Monday, August 18, 2008

Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God - Pt 3

Judith Nicholls writes ...

Esther Ahn Kim – Faithful in Suffering
Each year my husband, Tony and I return to the country where we served as missionaries to run courses for ministers. Many of our students bear the marks of persecution on their bodies. I return to Australia ashamed of my complaints about what I think I “suffer”. So I found the story of Esther Ahn Kim very moving.

Born in North Korea during the long Japanese occupation, the child of a Christian concubine, Esther became a teacher. Refusing to do homage at the shrines set up by the conquerors she spent time in hiding. She set about memorising Scripture against the time of her inevitable imprisonment because she believed God had directed her to go to Japan to call the authorities to repentance.
There is much in the account of her story that will puzzle Australian Christians. Some things will arise from cultural differences. But the deliberate preparation for death will be confronting, reminding readers of the martyrs of the early church.
Esther believed that God spoke to her directly on occasion. What do we make of those who have a “direct line to heaven”? Esther’s story suggests some answers. She acted only when other members of the church confirmed the message and her life was governed by reference to God’s Word rather than dependence on external signs.
Esther Ahn Kim’s story of imprisonment, suffering and triumph challenges our own commitment to Jesus and our praying for those who suffer for the Gospel today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these comments which I've found helpful. I did find the preparation for death idea a bit out there but it made me think...and thanks for pointing out Esther's wisdom in waiting for confirmation by others before acting.