The Persecuted Church – Comfort and Strength

The nation I was in is a beautiful country, diverse in culture and rich in heritage. This was my third trip, so it was great to reacquaint and connect with people that I have been getting to know.

Once again, I had the privilege of connecting with my good friend (unnamed for protection) who has had a powerful impact on many in this nation. We returned to one city where we saw an incredible response to the Gospel last year. Since that time, the churches have faced increasing pressure. As we gathered with one of the main churches in the region where we were, my heart ached as I saw the heaviness on the people. Yet as soon as worship began and we began to cry out to the Lord, a rush of His Presence came into that little room. It was as if we were carried away into the arms of the Lord and He began to release His comfort and strength. I live for those days!

In another area of the country, there has also been a tremendous response to the Gospel. Seven years ago a young couple moved into the region. To their knowledge, there weren’t any Believers there. Today there are over 120 people in their church and there are seven other thriving churches, for a total of over 600 Believers in that particular region (that they know of).

This pastor took us to a plot of land that he was praying about buying. Immediately I was stirred, thinking how powerful it would be if we could help this church. On returning to the States, I shared the need with our three-month old congregation. Dawn van Wert told me afterwards, “God spoke to me last month to ‘buy the land.’ I had no idea what that meant. Now I know!” Later we talked and realized that God spoke to her on December 10, the exact same day that I was with that couple!! This was before she and her husband Stephen started coming to our church. We hadn’t even met yet!

On the way home, I flew through France and preached at Communauté Chrétienne Béthesda, located in Paris. God continues to do great things in that church.

 

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