I love learning about God’s people and how they lived their lives for God. It inspires me to walk my Christian life boldly. It is always easier to do something once someone else has done it first. So today we are going to look at three different people who have done some great things for God.
Billy Graham was born in 1918 in Charlotte, North Carolina. At fifteen years of age he gave his heart to the Lord during a series of revival meetings. He became an ordained minister in 1939.
During the post-World War II era he spent much time working with Youth for Christ, ministering to those suffering from the effects of the war. Everything changed for him in 1949 when he was asked to be the main speaker at the Los Angeles Crusade. This series of evangelical messages was supposed to go for three weeks, but he spoke so powerfully that it was extended to eight weeks to an overflowing crowd each night.
Since then Billy Graham has reached people all over the world from remote African villagers and Australian Aboriginals to heads of state and crowds in Madison Square gardens. He has also been one of the few people to have been able to preach right across the Eastern bloc in the Cold War era, including in the Soviet Union.
Throughout all of his life he has stayed strong in the Lord and in the power of His Might, and millions upon millions have been saved under Billy Graham’s ministry. The amazing thing is even at almost one hundred years old he is still ministering for the Lord. My prayer is that I will still be active for the Lord when I am his age.
Corrie ten Boom
I love this sweet, kind amazing woman of the Lord who showed us the power of love and forgiveness even in the middle of a Nazi death camp.
Corrie ten Boom was born in 1892 and by the time that World War II came she already had a deep faith in God. She and her family knew that what was happening to the Jews was wrong and they worked hard to save as many as they could. Some estimates say they saved as many as 800 people.
In February of 1944 their house was raided by the Germans during a prayer meeting and thirty people were arrested, but the Jews who were hidden in the house were not found. Corrie and her sister were sent to one concentration camp and her father another. He died ten days later.
Corrie saw many miracles while in the camp including being able to sneak her Bible into the camp, which her and her sister used to preach God’s word. They also managed to sneak in a bottle of vitamins which never ran out as long as they were sharing it.
Through it all God was with them. Corrie’s sister died in the concentration camp which hit Corrie very hard. She had truly believed that they would both make it through and minister together after the war was over, but she was able to go on through her trust in God.
By all rights Corrie should have died in that concentration camp, but a God-ordained ‘clerical error’ had her released from the camp only days before they killed all the women her age.
After the war, Corrie went around the world telling people her story and encouraging people to forgive. She even met up with one of the guards from Ravensbruck who had played a role in the death of her sister and was able to forgive him and tell him about God’s love. I admire Corrie and my prayer is that I can forgive like she did.
Anjezë Gonxhe (meaning Rosebud) Bojaxhiu was born in 1910 to an Albanian family. From a very young age she loved God and was fascinated by stories of missionaries and how they served people.
At the age of 18 she went to Ireland and joined the Sisters of Loreto to learn English so that she could become a missionary. She then went to India where she spent most of the rest of her life and that is where her story truly begins.
It was there that she took her vows and became Sister Teresa. As she worked as a nun she became very disturbed by the poverty that was all around her. In 1946 she felt the call to go live with those in poverty and help them in any way that she could. She knew that to ignore the call would mean disobeying God and so she went.
She first got her Indian citizenship and spent a few months getting basic medical training and then she went to the slums. It was difficult for her. She had to beg for food and money to feed people. She longed to be back at the convent with all its comforts, but still she obeyed. Over time other women felt the call as well and came to join her in helping those in need, forming the church called the Missionaries of Charity whose aim was to help the poor.
Over the years the charity grew and grew as more people joined in, and Mother Teresa never stopped working for the Lord. In 1952 she started a home for the dying and went on to build homes for orphans without parents and those with leprosy.
As things grew so did the influence that Mother Teresa had in the world. In 1982 during the Siege of Beirut she managed to negotiate a ceasefire between the Israeli army and Palestinian guerrillas long enough to allow her and many Red Cross workers to evacuate young patients in a hospital.
On September 5, 1997 she went home to be with her Lord, but the effects of what she had created still go on today as the people she touched now reach out to touch others.
How We Can Be Like Them
All three of these people were willing to lives their lives just doing what God called them to do and so can we. All of them started out small but ended up having a great impact on this world for God. Never despise the day of small beginnings because you never know what actions you take that will change the world!