By Michael E. Brooks
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15).
This week while visiting the village of Kataltala in southern Bangladesh, I learned of the death last November of Sister Bouturani Halder. Sister Halder was about 85 years of age, the mother of one son and five daughters.
She was one of the first Christians in her village and her family gave land on which a small building was erected for the church.
As we stood by her grave on family land near the church building, I was reminded of certain fundamental truths.
First, that we are all mortal and that, “it is appointed for men to die once, and after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Life is brief and we are feeble, but God is strong and he is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1).
I can guarantee nothing by myself, but with his help all things are possible (Philippians 4:13).
Second, I was reminded that the work of the Lord in Bangladesh is becoming established and is maturing. The first known congregation of Churches of Christ in Bangladesh in modern times was planted in April of 1984.
The congregation at Kataltala began about 1990. Several of the early converts have lived out their lives and gone on to their reward. A second and even third generation is now carrying on their faith.
As we train future preachers and leaders at Khulna Bible College, we are seeking to perpetuate those things accomplished by those who have gone before us. We are deeply grateful for their examples.
Finally I was reminded of the urgency of our task. Sister Halder died as a faithful Christian, so far as we humans can know. If God validates our judgment, she is one who has overcome and thus has been promised the crown of life (Revelation 2:10). But consider the alternative.
Had no one come to this land twenty six years or so ago and preached the gospel, Bouturani Halder would have continued to live as a “child of wrath . . . having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:3, 12).
The hope and comfort her family has would have been denied them, and her destiny would have been eternal destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).
Millions of Bangladeshis (and billions throughout the world) continue to live and die without ever once hearing the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. God’s power to save is denied them, not through lack of his love, but in some cases at least by the indifference of his people.
Jesus came “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He established his church to continue that work until he comes again and this earth is destroyed. Let us renew our commitment and zeal to be “fishers of men,” and to enable the saving power of the Gospel to reach all who would hear it.
By Michael E. Brooks