Lessons from a Razor

November 18, 2009 — Leave a comment

As many of you know, I was in a South Asian country with two other pastors from The Austin Stone, and we had an unfortunate incident with some youth.  My friend who was attacked has written his reflections, and I highly encourage you to read them.  Here is a short snippet:

Unexpectedly, one of these youth sliced my left cheek with a straight razor. The wound was 5 inches long and an inch deep. It spanned from about my left sideburn to the left corner of my mouth. Fortunately, the two other men with me were physically unharmed. We ran for safety in the middle of the city, pleaded with locals for help, and finally ended up in the emergency room at a local hospital where a doctor stitched up my face with three layers of stitches.

The straight razor that scarred my face has become an altar of intercession for those South Asian youth who attacked us. My face is the sacrifice that was put on this alter. I doubt if any prayers have ever been lifted to the Father for those youth, that is, until they attacked us. Almost immediately, we began praying for them. Since then, thousands of people have interceded for them, for their joy. In this way, therefore, God turned their sin of unjustly attacking us into a great blessing for them.

I am so grateful for my friend, and for God’s provision and protection of us in a time of great need.  Please continue to pray that God would move around the world, and the church would remain resolved in her calling to preach the gospel in the face of great suffering.

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

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