Hundreds of Ethiopian men piled into the chapel pews like sardines in a can to attend AIMS.org missions training. There was no more room inside the building, so I sat just outside the opened chapel doors on a school desk next to a tall, slender man with light brown skin. As he maneuvered his long legs underneath the small desk, the fabric of his oversized dress pants raised just enough to expose a perfectly round scar above his ankle. Sensing my gaze, he turned toward me, revealing that his right eye was shriveled up like a raisin.
This man had been a missionary to a hostile region within his country. While preaching the gospel, he was captured by Muslim extremists and beaten so severely that he lost sight in one eye. They forced rebar spikes through his ankles and nailed him to a makeshift cross saying, “We will crucify you just like your Savior.” Although the Ethiopian missionary lived through the traumatic incident, he left the Muslim region unsure if he would ever return.
As he listened to the training from outside the chapel doors, the message was clear: God wanted to renew his passion to carry the gospel to unevangelized tribes.
“Come to the altar if you want power to be a greater witness to the unreached,” the minister beckoned. With an air of resolve, the man with the withered eye stood up from the metal desk and made his way to the front of the chapel.
At the altar, the minister placed his hands on the Ethiopian man and suddenly the power of God caused him to fall to the floor. After several minutes, he stumbled to his feet. Slowly lifting his hand to his eye, he trembled with astonishment at the realization that his withered eye had popped open! A roar of praise erupted in the chapel at the miracle that had taken place. The congregation was stunned that the man’s physical vision had been restored, but for the Ethiopian missionary, an equally significant miracle had taken place—God restored his spiritual vision to see the harvest.
Many Christians today have spiritually withered vision. With no clear picture of what God wants to do in the earth through them, they live by what they see instead of by what God sees.
So what does God see?
In Revelation 7:9, God paints a picture of a “great multitude which no one could count, from all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues” were worshipping around His throne.
This crystal clear vision is what compels the heart of God to pursue every people group with His love. And in the same way that God restored vision to the Ethiopian man, He is eager to etch this image on our hearts.
Bevin Bold serves alongside her husband at AIMS.ORG, a missions organization targeting unreached people groups with the gospel. She is known for her creativity and passion for God’s Word. Since graduating Texas Bible Institute in 2000, Bevin has served in local church and overseas ministry. In 2008, she and her husband moved to northern Iraq as missionaries where they planted a house church, baptized former Muslims and opened a café. Bevin now spends her days using her writing and design abilities to advocate for those who have no access to the message of Jesus. A loving wife and mom to Haven and Honor, she enjoys a good cappuccino, spending time with her family in nature and making jewelry. Connect with Bevin on Instagram or at aims.org.