Sunday, September 2, 2012

Extreme contrast

Russia: Claudia Vasilevna

Secret Soviet police documents show that in Butovo, a suburb of Moscow, forty-four thousand people were shot in groups of two hundred and buried secretly. One night during the slaughter, Claudia Vasilevna opened her door to a haggard woman who was supposed to be shot for her Christian faith but managed to escape. She begged Claudia to hide her.

Fearful, Claudia refused. She closed the door and left the woman outside, sealing the woman’s death sentence. For over fifty years, Claudia has struggled to forget the image of the women.

In contrast to Claudia’s struggle, Romanian church members enjoyed peace in their hearts by helping two Germans soldiers who had escaped en route to a Soviet jail. They sought refuge in the church of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. At the end of World War II, Romania was ruled by harsh Nazi Germany. As Germany was losing the war, the Russian army entered Romania and began taking Germans as prisoners of war.

Hiding or helping a German was punishable by death.

The soldiers still wore the German uniforms and were candidates for death. The church families agreed to help protect them because it was not their place to judge but to help every person in mortal danger. They also reached out to German children during this time, knowing that they were only doing what Christ would do in their place.

Christians often have to choose between trouble for their bodies and trouble for their souls. It’s the difference between earthly trouble and eternal regret. Extreme Christians live in such contrast with the rest of the world that sometimes it is hard to relate. Their circumstances we may face decisions that require extraordinary courage. Will we choose earthly security over eternal significance? Will we take an earthly risk that may result in a spiritual gain? When you are faced with situations that require in a spiritual gain? When you are faced with situations that require courage beyond your means, ask God for help. He will provide the wisdom you need at the right time to make the right decision.

Excerpted from Extreme Devotion, a book of 365 true accounts of men and women who totally sold out for Jesus. You can order a copy of this book from our online catalogue or by contacting our office.

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