Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Robinsons


Paul and Suzie Robinson had been in their Siberian prison for months. They were arrested for smuggling Bibles through the airport at Moscow in 1982 and had been transported from prison camp to prison camp throughout the Soviet Union for 3 years. The US State Department tried repeatedly to negotiate their safe return, but failed. The Robinsons were destined to spend years suffering for their faith.

Throughout their captivity, they had been separated and had not seen each other once, but had heard each other crying out in pain, as they were tortured and humiliated. After each round of torment, the Communists would tell them that if they would simply deny Christ, then they could go free. The Robinsons were not prepared to do so.

One day, Suzie was surprised to see her cell door open and Paul shoved into the room. The door promptly closed and they were left alone for several hours. They cried together and prayed together, asking God to extend His mercy and grace to sustain them. They never asked why they were made to suffer, for they knew the answer. They were Christians; they were agents of change and were prepared to suffer the consequences for their choices. Throughout their journey, God sustained them and they never lost sight of who Christ was and why they loved Him. Their main concern was that their lives and deaths brought honor to God and helped advance the Kingdom of God. They only wanted to make a difference.

Paul and Suzie found strength in their embrace in that cell and were renewed at the sight of each other. Paul had a beard from three years growth, and Suzie had lost more weight than Paul thought possible, but she was still his beautiful wife. Their hope in this reunion was that God had arranged their release. Yet, their hopes diminished when the Commandant entered their cell to discuss their latest offer of compromise. It was simple, if Suzie would agree to willingly bear the child of one of the guards, they would return their passports and send them home. Paul and Suzie rushed to answer and immediately rejected the offer. The Commandant advised them that they would die if they refused, but they remained adamant to their death. Paul and Suzie were made to dig their own graves and Paul was made to bury Suzie before he was killed. Their names were written in the Book of Martyrs and their deaths brought great honor to the Kingdom.

I realize this post is unpleasant, and I have hesitated to post it many times. However, this "could be true, but isn't" story is nothing short of reality for so many Christians throughout the world. I have hesitated to post it in the past because I was concerned how it would be received. But, after watching how our future is shaping itself, I feel it is important to tell stories such as this, lest we grow complacent. Earlier this week, a pastor was shot from the pulpit. He left his wife and two daughters wondering what happened. We are hovering on the edge of a potential prosecution. If America strays much farther down this road, I fear we won't be able to maintain life as we know it.

Now, I'm not an alarmist. I firmly believe in God's sovereignty, and I fully embrace that He is in control. If this is what God allows, then we will embrace His plan with faith that His will is best. If it comes, then let's pray we be found faithful. If God continues to spare us, let's not forget to pray for those who do face these dangers daily.


Tracy said...

Thank you, Travis, for sharing this story. Yes, things like this happen, all the time and throughout the world. We American Christians, have never really believed that it could happen here, but times have changed so much that it is a real possibility. However, He hasn't given up on America yet. I pray He never does.

Anonymous said...

I read this post through teary eyes, Travis. I know stuff like this happens, but to read it. Gosh, that hits home.
I'm glad you posted this.

Avily Jerome said...

That's very powerful, Travis, thanks for posting it!

I, too, fear for this nation and what it is becoming. My mind is bubbling with thoughts for an article that I will, I hope, be writing soon, about the direction we are headed.

Please pray that God gives me the words, because it isn't going to be pretty.

Travis said...

Sadly, it is never pretty when we engage our culture with the truth. I know Who strengthens you, Avily, but we will pray for strength none-the-less.

Tracy-I am also one who hasn't given up. We must never quit!

Lynn-I'm glad you appreciated this story. It's an unpleasant topic, but an important one. The story I have planned for next week will be even more thought provoking. I'm holding my breath in anticipation of your (collective) responses.

KM Wilsher said...

Wow! What an amazing, powerful, post. I absolutely loved this Travis! So true and so well written :)

Kari Dana said...

Wow. Extremely thought provoking, to say the very least.

I'm not an alarmist either, but I do have concern for our country, for our world. Not fear because I know where I'm spending eternity, but concern for, like you said, the way our future is being shaped.

Great post! Looking forward to reading more.


Jennifer @ JenniferDukesLee.com said...

I'm glad you took a step of faith and posted this. We need to hear Truth.

Travis said...

Dana, Jennifer,
Thanks for stopping. It's so good to hear what you have to say.

To be honest, I'm surprised that I've had such positive feedback on this story. My darker tales seem to repel my readers, but this one seems to be grabbing people and holding on to them. I've yet to figure everyone out!