I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Ephesians 3:7
Concern for Convert
When Christodoulos, a tailor in the village of Valta, Greece, heard that a Bulgarian man was converting to Islam, he was greatly concerned and decided to try to persuade him not to leave Christianity. At the sound of the drums which signalled the beginning of the conversion ceremony, Christodoulos rushed from his shop to the nearby coffee house where the Bulgarian was sitting. He began to plead with the man not to convert but some Ottoman soldiers, who were present in the crowd that had gathered to witness the ceremony, grabbed Christodoulos and threw him out of the shop.
Undeterred, he returned a second time, but was bound and beaten by the soldiers and taken to the local magistrate. Despite the demands of the soldiers and Christodoulos’ refusal to convert to Islam, the magistrate would not condemn him to death, but gave him to the soldiers to do with as they liked. From here the soldiers took Christodoulos to a high government official who also tried to convert him. He refused, so the soldiers were allowed to thrash his feet 200 times and then take him to be hanged. On 28 July 1777 he was killed. His body hung for two days until some Christians paid for its burial.
Lord, I am coming as fast as I can. I know I must pass through the shadow of death, before I can come to Thee. But it is but a mere shadow, a little darkness upon nature: but Thou, by Thy merits and passion, hast broken through the jaws of death. So, Lord, receive my soul, and have mercy upon me; and bless this kingdom with peace and plenty, and with brotherly love and charity, for Jesus Christ His sake, if it be Thy will.
William Laud (1573-1645)