June 15, 2004

We learn from the missionary Raymond Lull to follow Christ even into a martyr’s death.  Lull truly loved his enemies and died as did the first recorded martyr, Stephen.
Raymond Lull, 1232-1315 “First Missionary to the Moslems”
At age 55, Lull believed he was ready to go to northern Africa to share Christ with Muslims filled with bitterness toward Christianity because of the Crusades. Friends gathered at the ship to see him off.  But the ship sailed without him when he panicked. Lull overcame his terror and boarded the next ship for Tunis.  He announced his presence to learned Muslims and offered to debate them in public.  He promised he would become a Muslim if they proved to him that Islam was superior to Christianity.
As a result of the debates, some Muslims became interested in learning more about Christianity.  Others did not.  They had Lull thrown in prison.  He was  deported, and stoned on the way to the ship.
At the age of 75, Lull returned to North Africa to try again to reach the Muslims there.  He invited Muslims in Bugia, east of Algiers, to a public debate. Lull employed some techniques that would not be accepted by many missiologists today.  He presented the Ten Commandments, then claimed the prophet Mohammed had violated every one of them.  He also said that Islam was full of the seven deadly sins.  He was soon back in prison.  Lull returned to Europe, but traveled again to Bugia in 1314 when he was more than 80 years of age.  He visited a  small group of former Muslims he had led to Christ, and tried secretly for ten months to draw still more to his Lord and Savior.
“I had been fairly rich,” Lull wrote late in his life.  “I had a wife and children.  I enjoyed the pleasant side of life, but I gladly renounced all this to tell Muslims the truth about Christ.  I studied Arabic.  They put me in jail  and flogged me.  Now I have gotten old, but I don’t give up hope.  God willing,  I wish to persist until death.”
Zwemer said of Lull, who grew tired of hiding and spoke again in an open market: “He pleaded with love…but spoke plainly the whole truth…Filled with fanatic  fury at his boldness, and unable to reply to his arguments, the populace seized him, and dragged him out of town; there by the command, or at least the connivance, of the king, he was stoned on the 30th of June, 1315, and he died shortly thereafter.”


***Pastor Samson of the Etago CLC (Kenya) reports on May 30 that ten souls were baptized.  Previously 28 were baptized on May 2nd.  Nine young men among those are asking for correspondance courses to be sent to them.  If we hunger and thirst after righteousness, Jesus says we shall be satisfied. Mt. 5:6
***Reports from the Lutheran Church of East Africa in Tanzania indicate increasing work among the Masai tribe.  Only one in ten of that tribe believe in Christ. May the Lord bless the efforts of our brethren to reach out to those who do not know our dear Jesus.

In Him,
Pastor David Koenig