May 21, 2008


[Main Story]

capRoger is an undercover agent for Jesus. A few years ago he would never have thought so, but he is.
Roger isn’t his real name. He works as an engineer in a country where the Adventist Church has no organized presence.
Roger has worked there for many years, long before becoming an Adventist. During those years he enjoyed flaunting his “freedoms.” He drank, ate pork, caroused, and bragged about it to his non-Christian coworkers.
Then he came into contact with some other expatriate workers in that country. These people were different; they didn’t swear, smoke, drink, or eat pork. In fact, sometimes he asked them, “Are you sure you aren’t Muslim?” He knew they weren’t; they worshipped on Saturday, not Sunday as did the Christians, or Friday like the Muslims. Yet they clearly weren’t Jews, either.
They were strange, but he liked them. Roger began to meet secretly with them, moving from home to home each week to avoid raising suspicion. As he came to know the One they love and worship, his life began to change. He wished he had known Jesus long before. What could he do now to help spread the good news? He had no talents or training along those lines; he was only an engineer.
Several years ago, while entering the country, Roger stood praying silently in the customs line. Since his conversion he had often come into the country with books of encouragement for our Adventist members and their friends. Often he had been waived through the checkpoint.
Sometimes he had seen inspectors dig through his suitcases and move past the books without seeing them. But this time they found the books and roughly yanked him out of line.
The customs officers might well be called “interrorgators.” They are experts in extracting information from people who don’t want to give it. These men know how to carve terror into a grown man’s heart.
Roger was dragged from one office to another where men played games with his mind. His heart pounding, his head spinning, he didn’t know what to do or say. Why had God allowed this to happen? These were His books, going to His people. Why didn’t God do something?
In the midst of Roger’s terror, while his palms were sweating and his knees shaking, a blessed peace washed over him. Words and thoughts flashed into his mind. Roger began to tell these men about the life he used to live. He told them about the carousing, drinking, gambling, smoking—even while living in their country all those years. Then he said, “But I don’t do any of those things anymore. I began to read these books and they changed my life. They brought me to know the Creator God of the universe. I have fully surrendered my 
life to Him. Now I am a new man.”
The “interrorgators” were visibly moved by his testimony. They said he was a better follower of God than they were; he didn’t even smoke! Then, not knowing what to do with him, they shifted him to another office. Three times that night Roger had the opportunity to share his testimony and encourage these men to read the books they were confiscating.
In the morning, they unexpectedly released Roger after fining him $800. At first he felt overwhelmed; what a waste of money! Why did God let it happen? He could have used that money to benefit so many people.
Then the thought struck him: in the past he would gladly have paid $800 to get access to men like this. God had opened the door for him to give them not only a book, but 24 books about knowing Jesus better—and they had been ordered to read them! He had been able to share his personal testimony of what God had done in his life.
The officials sent him away, reminding him that, depending on what they found, they might be “contacting” him again. It was meant to be a threat, but Roger rejoiced inside. Think of it: Top customs officials were reading Adventist books. And it cost Roger only $800.
We can’t use Roger’s real name, or say where this story occurred. But we can ask you to pray for him and the many like him who are faithfully letting their changed lives witness to those around them.
—Homer Trecartin