Missionaries Face Death, Criticism to Preach

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Christian missionaries Timothy Scott and Will Decker face danger in their quest to spread their message around the world, but they'd never faced anything as treacherous as a blizzard they encountered in the middle of the Mongolian desert.

Scott and Decker, both in their 30s, are what you might call gonzo missionaries. Armed with a video camera, a backpack and the faith that Jesus is the only way to heaven, they travel around the world in the hopes of converting "the unreached." That's what they call native populations who have not heard the gospel.

At the same time, they produce a show called "Travel the Road," which airs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

"In this you can't survive more than two hours," Scott said on the show, describing the bitter cold and blizzard conditions. "We're going to walk and pray that the Lord will lead us out of this whiteout."

"It's insane how cold it is here," Decker said. "It's like the edge of the moon."

The two admit they have a crazy lifestyle. They've been stalked by lions in Ethiopia and menaced by leeches in Borneo. They've braved gunfire in Burundi, navigated streets filled with gun-toting militias in Somalia and fallen out of moving trucks in Sudan. They've eaten wild monkey, and tried to eat a pungent tropical fruit called "durian."

"It's great, we love it," Decker said. "There is nothing better than when you're getting on the plane. You got your ticket and you got everything that you own in one backpack, and you got a couple pair of clothes. You got your Bible and you got your camera gear. And it's open."

They're willing to take these risks and travel to areas of conflict and war "because we've really been called from the beginning," Decker said.

"Our whole desire is to preach the gospel and the places we usually end up are areas that have never heard the gospel or never had any contact or don't know of the name of Jesus … places that have been cut off from any gospel work being done," he said.

"From what we know in our heart and what we know of the message that we carry, how can we not do it?" Scott said.

Facing Danger, Armed With Faith

They say it's important for them to "share the word of God," because as evangelical Christians they believe that those who don't accept the Gospel will go to hell.

As a young man, Scott planned to be a stockbroker until, he said, God told him to become a missionary. Decker wasn't even a believer when the pair went on their first trip in 1998, but that changed as they traveled through Papua New Guinea.

"I just gave my life to the Lord and just said, 'Lord, come live in me, forgive me of my sins, and I believe you went to the cross and died for me and your blood was shed for me. Just forgive me of my sins,'" he said. "I felt a total release when I prayed that and that was the beginning for us."

During the snowstorm in Mongolia, the two did find a tent and a family who offered them hot soup.

"Once again, the Lord has provided and we're not going to die out here, which is good," Scott said.

He said that it was a reminder of what brought them there: "the people" and "the message."

But their troubles didn't end there -- the next day their drivers decided not to let them go, in what the missionaries described as a kidnapping. Decker called it "one of the strangest and scariest trips I've started on."

After 24 hours, they were aided by a police officer at a truck stop and escaped unharmed.

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