Friday, September 18, 2015

As the Admiralty Tower clock struck 12 noon, he entered with the words ‘I am here … I am Seligman.' However, the Commissioner in charge of the case was busy handling another matter in a private office and answered through the door: ‘I don't have time today, return tomorrow at the same time!'
The following day Seligman arrived again, promptly at 12 noon. The results were the same as the day before and in due time the Red Guard forgot why they'd arrested Seligman. He was ordered to return to the Training College and told not to come back. It had been so very close, only seconds from his death – Seligman continued as a Cadet …

Ours was a visible life, a running narrative of misery, suffering, and cruel, predictable deaths. All the days ran into one; neither morning, afternoon or evening ever brought a glimpse of hope or sliver of encouragement.

There is an old Swedish adage: "God can only bless a man greatly after He has hurt him deeply."

We hurt deeply - we grieved immensely. God's blessing, His all consoling peace flowed over and through us when Gerda and I opened our hearts and divided the grief. Bed time often came at the midnight hour or beyond and we opened God's word and after reading the evening selection declared our love for each other and on bended knees prayed, vowed our committed love for Christ, individually and in union. And we lay down with our joy doubled.  – He made it bearable- all our joys and grief was shared.

One wonders if the peace and grace we sensed at the end of each day was the result of a built up immunity to the misery around us, hardening our senses?

The refutation is found in a promise circled in pen and lifted from my new Swedish Bible reads:  "Ty jag vill lära känna honom och hans uppståndelses kraft och få känna delaktighet i hans lidanden, i det jag bliver honom lik genom en död sådan som hans…." Filipperbrevet 3:10 (Swedish Bible 1917)

For I long to know him and the power of his resurrection and to participate in his sufferings, in order that shall be like Him through a death such as his own. (Translation: Sven Ljungholm)

My pre-Christian life had come to an end many years before - It was no longer I who lived but Christ who's dwelling in me. We'd entered into a union wherein we were active and sensitive as one. The Christian life is a crucified life that's transformed to become a conquering life. I thank God for His loving care and provision and for counting us worthy to serve in His name.

Truly a strange land; our field to love and harvest

God is able!

Otto Ljungholm

Chapter TWO
The banner is unfurled in Moscow

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