Imagine for a moment, if you can, ministering in a region where having in your possession ANY Christian symbol or material could land you in prison. Imagine trying to start churches in a society where attempting to convert the local citizens was criminal. Imagine being driven away by mobs or beaten regularly when attempting any open ministry. Imagine being the pastor of a church in a region where it is considered a criminal act just allowing a converted Muslim to even attend your services. Imagine living in a culture that everything from your clothing, to your language, to your day of worship identifies you as an “enemy” of that state religion. Imagine seeing numbers of your women and young girls herded into the streets and humiliate because they attend your church. Imagine congregating secretly in a home to worship and every knock at the door could be the police to carry you off. Imagine the courage it would take to “let your light so shine before men” there. Most of us cannot imagine living in such an environment void of the blessed gift of freedom.
Recently, I was blessed to spend two months in regions of Southeast Asia that this describes. I was in four different countries, each different but yet the same. I have been amazed at the steadfastness of God’s servants there. While they do not enjoy the bountiful harvest that other nations witness, they are impacting their people and their stories cause one to shake the head in utter awe at their courage and conviction. Each of them in their own way has paid a price for their service to Christ.
Thank you, Pastors and churches for your steadfastness and enduring spirit in the Lord's work. We look forward to serving with you in the future.