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Some time ago I found myself standing ministering to a small group of boys in Southeast Asia. The Lord had really put it in my heart to minister about the power of God to change lives and the impact of our testimony.

The boy's ages ranged from five to seventeen. From all appearances they are just ordinary little boys sitting listening to a minister delivering the Word of God. Most of these little boys were rescued from the jungles where they had been abandoned when the particular army they were serving deserted them.

I was amazed when I had heard that most of these boys had been soldiers most of their lives. Boys as young as five years old were taken from their mothers and forced into military service. Most are trained to be porters and carry ammunition to where the fighting is the fiercest.

As soon as they were old enough to hold a gun they were taught how to fight. By the time these boys were seven many of them had shot their first man. By the time they were ten they had already served half of their life in the military. As impossible as this is to believe, it is true.

I knew that this type of thing went on because when I was in the seventh grade two boys moved to our town from the same region of the world. Like any new kids coming to a small school, there were the customary questions. However their answers were not the customary answers. These boys, though placed in the seventh grade, were probably three years older than the rest of us.

I remember one day as I talked with them they told me in their broken English about life in their former homeland. They told me about how they had already served in the army for several years, how they had lost a brother to the war, and how their family had fled as refugees to America. I wouldn't have believed it had they not taken out their actual military IDs.

That memory came rushing back to me as I stood there that morning and looked at these little boys. They were not killers, they were just little boys. I had watched them playing the day before. I watched them do their chores and interact with one another. I watched them as they lifted their hands in worship to God. I listened as they lifted their voices in prayer to God.

That morning I ministered about the transformation that the apostle Paul underwent on the road to Damascus, and how he went from being a cruel, violent hate-filled man to the great apostle, missionary and preacher of the Gospel. As I looked at these little boys and young men, I thought of all the places they had been, all the sights they had seen, and all the horrible things they had experienced. Yet here they were, sitting here and listening to me talk about the power of God to change lives.

Most of them had been born again and Spirit-filled for a number of years, and they had been taught and trained the Word of God. To them redemption, forgiveness, and transformation were realities... not just vague theological concepts. I wondered, which of them would go on to be great missionaries, preachers, doctors, etc.

Whenever I recall these images, I reflect about how God is still in the business of changing lives and that there is no arguing the testimony of a changed life.

Copyright © One World Missions
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Randy Mitchell
Web site: One World Missions
Randy Mitchell and his wife Jessica have been married for 29 years and have three daughters. They currently live in Minnesota where Randy serves as the International Director of One World Missions. Randy graduated from Oral Roberts University and ministered in a pastoral role for ten years before starting One World Missions. Randy holds an earned Doctorate of Ministry with an emphasis on the Mission of God’s People. Randy was an original signatory of the Toyko Declaration in 2010 and serves on the leadership team of the Global Great Commission Network (GGCN). Randy also serves on the Executive Leadership Team for the Global Mobilization Network (GMN).

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