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THE STORY OF BRUCE OLSON

You may have never heard the name Bruce Olson, but he has done mighty things for the kingdom of God.  At the tender age of nineteen, he left family and friends in Minnesota, bought a one way ticket to Venezuela, and with little money in his pocket set to make Christ known among the Motilone Indians.  No white man had survived contact with them in 400 years.  While searching for them he was shot in the thigh with an arrow, by the Indians.  While a prisoner of the Motilone Indians,  his wound became infected.  He knew that he would not live if he didn't get medical attention.  He escaped and was treated.   Undaunted by this affliction, he returned to the jungle to find the Indians and again was captured. This time during his captivity he came down with hepatitis.  A helecopter saw his distress signal and rescued him.  Incredibly, he returned for a third time and this time the Indians believed that he had been God touched because a "big metal bird" rescued him and they slowly accepted him.  He has been a missionary to the Motilone Indians for 28years.  However, the story doesn't end there.  There were guerilla organizations operating near the Motilone territory and sought to control it.  Bruce Olson was seen as indispensable in their quest because of the great respect the Indians had for him.  If Bruce would convince the Indians to join their cause their revolution would be assured.  Bruce was kidnapped by these guerilla's on Oct 24,1988. Through many months of captivity they could not convince Bruce to persuade the Indians of their cause.  However, conversions did take place. Bruce estimates that some 60% of the men he came in contact with became believers.  When they felt that could not persuade him they placed him before a firing squad. The bullets were only blanks. It was one last attempt to change Bruce's mind. With that they released him and he returned to the Indians. What sustained Bruce through this ordeal?  He writes:   "...It may seem bizarre to some people, but the truth is that it never onece occurred to me that it was God's responsibility to miraculously rescue me from this situation.  Instead, I believed that it was my responsibility to serve Him right where I was. What I asked for from day to day was very simple, very practical and I suppose quite typical of me.  "Father I'm alive and I want to use my time constructively, How can I be useful to You today?"  Wow! I believe this principle will be most useful in our daily walk with God.  How many times when we come to Him are we really asking "Please get me out of this pain?" Instead of "How can I be useful to You today?"Is God concerned about our pain?  Of course.  However, if God took away our pain He could not achieve His primary purpose which is to make like us like Christ.  Because it is this very pain that is the instrument that God uses to mold us into His image.Aren't we glad that Christ did not ask "Get me out of this pain" when He was on the cross.  Dear believer, as we encounter pain when we are advancing the Gospel, let us embrace and endure it.  And we will find the very presence of Christ right there with us just as He promised in Matt.28:20.

                                         May God bless you as you serve Him,

                                                     John Wardy

Get more info at www.bruceolson.com

 

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