ORU President, Billy Wilson recently led a Christmas chapel service at Oral Roberts University, like no other. Clearly moved by the passing of ORU alumnus John Allen Chau, who was killed on the mission field, he wove John’s story into his Christmas message. You can watch the video above which starts off with carols, leading into Dr Wilson’s message.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)
Using Isaiah 9:2 as his main scripture Dr Wilson talks about the dangers of the mission field, dismissing critics of the late missionary explorer who has been criticised for venturing onto a remote island where the tribesmen are known to kill intruders. “John will always be known as the man who tried to do the impossible because of the love of Jesus,” he said.
Recognising John as ORU’s most well known alumnus in history, he shares his plans to honour the 2014 graduate. He tells how John certainly fulfilled the university’s founding objectives, given by God to Oral Roberts to “to go where My light is dim, where My voice is heard small, and My healing power is not known, even to the uttermost bounds of the earth.”
A call to action for every Christian
Dr Wilson also relays the heart rending story of five young missionaries who were speared to death while attempting to evangelize the Huaorani people of Ecuador in the 1950s. One of them was Jim Elliot who said: “he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Another was Nate Saint, the pilot who flew the missionaries to Ecuador. He wrote a Christmas letter to his family just before he was killed which is a call to action for every Christian today. You will be challenged as Dr Wilson reads it.
Though the deaths of the five men was one of the greatest missionary tragedies of the last century, Dr Wilson said their sacrifice brought a new wave of missions activity and he explains how their story ultimately became one of triumph. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,” he said, quoting the early Christian theologian, Tertullian.
“There are over 100,000 Christians martyred each year… God has always used the death of his servants to propel his work forward,” says Dr Wilson, observing that John Allen Chau gave his life to take God’s light into the darkness and we should follow his example wherever we find ourselves. John also wrote a letter to his family just before he died and Dr Wilson reads it in the video. You will be so inspired as you watch, to reach further for God.
There is no doubt, like the five missionaries in the 1950s, John will inspire a new generation of missionaries who will fearlessly continue the mission, that a new light may dawn in a land of deep darkness. A new generation of ORU students shall surely arise that will illuminate the places where God’s light is dim and His voice is not yet heard.
For more about ORU and the ministry of Billy Wilson see: ‘Go Where the Light is Dim’ – the Call of Oral Roberts Lives On