By Gary Amirault
“Father, your Bible says that those who serve you will be greatly rewarded in heaven, but I don’t want my reward in heaven. I served you here on earth and I want my reward here on earth. I am an old man and cannot travel. I want that you should send me a Jew and I will win Him to Christ. This should be my reward!” Such was the prayer of an old German carpenter living in a small Romanian village.
Richard Wurmbrand does not recall how he got lost and found himself in this small Romanian village. Being and atheist and a Jew, he had no business there. The chains of love dragged him to this village and as Richard recounts in later years, “No woman has ever been wooed as the German carpenter wooed me to Christ.
And so the old German carpenter went to his grave with his prayer answered. But that is not the end of the story. Richard won his Jewish wife to Christ and they won other Jews to Christ and so a small Hebrew congregation was formed in Bucharest. When the communists took over, the Jews were scattered. Many ended in Israel where they formed other congregations of Jews who knew their Messiah.
Richard found himself sharing Christ with many Russian soldiers who entered into the kingdom. Eventually, he was imprisoned for his faith and spent 14 years in Communist prison, 3 in solidarity confinement 30 feet below the ground.
When released, he went before the American Congress and testified of the horrible atrocities the communists inflicted upon Christians. He wrote a book called Tortured for Christ. Millions of copies of this book and others he has written, have been translated into several languages and have been shared throughout the world. Because of his testimony of the sufferings he endured at the hands of the communists, thousands of people have contributed to his ministry of helping Christians behind the iron curtain. Books, money, clothes, food, printing presses, bibles, etc. have been smuggled into countries all over the world through branches of his ministry. Without doubt, he has been instrumental in bringing thousands to Christ, and has alleviated much suffering of those Christians in foreign countries. This one Jew has been used of our Father in mighty ways.
When the old German carpenter went to his grave, he thought he had seen the answer to his prayers, one Jew won to Christ. But our Father gives in what He calls “Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over into your bosom.”
After being released from prison, Richard returned to the village of the German carpenter to share his testimony in the village church. He shared about how many Jews now believed and how many communists were won to Jesus. He shared about the many prisoners that came into a knowledge of Christ as a result of Richard’s imprisonment. The carpenter had long since died. All through his testimony, a very old man had been weeping from the back of the church. At the end of the service, Richard went to the old man and asked why he was crying through the whole service. “How not to cry,” replied the old man, “I was the one who led the Old German carpenter to Christ.”
The old German Carpenter thought his prayer was answered when Richard entered the village. But truly his prayer is still being answered even today! The old man who lead the carpenter to Christ marveled at the wonderful works that came as a result of the carpenters conversion, but he never saw the end of those works. They are still multiplying!
I am relating this true story to encourage and give thanks to the many of you who poured into “Tentmaker” letters of encouragement, telephone calls of appreciation, $5 from a widow, several hundred dollars from a husband and wife in Neehah, Wisconsin, the loan of a computer from a young man in Indiana. Those of you who make the seemly small and or large sacrifices of finances and time may not see all the ways in which our heavenly Father makes use of these things. Being in the position I am in, I get to see a little further down the road than many people. The doors are very wide open. Whether your view is from the position of the old man , the German carpenter, or from Richard Wurmbrand, the ways our Father multiplies our sacrifices of time, prayers and money are too wonderful and marvelous to view from our earthly existence. The effect of a little prayer from a little carpenter indeed touches eternity itself and must be viewed from a heavenly position to be fully seen.
If you feel your life seems so insignificant, when compared to a person used to reach the whole world for Christ, remember the old man, the German carpenter, and Richard Wurmbrand, and then look to the One Who answers simple prayers and behold!