Abba Andrew

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Some day around 1996 Wheaton had a chapel service which sticks in my mind. I am not one to hero worship and don’t find the cult of celebrity appealing whatsoever. My tendency is to critique leaders not bow before them.

However, on that day, for whatever reason, as I sat listening to the speaker about fifteen rows from the stage, I got the strongest sense in the depths of my soul that before me was a man whose shoes I was unworthy to untie.

He was discussing his work in Muslim countries at that point. Christianity Today has an interview with Brother Andrew discussing the same ministry.

Recently I was going again to see the Hamas in Gaza, and one of our leaders said, “Well, Andrew, are you now going to tell them that they have to believe in the Trinity?” I said, “The only thing I can say to you is, you’ll never evangelize Muslims because we’re not going there to force a doctrinal point down their throat. We’re going there to exhibit the love and compassion of Jesus—put our arms around people that are lost, totally lost, living in darkness. We’re going to bring a little light and then encourage the church that is still there to be the light—to be the church and function as such.” We should have that boldness to go to them and say, “What you seek”—I don’t say what you miss, but that’s what I think—”what you seek, I have.”

How can they ever love my Savior if they cannot first love me?

As Ignatius might say, this is a man and a Christian. Even reading his words brings back the resonance of that day years ago, for he is still a man whose shoes I am unworthy to untie, and can only pray to be even a small measure of the same kind of Christian.

It is not necessarily his work… it is his obedience filled with confident faith. That is something worthy to honor and emulate.

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