Category Archives: Short Stories

A Christian Martyr – Kayla Mueller

Last night, I stopped by to visit a brother in Christ I hadn’t seen in a while. We caught up on what had been going on our lives. Then later on, a documentary on TV came on talking about Kayla Mueller. As I watched the program about her ordeal in Syria, my heart was truly touched and shaken to the core. I didn’t want to cry in front of my friend but when I arrived home, I allowed myself to cry a bit. It was a truly heart-touching story! I am writing this blog to honor her in memory and to highlight how her faith served as a light beacon shining for everyone to see. I will provide a brief summary with a link to the story below. But I warn you that it is a heartbreaking story to read and is not advisable for children to read.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/kayla-mueller-captivity-courage-selflessness-defended-christian-faith/story?id=41626763

For those who don’t know who Kayla Mueller was. She was a precious sister in Christ who had an abundant amount of compassion, sense of humor, and the heart of gold to help those who suffered. In other words, she had many wonderful traits in God’s eyes! Kayla had been involved in numerous organization devoted to helping suffering people. She had achieved so much in her life in helping others. As listed in this website – http://www.forkayla.org/ – She was involved in the following organizations:

African Refugee Development Center
Amnesty International
Contact Magazine
Danish Refugee Council
Food for Life Vrindavan
International Solidarity Movement
Just Peace
LHA Charitable Trust
New Day Peace Center
Northern Arizona University Center for Intercultural Education
Plum Village
Prescott Area Women’s Shelter
Save Darfur Coalition
STAND:NAU
Support to Life
Tibet Hope Center
Youth Count

Looking through this list, I can’t but admire her devotion and passion to helping others. I feel inspired by her action and look upon her as a role model. She was living out her faith in God virtuously through helping others.

As the story revealed, the terrorist organization ISIS kidnapped Kayla while she was helping at the hospital in Aleppo. What she endured was horrifying, yet she prevailed in the face of greatest darkness. It didn’t extinguish the light and love of Christ shining from her heart. As I read the story, I was amazed how she was still devoted to helping others even while undergoing unspeakable suffering – I am specifically referring to the part where she let the Yazidi girl escape while staying behind to increase their chance of success. She held on to her faith even to the point of death. Truly, God was with her every step of the way and strengthening her.  She died in February 2015, but exactly how she died is unclear. Nevertheless, she died as a Christian martyr. I do believe that God will reward her abundantly for her devotion and sacrifice in her life to the very end. I truly do hope I will have the privilege of meeting her in heaven one day!

I will close with two quotes from Kayla Mueller and a few verses from the bible.

I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine. If this is how you are revealed to me, this is how I will forever seek you. – Kayla

This is really my life’s work, to go where there is suffering. I suppose, like us all, I’m learning how to deal with the suffering of the world inside myself… to deal with my own pain and most importantly to still have the ability to be proactive – Kayla

Matthew 5:11-13 (ESV)
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (ESV)
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

Depending on Each Other

God has showed me big time how His children are interdependent on each other and how our actions have a ripple effect upon others. I want to share a story with you. There were two brothers in Christ and they had a good fellowship for a while. God had been speaking powerfully through this ministering brother and thus helping ministering to the learning brother who was continuously learning. At times, the learning brother would speak something but didn’t realize it came from God. This spoken word also helped the ministering brother!! One day, the ministering brother was in a serious trouble. The landlord was going to evict him and his family. He tried everything to avoid being evicted, and had no one to ask for help. But God finally put the learning brother onto his heart, so the ministering brother hesitantly asked the learning brother to help them make the rent payment. The learning brother, out of compassion and love, decided to help the ministering brother out. I thought this was a good example of how when one member has a lack and those who have enough are able to help. This can work both ways for all of us have different gifting, supplies, personality, etc…

Maybe one person isn’t good at speaking with people for spreading God’s word, but is really good at showing hospitality and helping others. Or maybe someone is really good at praying for others but not skilled with giving. That’s okay! Everyone has a different role to play!! And also there’s always a room for growth/improvement in our weakness. In other word, we could keep on practicing what we’re not good at. The main thing is that we allow Christ’s LOVE to grow within us and to be able allow that to shine for others to see. We are the living witness to Christ’s LOVE and hope to be that light for other people to see. I pray that we are able to bring people to Christ through our actions and varied gifts. If you’re not sure what kind of gift you have, you can always ask God about it =) and you can also ask God to give you spiritual gifts if you desire so!!

I wanted to share this powerful phrase with you –

I believe humility allows you to open up your heart more so you can receive more love from others and God.

Think about what this means in practical sense.

First, let’s look at it from opposite angle.
Pride says, “I don’t need anyone. I am my own man. I don’t need handouts or help from anyone else, if anything I will be the one helping others.” Even the intention is to do good (helping others, etc..), the intention is still infected with prideful thinking. Pride focuses on protecting their own dignity, their own image. By not accepting help from anyone, they are denying others the opportunity to share their love.

Yet when we open up our vulnerability and heart to others, we are allowing others the OPPORTUNITY to pour their love into our hearts. I realize not all will pour love, but at least we open up for those who want to share their love!

Seeing how interdependent we can be, we must also be aware how our actions can have a ripple effect on others, for either better or worse. It does have an impact beyond what we can see! Even the smallest action. Consider the story of two brothers I just mentioned a little bit earlier. The ministering brother was humbled and felt an incredible sense of love/support from the learning brother for the love of Christ was shining through him. It made an impact on both of the brothers for they learned from the whole experience and allowed God’s love to grow more within themselves! I realize being the imperfect being we are, we won’t always succeed in doing good. But remember, what is impossible with man is possible with God. So then, having the love of Christ in our hearts, we hope to allow it shine brightly for others to see and to share His love boldly.

1 Corinthians 12:4-26 (ESV)
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Genesis 2:18-24 (ESV)
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

A Leap of Faith

“Trust me, I will keep you safe,” a father spoke to the nervous child standing on the edge of the pool. It was his first time at the pool. Such a tiny child standing hesitantly before the immense pool. The water sparkled with such a gentle glimmering. This required a huge leap of faith, into the unknown and uncertainty. The child was unsure, although the father knows the immense joy that awaits the child when he learns how to swim. All it takes is a small measure of faith and trust in the father. Are we like the child? If we don’t jump into the water, that means we don’t trust the father to take care of us. Or do we dare to trust the father and take a mighty leap of faith?

A child decides to take a leap of faith because he knows his father loves him and can be trusted. His father doesn’t fail him and keeps him afloat with his steady hand. The child is still nervous but realizes his father’s hand is keeping the child afloat. The father then gradually take his hand away but then the child panics as he sank slightly. Yet his father’s hand was always there to make sure he doesn’t sink completely. He repeats the process until the child can learn how to swim on his own. Sometimes we go through trials where it seems like we could sink or fail. We go through this process so we can learn how to “swim” and yet father’s loving hand is never too far away!

Our loving father knows what is best for us. His loving tender hands take away what is unfruitful and prunes us like a master gardener. He is very patient and His timing is precise!

John 15:1-5
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.