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Laos 2001. Hezekiah's life had been so transformed that he had to tell someone. When he returned to the village he grew up in, he told the 35 relatives and villagers who met him and demanded to know why he had converted to Christianity, "Jesus is the only way I can be saved from my sins. Jesus is the only way I can have eternal life."

They didn't like this. As Hezekiah reasoned with them about the truths he had found studying God's Word and being discipled by other believers in the safe haven he had left to bring them the Gospel, tempers began to flare. Suddenly someone lunged out and grabbed Hezekiah. Others followed. They dragged him to the ground and beat him until he blacked out. Then they left him in the street, bruised and bleeding.

When the crowd had gone, a friend took Hezekiah to his own home, where he nurtured him back to health. It was four days before Hezekiah could raise himself off of the bed.

Hezekiah eventually left his village and to this day is still not welcome either there or in his family's homes. Instead, he now travels from village to village sharing what he has learned from the Bible and showing the way of salvation to as many as will let him. He is compelled by love for his countrymen to know the love of God.

Because of this, he had been beaten and thrown out of at least ten other villages. Some of the beatings were so bad that he thought he would not live through them - and some were so bad that he thought he did not want to live through them. But his testimony remains strong: "As I have matured in my walk with Christ, I have more faith to endure these hardships. The trials I have gone through have served to strengthen my faith, as I see God's faithfulness in delivering me. I thank God I have been able to bring 30 people to the saving knowledge of Jesus.

(From Jesus Freaks by DC Talk).

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