Risk-taking for the Gospel

February 20, 2017 at 6:00 AM

Dr. Julius Surjadi interacts with the residents of Pagamba, Papua, a remote village in mountainous eastern Indonesia.      (Photos by Dan Breen)

Risk-taking for the Gospel 

By Dr. Wrede Vogel

A devotional I’ve been reading this month has a section on Courage and Risk Taking. It quotes Henry Lee Alan in his book, Man to Man, defining risk as “having the faith to attempt something new or different even though it might be hard or lead to failure.”

He states, “Risk is not recklessness; recklessness involves little or no forethought… In contrast those who take risks are aware that they face enormous obstacles to achievements; yet, the rewards seem well worth the effort.”

A recent trip to Asia with Luke Society Asia Regional Coordinator Dr. Julius Surjadi led to more thoughts about taking risks. Risk taking is an inherent part of the ministry of most Luke Society directors working in the remote regions of developing countries.

Julius’ ministry is a good example. Julius is not interested in “extreme sports.” He doesn’t take risk for the thrill. He is certainly not reckless or careless. Yet his calling takes him to places and conditions that exceed the risk and excitement seen in many popular reality TV shows.

Flying with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Papua, Eastern Indonesia, into dangerous mountainside landing strips and working with tribes known for violent clashes and cannibalism is part of the risk of his calling.

His desire to share his Christian faith with unreached people and his decision to improve their medical care seem to completely overshadow the risk he takes.

The rewards Julius sees for advancement of the Kingdom seem well worth the effort.

Although Julius doesn’t see himself as courageous, his willingness to take risk to follow God’s calling makes him a Hero of the Faith in my eyes.

Luke Society Asia Regional Coordinator Dr. Julius Surjadi discusses conditions of the Pagamba airstrip with a Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot.

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Ministering amidst danger