Roger Shares: The Fight, The Fighter, and World Missions

My hubby, Roger Gibson shares … A quick look at the ESPN greatest list of boxers ever, you’ll see the names of Sugar Ray Leonard, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, and 402126_10100584008978213_1117714552_nat the top of the list is Muhammad Ali. The popular MMA (Mixed Martial Art) fighters have quickly risen upon the ranks of the new generation of fighters that society looks at as tough, fierce, and confident. Some of the top names to surface are Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, George St-Pierre, and many consider, Anderson Silva to be the very best. These gentlemen may be known as champions and for their right hook, fierce uppercut, or roundhouse kick. But, the fight of life is about much more than just 3-minute rounds.

Do you consider yourself a fighter? What is your fight? What do you think of these names as some of the greatest modern fighters of all time? Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, Oskar Schindler, or Eric Liddell. Each of these people had a cause to fight for. Dr. King for the equality of all people. Mother Theresa for the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. Billy Graham for the souls of individuals around the world. Oskar Schindler for the persecuted Jews of Germany during World War II.  Eric Liddell? Who was he?  You might recognize his name from the academy award-winning movie, Chariots of Fire. The film is about Eric’s journey as a Christian sprinter who wouldn’t run on a Sunday because he honored it as the Sabbath. Due to his belief, he chose to opt out of his best event, the 100 meters due to a qualifying heat being held on a Sunday. But, he was able to run in an event he had little experience in the 400 meters and wins a gold medal.

For me, the greater story is the fight that Eric chose to dedicate his life to. Eric was born in China to his Scottish parents who were serving as missionaries to the Chinese people. At the age of six, his parents sent Eric and his brother to Scotland to attend a boarding school for missionary kids. As he progressed through school, he soon earned the reputation for being a very fast runner. As Eric earned his fame as a gold medal Olympian and at the peak of his career, Eric chose to go to the mission field. His fight was for the Chinese people who lived in Xiaozchang who had suffered from starvation, poverty, and had become a battleground for the invading Japanese.

In 1941, as Japan’s army was sweeping through China, the British government advised all Brit’s to leave. Not to back down from a good fight, Eric put his wife and three daughters on the next ship out of China and waved goodbye. Eric continued to serve the people of China through medical, food distribution, helping the elderly and teaching bible during the difficult time of World War II. Unfortunately, Eric’s fight ended with his death in 1945 at a Japanese prison camp. In 2008, the Chinese government released information that Japan had made an agreement with the British for prisoner exchange. Eric Liddell was given the opportunity to leave China, but instead gave his spot to a pregnant woman, so he could continue to serve the Chinese at the prison camp.

As men, we are all called to a fight. We are called to be fighters. As followers of the greatest fighter who ever lived, Jesus who achieved what no man could ever fight against and defeat … sin. What is your fight? Right now, it could be for your adoption, your marriage, your mom’s battle against cancer, or you could be at a cross point in deciding between your business career or going full time into ministry.  You may not think of yourself as a fighter or a warrior. Gideon didn’t. In fact, before Gideon was ever in a battle God called him a mighty warrior (Judges 6:12 MSG). Here was a man that was basically the low man on the totem pole. He didn’t see himself as a leader or fighter or warrior. He was just a simple man who was trying to earn a living and stay out of the enemy’s way.  But, God enlisted Gideon in the fight. God even put Gideon out front to lead the charge for the Israelites to victory over the Midianites.

Here’s a fact in life … YOU are called to a fight. A fight to protect and love orphans, widows, and the oppressed (James 1:27.) It doesn’t matter your age, color, or sex. We need to step up and get in the ring. The fight is a worldwide battle. In February 2014, Man Up and Go is excited to announce we will be hosting a 127 Warrior: Love and Protect the Fatherless Rally in Austin, TX. The event is designed to be an encouragement for the men who have joined the fight against the orphan crisis. I promise it will be a blast and you will be inspired. Be sure to stay-tuned for more information to follow soon.

Meanwhile, just as Gideon was called a mighty warrior before he fought in a single battle, we can rest in the same promise. We are MIGHTY WARRIORS! It’s not me or you who will be fighting the battle or leading the charge … it’s God. With God on our side, who can be against us? Today, as you look at your current battlefield whether you are fighting for your adoption, marriage, cancer, or future career decision. Stop and start giving THANKS to God for victory. As a good friend of mine says, “In the end, it’s all good.”

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