On this day in 2004, Sergei Besarab, a national baptist missionary, was shot and killed in the city of Isfara in northern Kyrgyzstan. Around 9:00 pm, a group of armed gunman burst into the church yard and shot the praying missionary through an open window. Though it had never been confirmed, most believe that the attack was carried out by members of an Islamic extremist group. Sergei’s ministry had received several threats and, just a week before the attack, one of the town’s main papers wrote an article attacking and condemning Sergei and his ministry. Despite the challenges, dangers, and threats, Sergei continued to stand bold and faithful til the end.
Sergei, before he was saved, had a severe criminal record and was a petty drug dealer. But while he was serving time in prison, he was taught the gospel through a prison outreach done by a local baptist church. It was during these prison meetings that Sergei accepted Christ and became a new person in Him. Rashid Shamsizade, a Baptist pastor remembered this, “We conduct services in prisons and indeed it was there that we met Besarab. After he got to know the Bible, he became a completely different person – he was indeed born again.”
On this day in 1833, Adoniram Judson sent a letter to his mission society back in America. Too often, Judson had seen people come over as missionaries whose hearts were not in the work and they would only stay a little while until they would quit and go back. To a man who had sacrificed so much and suffered such great things, this flippant approach to God’s work was frustrating. In his letter, he begged the society to be careful on who they spent their resources and sent out. He summed up the letter with this statement:
The motto of every missionary—whether preacher, printer, or schoolmaster—ought to be “Devoted for Life.” A
few days ago, Brother Kincaid was asked by a Burmese officer of government how long he intended to stay. “Until all Burma worships the eternal God,” was his prompt reply.
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