airport reopened so that I could board my flight to Nairobi, Kenya.

I sat, thinking, praying, and waiting for the time to pass. As I prayed, I remembered that I was not alone—that Jesus had promised, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” I clung tightly to these words of assurance, reminding myself of them over and over.

Around 5:30 in the morning, I looked at my watch and noticed there was no sunrise peaking over the horizon at all. It was still completely dark out. There were no lights in the parking lot. The bench was not very comfortable, but it was better than sitting on the ground.

All was quiet. For a moment.

Suddenly, I heard the ear-piercing sound of gunfire. I saw a flash of light to my right. It was only about 30 feet away! Then I heard another round of gunfire to my left, followed by more flashes of light.

I prayed, “Lord, where should I run?” I kept thinking, I should get under the bench. I listened and heard the answer, “Run into the arms of Jesus—Do not move!”

Missionary Adventures

Things can happen very quickly in life. In the blink of an eye or the flash of a pistol, everything can change. You can be working in a corporate office in Atlanta one day, and then a very short time later, be a missionary sitting on a bench in Africa between two men who are exchanging gunfire.

What follows is my story—fifty stories, to be exact, that I want to share with you. They’re the stories of a man who believed God to accomplish the impossible. They’re the stories of a family who trusted God deeply, uprooting every aspect of their lives and moving to another continent to answer His call.

But most of all, these are the stories of Jesus—the stories of His power unleashed through prayer, rejoicing, and even sorrow.

I pray that as you read these stories, God reveals to you both His faithfulness and His love. I pray that your trust in God grows exponentially. I pray that if you don’t already, you will begin to believe His Word and His promises to you. I pray that you are encouraged to answer His call—to whatever place and position that may be.

Because where God calls you, He is already there, waiting to welcome you as you run into the arms of Jesus.

What you’ve just read was the introduction to Ron Tyler’s new book You Want Me to Do What!?!: How God Saved 25 Million People Through One Missionary Family’s Obedience, with Foreword by internationally recognized Bible teacher and bestselling author Kay Arthur.

Get it now on Amazon for only $2.99!

Or keep reading more chapters below!

Chapter 23: Why Did You Wait So Long to Come?

In training people on how to share their faith with their villages and churches, I did something called “OJT,” or on-the-job training. I believed it wasn’t enough to simply give them information, but for them to apply the training in real-life scenarios. The goal was for them to be able to evangelize on their own, and for them to be able to train their church members to do the same.

So we’d go out into the local areas and share the gospel. During one such outing, I was doing OJT with one American and two Nigerian pastors. We walked out into a village where we were approached by a bunch of children. The children were talking to us and clamoring for our attention. The Nigerian pastor translated their words to me, but I had a feeling that God wanted us to continue walking.

As we walked deeper into the village, we encountered five elderly men sitting on a wall. One of the men said something to me that I didn’t understand.

“What did he say?” I asked the translator.

“He said, ‘Come and tell us about God.’”

That, I thought, I can do!

Through the translator, I spoke to the men, hoping to establish some sort of relationship.

Eventually, I asked, “Have you come to the place in your life where you know for certain that if you were to die today, you would go to Heaven?”

“No,” was the response from all five men.

Then I said, “May I share with you how I know for certain that I have eternal life?”

Each man said, “Yes.” 

I went on to say, “Before I do, may I ask each of you a second question?”

Again, the men said, “Yes.”

“If you were to die today and stand before God, and He were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into Heaven?’, what would you say to God?” 

Each man answered that question. “God would not let me into His Heaven.”

Then I said, “When I heard each of your answers to the first question, I thought I might have some good news to share with you. But now, after hearing your answers to the second question, I know I have the best news anyone could ever hear!”

Then I presented the gospel. When I was finished, I asked, “Does that make sense to you?”

“Yes!” came their resounding responses.

“Would you like to receive the gift of eternal life?”

I waited for each man to answer, one by one. “This is an important decision,” I added. “So first, let me clarify what you are about to do.”

The American trainee with us was getting anxious. He wanted the men to pray the prayer of salvation right away.

“There’s no reason to rush,” I told him. “We are going to take the time for each man to understand the decision he is going to make. Besides, there are no satellite dishes installed in this village. They aren’t going anywhere! There are no distractions here.”

I explained the steps of salvation once again. Once I was certain each man understood what they were about to do, they confirmed, “Yes, I want to pray to receive Christ!”

After their prayer, we congratulated the men. “Welcome to the family of God!”

Before leaving, one of the men stopped to ask me, “Did your father know about Jesus?”

“Yes,” I said.

“How long have you known about this Jesus?” he asked.

I thought for a moment and then gave him my answer.

The man looked a bit confused. “Then why did you wait so long to come?” he asked.

Even today that question rings through my mind!

“I can’t answer that question,” I told him, “but I can tell you that we’re here to stay. Though I won’t be living in this area, in this village, these two men right here will!” I pointed toward the two Nigerian pastors.

Our team of four walked back to the church where we were conducting the training. Once there, I asked the two Nigerian pastors to report what had just happened.

We continued the training the next day. To our surprise, the five men from the wall came to the church as we were finishing up.

“Can we tell everyone what happened yesterday?” they asked.

“Yes!” I exclaimed.

The five men stood before the pastors being trained and shared their story of salvation. Then, they asked if they could stay for the remainder of our training to learn more.

“Of course!” we all answered. “You are welcome.”

“Why did you wait so long to come?” the man had asked me. Maybe God is asking you that same question. What is He calling you toward or asking you to do? Are you tarrying, dragging your feet, or complaining?

Are you willing to look at the Lord and say, “I am ready. I’ll go where You send me!”?

People are waiting to hear a word from God—people like the five men on the wall. Will you go? Will you tell them about Jesus? They are waiting!

What you’ve just read was chapter 23 from Ron Tyler’s new book You Want Me to Do What!?!: How God Saved 25 Million People Through One Missionary Family’s Obedience, with Foreword by internationally recognized Bible teacher and bestselling author Kay Arthur.

Get it now on Amazon for only $2.99!