April 19, 2012
By an Alliance international worker, serving in a creative-access country
We’re not going to let fear dictate what we do,” said our national church pastor. He had called me for a meeting when he heard that my colleagues and I were planning a Bible study for local people of the predominant religion who were studying English with us.
In the country where we serve, it’s hard to avoid giving in to fear. The secret police are always watching and have been known to infiltrate many groups. It was a sign to us of God’s work in the church leader’s life and in his congregation when the pastor endorsed our intentions, regardless of possible consequences.
We felt confident that God was at work and proceeded with our plans of offering it to people who know very little about the Bible.
The response was encouraging. Some weeks up to 15 attended the study; many were people we know who are some of the most devout in their beliefs. After several weeks of doing the study, an intriguing text message showed up on my phone from one of our students. His English was very broken, but his message was clear. “I love Jesus but cannot come to the Bible study, because I am afraid of my friends.”
I had not previously met this student, so I tracked him down through his text message. When I finally met with him, I invited him to study the Bible with me and another colleague. AJ* was eager to learn what the Bible had to say and began studying God’s Word, learning what the Bible says about our relationship with God.
During our time together, AJ decided to become a follower of Christ. His positive experiences with Christians in his life helped lead him to this commitment. AJ was later forced to leave the country to find employment. He is now working in one of the most spiritually dark countries in the world, where there are few if any people who know Christ. But AJ has the Bible on tape, and he listens to it and is growing in his faith. I got an e-mail from him recently, saying he is coming back to our country soon and wants to be baptized.
God is at work in this country, calling to Himself a people He loves. He will use anything to draw them to Him, including a Bible study we nearly didn’t offer because of fear. Our resolve to take a faith-filled risk became an opportunity for one young man to enter the Kingdom. AJ faces some major hurdles ahead as he grows in his faith, including a culture and family that will not be excited about his newfound faith.
Pray for God’s favor and grace to rest upon AJ as he grows in his knowledge and experience of Christ.
* Name changed
Read about other Alliance initiatives in spiritually dark lands that are hostile to the gospel.
What You Can Do
Pray for Alliance workers who bring the light of Jesus into spiritually dark places. Pray that the people they meet will open their hearts to receive God’s amazing grace. Partner with Alliance international workers through the Great Commission Fund to bring the light of Jesus into countries where there is little access to the gospel.