“We do not have a secret to be hidden but a story to be heralded”
In his book What in the World is God Doing? Dr. Ted Engstrom relates a story told to him by a veteran Korean Christian. In the early 1880s three Korean workmen, laboring in China, heard the Gospel and embraced the Lord Jesus. The three soon conspired about getting the message of Christ into their own country, an action forbidden by the government. Since the Korean and Chinese alphabets were similar, they decided to smuggle in a copy of the Chinese Bible. They drew straws to see who would have the privilege of bringing the Gospel into Korea.
The first man buried the Bible in his belongings and headed toward the border, a journey of many days by footpath. There he was searched, found out, and killed. Word reached the others that their friend was dead.
The second man tore pages from the Bible and hid the separate pages throughout his luggage. He, too, made the long trip to the border only to be searched and beheaded.
The third man grew more determined than ever to succeed. He ingeniously tore his Bible apart page by page, folding each page into a tiny strip. He wove the strips into a rope and wrapped his baggage in his homemade rope. When he came to the border, the guards asked him to unwrap his belongings. Finding nothing amiss, they admitted him.
The man arrived home, untied the rope, and ironed out each page. He reassembled his Bible and began to preach Christ wherever he went. And when the missionaries of the 1880s fanned into the country, they found the seed already sown and the firstfruits appearing*.
This story reminds me of what Jesus said in the Gospel: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32, NLT).
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
§ Ted W. Engstrom, What in the World is God Doing? (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1978), Page 161.