OCTOBER 2022: The Knights Cross
In South Sudan, the Knights Cross is awarded for bravery and heroism and is the highest award given in our Chaplains Corp. We recognize great feats of heroism in battle for the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. Recipients of this award are knights for Christ, not for the army. These are men, or women, who willingly lay down their own lives to save others. Far Reaching Ministries (FRM) has only given this award to two chaplains in the 23 years of the Chaplain Corps existence: with 70 men losing their lives in service to Christ. The first was given to Moses, who went deep into enemy lines to rescue his enslaved wife and children. Martha, Moses’s wife, was forced to be a sex slave to senior officers in an enemy camp for three years. Put yourself in Moses’s shoes. He was alone, behind enemy lines, surrounded by thousands of well-armed men of war. I believe that he was in hiding for 11 days before spotting her. He was forced to wait and watch for days as man after man forced himself on his wife. He wanted to rescue Martha immediately but knew that her rape and torture would never end if he were caught and killed. As Moses waited, he realized that the most vulnerable time in the enemy’s routine was at one o’clock in the morning, and he struck! He slipped through enemy lines into a darkened hut, placed his hand over Martha’s mouth so she would not scream, and he whispered, “Be quiet, my love, I have come for you.” Martha clung to Moses as tears streamed down her cheeks. He quietly told her, “Now we must run!” They grabbed their children and ran through the bush for 22 hours. Moses knew from first-hand experience that the bush soldiers he rescued Martha from knew how to track and would not stop until they found them. They could only sleep a few hours and then had to run again. It was a full week of extreme hardship with little rest, but they finally made it to the safety of his garrison.
Moses succeeded against impossible odds because God was fighting for him. Moses was under Christ’s authority, direction, and empowerment to rescue his family. We will put his story on our website so you can read the complete account. The second Knights Cross will be awarded to a chaplain in October 2023. This chaplain’s unit was attacked while he was away washing at the river. When he heard gunfire, he ran as fast as he could back to his base to find that many women and children had been abducted. This chaplain knew that all of the women would be raped. So, he, along with 40 men, pursued the enemy. When he found the enemy, they were having the captives cook them dinner before the night of rape would start. The enemy had over 300 men, but they were hit with such ferocity that they were caught off guard and destroyed, and many prisoners were taken. This chaplain did not stop; he proceeded to the next enemy outpost and attacked and destroyed many of their camps. In such a short time, the enemy was so shocked by the fall of multiple units that they thought they were under attack by the entire Southern Army. They pulled a division of over 15,000 men out of the area, restoring peace and safety to the land. We will also post this story on our website so you can understand the great heroism it takes to win this award, which is only bestowed under exceptional circumstances. Of the 70 men killed in our ministry and 23 years of war, only two have been awarded to date. The Bible tells us to spur one another on to good works, which means we are to encourage one another. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for doing their works to be seen by men. What the Pharisees wanted was praise and adoration from others. But we need to realize that there is a difference between doing things to be seen and doing things to encourage and train men in righteousness. Years ago, I was in Uganda at an orphanage and school we supported. I asked the director if we had built a particular building for them, and she said, “No.” She then said that you built this one, this one, this one and kept going on about several things we had built. Later, my senior chaplain, Michael, said, “Sir, it is so great you do not even know what you have done.” The Lord reminded me of the difference between doing things for self-glorification versus training men how to conduct themselves in ministry. As the saying goes, ministry is often caught, not taught. Personally, I do not care about the credit or praise, but I do realize that I have to model Christ for young men in the faith. I speak at a fair amount of conferences, and I have noticed that after the teaching sessions, it is almost always the young men and young pastors who want to talk and get involved. Very rarely do large, established churches inquire about the work of FRM. I think that the reason for this is that established churches have already, for years, invested in particular ministries and feel led to stay the course. But, unfortunately for some, they feel you will outshine them, and they do not want to be outshined. They want to be the hero of the church. A pastor was out of town one Sunday when I taught at his church. When I got back to my office, the pastor told me that everyone told him that it was the best message they had ever heard, then he laughing said, I am never going to let you teach at my church again. He said it jokingly, but we were never invited back. But the young men and young pastors who are willing to learn, we want to encourage them.
Pastor Bob Davis of North Country Chapel in Post Falls, Idaho, and his wife, Jean, have been very close friends to Vicky and me for years. Jean and Vicky have a real sweet love for each other and the Lord; they are like two peas in a pod when they are together. Bob and I have a great friendship and a love for God’s work and for hamburgers. I have known Bob for years. He was on what I believe was my first trip to South Sudan, and we have enjoyed fellowship and service in Christ ever since. As a pastor, Bob is the commanding officer and shepherd of his flock. When Afghanistan collapsed, as you know, FRM started rescue operations to save as many as possible. I had no clue how we would be able to rescue these people and how to handle the cost of such a tremendous operation, but I did know that the Lord told me to be faithful. The cost to save each life ranged from a few thousand dollars to as much as $25,000 per person. Pastor Bob did something I have never seen in 30 years of ministry; he gave as if it were his own family. We have never had a church give such a large gift. Through this giving, this one church has been responsible for somewhere between 300 to 400 lives being rescued. Many women, children, and families will live, and they will not be raped, tortured, or murdered. Society gives the youth of today few examples to follow. The youth view rock stars, movie stars, or athletes as heroes. These so-called heroes lead the youth into a life that destroys many. Instead, they need examples of godly men and women to encourage them so they might be used powerfully by the Lord. Most will still choose not to follow, but a few will catch the vision and believe that great things can be done by trusting the Lord.
I am in Africa as I write this newsletter, and today I was contacted by an Afghan brother telling us that the Tajikistan government is rounding up Afghans and sending them back to Afghanistan, where they will be murdered. A FRM Leader and I spoke today about one of the families hiding from the Taliban. The Taliban has come to their home three times looking for a particular man they desperately want to murder, and the angels of the Lord have blinded them three times so that they could not see him. In the Old Testament, we read of when the children of Israel gave so generously that they had laughter and joy, which is not natural for people to feel, but it should be. You can only find true joy when you serve the Lord. I think that many men have sought greatness and a name for themselves in history—often for the wrong reasons. I know that when I joined the Marines, I was in search of glory. Did I have a desire to serve my country? Yes, but it was more to make a name as a great warrior. After five years of being in no wars, I thought of getting out and joining the British Royal Marines or the French Foreign Legion, once again in search of glory. But when the Word of God tells you to care for those that do not have the ability to care for themselves, then it is just service to Christ. Pastor Bob Davis was generous to FRM, not for recognition, and I suspect that few in his church knew what he had entrusted to this ministry. He has no knowledge of the newsletter I am writing; if he did I am sure he would not want his actions known to anyone but Christ. Instead, this was written to encourage others that they can have a life that can change the world. For this reason, Far Reaching Ministries has decided to award the only man, who will probably ever receive this award other than a chaplain, the Knights Cross, for leading his flock and saving the lives of hundreds of Afghan believers. This award is meant for only a select few who have gone far beyond the call of duty to rescue those in great danger. We consider these men to be Christ’s Knights on earth.
Far Reaching Ministries