Who Is Your Enemy?
Matthew 5: 43-45 «You have heard the law that says: Love you neighbours and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your father in heaven. For He gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.»
It was at midnight on October 30th 2013, when Augustin received an emergency call in Chad. Terrorists had captured the Northeastern Nigerian town of Mubi, a Muslim dominated city. They killed as many as they could, burned down all the church buildings, raided all the banks, broke into the prisons and freed all the prisoners. This chaos provoked an exodus of people toward neighbouring Cameroon. Even worse, the countries are separated by the treacherous Mount Mandara Mountains.
It took two long days to find the group of 120 Christian students who were lost in the mountains, trying to get to Cameroon. When Augustin finally reached them, he could not believe all he heard from these very courageous young men. They had been walking for three days, drinking and eating anything they could find along the way. The next day was Sunday, and Augustin thought it was right to have a worship service. He spent the whole night trusting God for a message, realizing that with what these people had gone through and seen, a simple display of knowledge wouldn’t do. They needed words from God to heal their broken hearts. He began reading Matthew 5:43-45, “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Emmanuel, one of the students, interrupted with a striking question: “Why should we pray for people who intentionally attacked us, burned our properties, and killed our families?” Augustin realized he had no idea what these guys had gone through. All he could say was to remind Emmanuel and his friends that he was not the author of these words and perhaps the best thing they could do is to go to Jesus in prayer for answers. They reluctantly ended the service with Emmanuel’s questions roaming in their minds.
The long journey took one day and two nights, passing through several villages—no one was willing to share food or drink with them. At last, they reluctantly stopped in what was obviously a Muslim community of shepherds. It was almost 5 pm. The women were busy preparing dinner for their husbands who would be returning home after tending to their cattle all day. The traveling group was obviously very week, thirsty and hungry. These ladies jumped up to give them water and the food they had prepared for their hungry husbands–even the milk they had to sell for their subsistence. They watched the students eat and drink all they had, with smiles on their faces.
That evening, during their time of thanksgiving, Augustin returned to Matt 5:43-45, “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” After completing the reading, Augustin asked: “How many Christian villages did we cross on our way? How many of them gave us the care we needed? (None!) Who really is our enemy?” With full stomachs, all the young students knew Muslims are not their enemies. Satan is.
Matthew 5: 43-45 «You have heard the law that says: Love you neighbours and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your father in heaven. For He gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. »
-Augustin, 2014 Cameroon LMC Alumni