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Joey writes

On November 8, 2009 in South Asia, I and two other pastors from The Austin Stone, were robbed and attacked by a small gang of South Asian youth. Unexpectedly, one of these youth sliced my left cheek with a straight razor. The wound was 5 inches long and an inch deep. It spanned from about my left sideburn to the left corner of my mouth. Fortunately, the two other men with me were physically unharmed. We ran for safety in the middle of the city, pleaded with locals for help, and finally ended up in the emergency room at a local hospital where a doctor stitched up my face with three layers of stitches.

After arriving back home, I realized that this attack was a catalyst to great spiritual and emotional growth. After a week long of reflection, I have outlined below the lessons that I have learned. I hope my story and these lessons will encourage others to radical obedience to Jesus and mobilize them to the mission of God.

1. The straight razor that scarred my face has become an altar of intercession for those South Asian youth who attacked us. My face is the sacrifice that was put on this alter. I doubt if any prayers have ever been lifted to the Father for those youth, that is, until they attacked us. Almost immediately, we began praying for them. Since then, thousands of people have interceded for them, for their joy. In this way, therefore, God turned their sin of unjustly attackingus into a great blessing for them.

The Lord brought me to Psalm 97:11 a few days after the attack: “Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.” I realized that the straight razor was not only an altar of intercession for those youth, but it was also a plow, tilling the soil of my body and prepping it for sowing. The straight razor plow opened the way for … (read the rest of the lessons here




  1. Wow Sam,

    I prayed for healing for Joey, but also that his scar would tell a story. It looks as though Joey is using a fresh wound to tell his story of Jesus.

    I have learned that scars, whether internal or external, have a purpose as we glorify our Lord through them.

  2. Dear Pastor Sam,
    Praise God for Joey’s protection and healing from the attack and recent incident in India. Reading his “reflections” gives great insight to the spiritual depth and purpose that he experienced. Psalm 97:11

  3. Incredible reflections by Joey. I am so glad for answered prayer for his safe return and ongoning recovery. What an awesome testimony he has now….similar to his parents testimony of the cost of the mission fields.

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