I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer……… Jeremiah 23: 4a
Gladys Aylward went to China in 1932 to help operate a mission that became a home for many orphans. In 1938 Japan invaded China placing Gladys and her young charges in danger. Despite being severely ill she shepherded a hundred orphans over a hundred miles of rugged mountain terrain to a safer neighboring province.
The book Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed tells the story of Le Chambon, a French village that sheltered thousands of Jewish refugees during World War II many of them children whose parents had been sent to concentration camps. Led by their Protestant pastor Andre Trocme and his wife Magda, the villagers were not only able to give sanctuary to the refugees but also shepherded many of them to safety in Switzerland.
On December 14, 2012 a gunman entered an elementary school in Newtown Connecticut and went on a shooting rampage. Some teachers died trying to protect the children in their care, but others managed to shepherd their young students to safety by having them hide in closets, cupboards, bathrooms and storage areas. They locked their classroom doors and kept the children quiet and calm till help arrived.
The prophet Jeremiah warns us about those who will try to do evil to children. But he also promises God will continue to inspire shepherds to protect children so they will no longer need to be afraid. Throughout history many people have answered the call to be those brave shepherds.
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