One of the most inspiring stories of faithfulness is a story many have never heard. This account demonstrates true and whole faith in God. It reveals the character of this individual who followed through with what she said she would do. And it displays the compliance to do whatever God called her to do, as well as the calling this person could rely on when times were difficult. All three of these traits are crucial if a Christian wants to see God use their life to do the incredible. This account motivates me and challenges me to be the best I can be for Christ. It encourages me that my life is wholly His, and something miraculous will become of my life if I will yield every decision to God’s will.
Margaret Stringer was a single woman, saved at the young age of eleven and surrendered her life to missions at twelve. She had a strong desire to serve God and a heavy burden for missions work. One day, as a young girl at church, the preacher was challenging the congregation for missions. In his sermon, he asked questions such as, “Who will go? Who will go to India? Who will go to Germany? Who will go to the millions in China?” But the question that struck her heart the most was, “Who will go to the headhunters of Papua New Guinea?” At this moment, she felt God speak to her, saying, “That is where I want you to go.” I can only imagine the fear that struck her in this exact instant. So many questions filled her head, “Why me? Am I even qualified? Lord, are you sure?”
She surrendered her life to follow God’s calling. As she raised funds and prepared to go to the field, her family and friends repeatedly told her things like, “You can’t go. This is crazy. God didn’t call you. You are going to die. They WILL kill you; that is literally what they do.” These seemed to be mostly convincing arguments, and much of what they said was true. However, Margaret knew God had called her, and anything else would be disobedience. During this time, God strengthened her and prepared her for the difficult times ahead. Being faced with opposition, she knew what was right, but everything else told her not to go. No doubt she was afraid to some extent. She had to make an important decision. Would she allow her fear to take control and prevent her from following what she knew to be the Lord’s will for her life? Or would she trust God’s ultimate wisdom that even if the headhunters killed her, that He had called her for that purpose? If that is what God wanted from her life, He must have a reason. So, as a 32-year-old woman, she went.
Margaret’s mission was so dangerous that her helicopter pilot wouldn’t even land to allow her to get out. He “strung her down” (an easy way to remember Margaret STRINGer) and tossed her luggage down to the ground. There they were. The headhunters were staring right at her. They didn’t kill her right away; in fact, they didn’t kill her at all. This particular tribe of headhunters had a superstition that a white woman would come from the sky with a new God. Even more astonishing, their superstition did not simply tell them that this would happen, but that they were to believe and trust and follow that God. The entire tribe accepted Jesus as their personal Savior.
Not long after, she told the tribe that she wanted to go to another tribe to share the gospel with them. The headhunters told her this was not an option, for the tribe she spoke of was so dangerous, vicious, and cannibalistic that they did not even venture over to where they were in fear of being killed. However, Margaret knew God had called her to do this. So, she had the faith to follow, the character to go through with it, and the compliance to do whatever God had asked her to do. After arriving at the new tribe, she discovered that they too had a superstition that a white woman would come from another tribe with a God and that they were to believe in that God.
She then spent over 40 years on the field serving God, producing a written form of their language, and then translating much of the Bible into that language. After coming off the field, she now travels the country telling others about what God did through her and how He can do it in them. She has also written two books (From Cannibalism to Christianity and Jesus Led Me All the Way) about her adventures with the headhunters there in Papua New Guinea.
How inspiring and motivating that if we trust Christ, He has a plan for our lives that will supersede all that we could ever imagine! It is our job to be the willing vessel that allows the Spirit of God to fill us and show us exactly what to do. Suppose if we each purposed to trust and obey as Margaret Stringer did? We too would have a story of faithfulness that others could read and be encouraged by. What a wonderful life God will create and manifest in and through us if we simply obey! What is holding you back from trusting God as Margaret did?