Story of Oscar Romero (1917-1980)
In the 1970s and ‘80s, El Salvador was under the heel of a military dictatorship, and, as is common in such cases, the country’s poor suffered most. Fortunately, they had a champion in Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador. He worked to defend the rights of the poor, oppose the government’s unjust policies, and encourage the church to extend its work into every area of society.
In March 1980, an abandoned attaché case was found near the altar of Romero’s church. It contained a bomb—that failed to go off. After that, he insisted on traveling and working alone so as not to expose others to danger. While the archbishop was celebrating Communion two weeks later, on March 24, 1980, a red four-door Volkswagen drove past the front doors of the church. A professional assassin from a right-wing military death squad was in the passenger seat. The single bullet fired from the car found its target and killed Oscar Romero. In the weeks before his death, Romero uttered these thoughts about martyrdom:
Martyrdom is a grace of God that
I do not believe I deserve.
But if God accepts the sacrifice of my life,
let my blood be a seed of freedom
and the sign that hope will soon be a reality
Let my death, if it is accepted by God,
be for my people’s freedom and a witness of hope.
You may say, if they succeed in killing me,
that I pardon and bless those who do it.
Would, indeed, they might be convinced not
to waste their time.
A bishop will die, but God’s Church,
which is the people, will never perish.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; your rule is for all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words and gracious in all his actions. Psalm 145:13 CSB
Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 CSB
Meditate on the truth, “always carry the death of Jesus in [your] body.”
What does this mean to you? How can you start to carry this out practically?
This is the purpose for doing so: “so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in [your] body.”
Specific Prayer Need
The very first balloon launches of 2019 are underway! Last year we met a former North Korean soldier whose job it was to pick up our Bibles and make sure normal North Koreans were not able to find them. Because our Bibles spread out across a large distance (when they fall) it is virtually impossible to collect each and every Bible. In fact, he estimated that 60% of our Bibles are picked up by North Korean citizens. He even said that the soldiers themselves often read them! Please pray for each and every one of the 30,000 Bibles that will be launched and the people that will pick them up and read them!
Also, please join our Prayer & Praise evening tonight at GSIS, Room #312, from 7PM to 9PM as we conclude our 7 Days of Prayer and Fasting together.