On Saturday a group of blokes from our church went to the Bristol Men’s Convention 2012, run by the South West Gospel Partnership. It was a great day of having God’s word preached and applied to us as men, with much time for encouragement with mates, and all polished off with a cracking curry at Namaste in Cheltenham (highly recommended: quite possibly Cheltenham’s finest curryhouse).

The theme of the day was Men of Passion, and in the third session Andy Paterson spoke on Loving When It’s Difficult, from Acts 18. He showed us that God so often weaves a story of triumph through real tragedy, but that we can rest in the goodness of his sovereignty. As part of his talk he referred to the recent events of the life of Steve Saint, and encouraged us to go listen to his testimony.

You might not have heard of Steve’s name, but his father, Nate Saint, was one of a team of six missionaries, including the more well-known Jim Elliott, who were killed trying to share the gospel with a tribe in Ecuador. These moving events are recorded in the book Through Gates Of Splendour, which is one of the most encouraging biographies I’ve read. That’s a story in itself of God weaving triumph through tragedy, with Nate’s sister Rachel able to later build relationships and indeed live with that Waorani tribe.

But Andy pointed us to Nate’s son Steve, who has spent much of his life working with indigenous people groups, particularly developing technological tools that can be easily used in less developed areas. Saint had a serious accident earlier this month when a piece of equipment he was testing fell on him, paralysing him from the neck down. He’s undergoing treatment in hospital, but it’s stunning to hear him testify to God’s goodness, even God’s sovereignty, during this time.

Saint says ‘I think God is teaching me that he writes his best stories from the hardest beginnings…’. As his family said, ‘we don’t pray for God to take his pain away, but rather that God will continue to write this difficult chapter His way.’

I’ve included one of his update videos below – have a watch:

You can follow Andy Paterson, who told us about Saint, on twitter.