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Winter 2008 Rapport: Alumni News & Notes

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My weakness—God's strength




by Steve Kramer (M.A. 2002)
Missionary to the Netherlands

My life journey has been different than most. I was born over two months premature, with cerebral palsy. The doctors told my parents I would be lucky to live a normal life—if I lived at all. As a child, lying in hospital beds after surgery or enduring the ridicule of kids on the playground, I knew I was different. I never wondered, Why me? but I did question why I was not healed. Saved in an AG church, I had seen miraculous healings. Sometimes, awakened in the night by discomfort from my leg braces, I wondered why God didn’t heal me too.

Now my wife, Julie, and I are partnering with local Dutch churches to establish effective ministries to half a million university students in the Netherlands. God called me to the Netherlands at the age of 12. I remember wondering how a kid like me could fulfill this call.

Often we are reluctant to share our weakness because we see it as just that. We put on a smile and pretend all is well.

The other day I battled the cold and rain as I rode my three-wheeler bike to Dutch class at the university. I was filled with wonder and asked God, “How can life be this good?”

You see, in class I sit next to Torsten. He is almost completely blind. On the first day of class, he asked me how I know for sure that I am a Christian. Because of my physical weakness, he is able to see Jesus more clearly in me. Later my professor looked at me with astonishment when I got on my bike to ride home. In almost every class, she has a new question about my faith.

I never fully understood what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:27 until I arrived in the Netherlands. “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.”

I wonder what would happen if, instead of trumpeting our successes, we began to glory in the God who is made strong in our weakness.

Updated: Monday, December 10, 2007 3:33 PM

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