does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Helen Roseveare was an elderly missionary to Congo, Africa when I
was still
very young. I remember her holding the audience of ten thousand
students spell-bound and then in tears at Urbana ’76. Her life
story is a
testimony to the grace of God portrayed in the 1989 movie, Mama
Luka Comes

She is often asked by young people what she suffered
for Jesus. Her simple
answer is, “During the Simba uprising in the Congo, I
was raped twice.
Government soldiers came to my bungalow, ransacked it, and
then grabbed me. I
was beaten and savagely kicked, losing my back teeth
through the boot of a
rebel soldier. They broke my glasses, so I could not
see to protect myself
from the next blow.

“Then one at a time, two army officers took me to my own bedroom and raped me.
They dragged me out
into a clearing, tied me to a tree, and stood around
laughing. And while I
was there, beaten and humiliated and violated, someone
brought out the only
existing hand-written manuscript of a book I had been
writing about God’s
work in the Congo over an eleven-year period. They put it
on the ground in
front of me and burned it.

“I asked myself, Was it worth it? Eleven years
of my life poured out in
selfless service for the African people and now
this? The minute I expressed
that, God’s Holy Spirit settled over that
terrible scene and He began to speak
to me.”

‘“My daughter, the
question is not “Is it worth it?” The question is, “Am I
worthy?” Am I, the
Lord Jesus who gave His life for you, worthy for you to
make this kind of
sacrifice for Me.’ And God broke my heart,” Helen continues.
“I looked up and
I said, ‘Oh Lord Jesus, yes, it is worth it, for You are
worthy!’” She
concludes, “When you ask the right question, you’ll always know
that He is
absolutely worthy of anything you can give Him or do for Him!”

Callaway of SERVANT magazine once asked her, “Did you ever struggle
forgive those men?”

“No,” she replied. “There was no sense of
bitterness or even anger. I was
overwhelmed by the sense that God was
graciously using me in His purpose. All
He asked of me was the loan of my
body. The consequences were His. A year
later when I returned to Congo and
met the man who had humiliated me, I
realized that I did carry some
resentment and I wasn’t sure I had forgiven
him. But God led me to accept
from Him the forgiveness that only God can give,
and He gave me His peace

Helen returned to Congo after all the above and continued her
life of service
for Jesus among the African people.

will ask the right question, “Is Jesus worthy of the
sacrifices He asks me to
make?” Then I will answer affirmatively and take up
my cross and follow

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the wonderful trophies of grace, like
Rosevere, who encourage us in our walk with You who are truly

1. Phil Callaway, “Is it worth it?” Servant (Issue 85, 2010),

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