Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10
John Paul Chan is the pastor of Gate Baptist Church in Hong Kong. The church is built next to the ancient city wall and on the other side of the wall are the drug dens of Kowloon. For days on end Pastor Chan had watched as corpses were hauled out of the lawless enclave alongside the church. It was a dreadful sight. Some of the corpses were permanently frozen in the squatted stance of the Asian drug addict. Finally he’d had enough. He decided to venture from his safe haven and see what was going on beyond the wall.
He wasn’t prepared for what he encountered. It was as if he had literally gone from heaven to hell. In one small tin-roofed building he saw 100 people crammed together inhaling the fumes of heated heroin. Pastor Chan says, “I thought I had walked into a cemetery and was seeing ghosts and nobody was doing anything to help them.” He remembers crying out, “Somebody has to do something!”
As it turned out, that somebody ended up being Pastor Chan. Within a short time he started an organization called Operation Dawn, a unique drug treatment programme that combines tough love with lots of Scripture. The tame middle-aged pastor was transformed into a tiger. For the past 25 years he’s rescued ten times as many heroin and opium addicts as another programme in Hong Kong with 40 times his budget! [Source: Bennett Chuck. Heroes on the Frontline.]
Isn’t that great? It’s a testimony to the healing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But what caught my attention was the fact that a gentle, easy-going pastor, when faced with the ravages of drug addiction, was transformed into a tiger. When the Spirit of God got hold of him, he could no longer accept the status quo, he could no longer be passive, he had to do something. With righteous indignation he became a powerhouse in the battle against sin.
Which suggests a question. Are you prepared to do something – to stick out your neck and make a difference? No excuses now. You don’t have to be someone special. Pastor Chan was a tame middle-aged man. What transformed him was that he allowed the Spirit of God to have His way with him. So go for it. You can do it. Step out in faith, take up the challenge that’s been on your heart and mind. And “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” Ephesians 6:10.