|Home > Articles > Together in His Grace > ""|
/_.jpg" width=102 height=120 alt="" border=0 align=left hspace=5>
by Byron Ware
But this precious treasure this light and power that now shine within us is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.
I remember the flood of emotions I felt when I first saw Robert Reid. Robert was a college age kid in the late 60s when my dad was working with the college students at church. What seems clearer now, as I look back, are the questions I had for God about Robert.
Why would you put such a sharp mind into such a broken body?
Many years have passed since I last saw Robert. I had heard rumors of God working powerfully through Robert as a missionary. (Yes, a missionary to a country that required him to learn a different language!). Just a few weeks ago, God gave me the privilege to see and hear from Robert again. He was the guest speaker at a small church where my nephew attended during his college years. God gave me the answer to my questions. I was emotionally blown away by this incredible Christian man, again.
Robert wanted to become a missionary after mission trips to Paris, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal with Stanley Shipp. Stanley has a passion for missions and involving others in mission outreach. I asked Robert if there was anyone concerned about his condition, leaving America for Europe. Robert said, Stanley Shipp asked me the last time I had seen a doctor and I told him in 1948. Stanley said, well thats healthier than me!
Robert decided to live and work for the Lord in Portugal. I asked him why Portugal? They have calm, wonderful people, and the food was great. The best thing is the two hour lunches. During those two hour lunches, Robert would meet people in the park and talk to them about why a physically challenged American would travel to a distant country, learn a new language, and share Gods word.
Seven years later, Robert met Rosa. One of the several people Robert had lead to Christ during those seven years was Rosas married sister. Rosas sister Julia and her husband met Robert on the street. They visited, then started studying the Bible together. One month later, Julia became a Christian. Julia invited Robert to her mothers house to meet the rest of the family. Thats when Robert and Rosa met. Although it has been nearly 23 years, Robert could tell me the clothes Rosa was wearing, the color of her clothes, and what was for dinner. When Rosa and I were talking about Robert, she told me, I never met anyone like him before. How true that is!
Robert and Rosa dated for about a month before they decided to marry. Just one month? Well, thats another amazing part of their fantastic story. Rosa said that when she went to get the marriage license in Portugal, she was greeted with resistance and prejudice. The lady asked me why I wanted to marry someone who was retarded. I told her Robert was NOT retarded, and who was she to judge my decision. Robert just laughed and said, Ive heard that one before.
It was clear that the government officials were going to make it very hard for them to marry. It was also about time for Robert to come back to the U.S. and gather sponsors for his mission work. Rosas life was about to radically change by getting married, by being uprooted from her country and culture, and by being introduced to a radically different life in America. The one positive in all the upheaval? They were successful getting the marriage license in America and were married May 29, 1979.
Living happily ever after didnt happen after Robert and Rosa moved and married in America. After seven proven years of work in Portugal, Robert lost his job and missionary support. They were unemployed newlyweds. Robert and Rosas house was broken into twice while they were inside. Rosa had a hard time adjusting to a different culture and was quite homesick. It was an incredibly difficult start to their marriage. Rosa said, God was seeing how far and how much I loved Him and Robert.
Things have a way of getting better with time when you are people of faith. Robert and Rosa returned to Portugal to help start up a new church. Then the Lord blessed Robert and Rosa with a beautiful baby girl! Countless lives have been touched and changed for the Kingdom because of their love for each other and their faith in the Lord.
There is so much to be learned from this couple. In my interview with Rosa, I kept using the word challenge. Robert and Rosa kept using the words faith and trust. I asked Rosa, What do you think the strengths in your marriage are? What would you tell your college-age daughter is the most important thing to know about marriage? Her answer didnt surprise me at all, Trust!
I asked Robert the same questions. His answer, Dont ever go to bed mad. Not talking kills marriages. This is from a man whose body makes it so very hard for him to talk. But, he loves to talk, teach, and help transform lives because this is what Robert and Rosa both do. (If you would like Robert to speak to your group, email Reid@bible.acu.edu, he would love to come and talk to your group!)
When I think of Robert, I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:7 and the plain clay jars that were used to hide valuables in homes years ago. I think about how people might discount Robert and Rosa, when in fact they are such wonderful and valuable Christians. The funny thing is that in the restaurant where we had our interview, over a half dozen people came by, stopped and hugged or greeted them while we visited.
God put exclamation points on the answers to my questions about Robert Reid. What I am continually learning is that God will use whatever we bring to him to accomplish His work. It is simply amazing what God can do with a couple willing to work together in His grace! The question for us is really pretty simple: What are we bringing to God to use?
_.html" onmouseover="window.status='View a simpler page format that works well with printers.'; return true" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true" title="Printer-friendly Version">Print this Article