Being Free, Being Passionate

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       February 3, 2014

 

 

Two weeks ago I wrote about my former college classmate, Tom Randall, who was being held, along with two Philippino men, in a jail in the Philippines. After 22 days the charges against Tom were dropped and he is now free.

Praise the Lord!

The other two men, Toto and Jake, are still being held at this point.

As I’ve been reading the daily updates from Tom’s wife, Karen, who I also went to school with, I’ve been amazed by the stories that have come out of Tom’s imprisonment. First of all, over 58,000 people have “Liked” the “Free Tom Randall” facebook page. the prayer support and encouraging words have been incredible.

But then there’s the stories! Tom Randall is passionate about the gospel. He understands the rescue that God did in his life many, many years ago. He has experienced a sense of peace in his life that was punctuated with restlessness. He knows the hope that can stay within a person when everything seems to be falling apart.

His passion for living a life that makes a difference for others has been evident. The charges that had been leveled against him came out of accusations about the treatment of some of the children at the orphanage that he has operated for the past thirty years. Understand that Tom began the orphanage to help rescue lives of kids who had no hope. As time goes on it will become clearer as to how these accusations came to be, but for now it is important to note that the orphanage was begun out a man’s heart for kids…hope for the hopeless. It’s an indicator of what his life is about.

In his time of incarceration he shared the gospel with a number of the men who were locked up with him. He introduced Jesus to them, and several became followers of Christ behind the iron bars of a cell.

It tells us that a person’s passion does not fade away just because his surroundings take a significant dive. Tom would probably say, although I’m presuming here, that God orchestrated this whole thing so he could be a proclaimer of the good news to some men who desperately needed to hear it. So us it is hard to see the “forever of a person’s soul”, but God demonstrates his love for all of us in the creating of temporary harshness for everlasting change.

How will this experience change Tom and Karen? It will only make them more resolved to love the people they have been serving. Passionate people rarely have their flame fade, but rather burn more intensely because of their experiences.

Perhaps the more significant question is how will this experience change us…the thousands of people who have been following it? My hope is that it will give us more resolve to be agents of change wherever God has placed us to serve, that we will seek to be people who will make a difference for the Kingdom.

A passionate life is never totally free because the calling won’t release us from it’s urgency.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Community, Faith, Freedom, Grace, Jesus, love, Pastor, Prayer, Story, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

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