“There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The centre of His will is our only safety” let us pray that we may always know it!” The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom.
“When I was a young girl I was always frightened when I heard the guns firing. I remember my mother calling to me, saying, ‘Come on, you got to get out of the house!’
“It wasn’t easy for me when I heard this noise as it always made my knees tremble. I found it hard to get up and run. Even today, I still remember the feelings I had as a child, and vivid memories flood my mind whenever guns start firing.”
We did not understand the word persecution
Anna and her husband David are both committed Christians and are not strangers to the activity of the Muslim rebels in their area. They both minister in their church, faithfully serving God and the congregation. At first, they did not understand the word ‘persecution’ – because it is part of their everyday life. ‘We really did not have a word for persecution until it was explained to us. We felt it was just a normal part of our life,’ Anna explained.
‘Now that we understand about persecution worldwide we can see how we are sandwiched in the middle between Muslim rebels and Communist guerrillas,’ David said. ‘We are constantly in prayer and we trust God to watch over us. I believe one of our keys to the victory of overcoming these times of persecution is that we have a dawn prayer meeting six days a week. It begins at 4am and finishes at 6am, with 80-120 people attending each day. Our mayor and some of the town councillors also come. During this time I am able to read a chapter a day from the Bible and there have been non- Christians attending these meetings,’ he told us.
VOM books are distributed to the people and the most popular books are Hearts of Fire, Tortured for Christ, Extreme Devotion and The Triumphant Church (available on our online store). One day when David was at the market, he saw one woman selling fish. She said, ‘I remember you at the dawn watch. The books you gave me were such a blessing. Thank you so much.’
These books are a tremendous opportunity for David and Anna to open the door of the Gospel to many non-believers. They are so thankful to VOM for providing these evangelistic tools.
Their evangelism program is not always so welcome. They face the challenge of sharing the Gospel with active Muslim rebels who live in a camp only 20km from their house. David goes alone into the Muslim rebels’ camp, taking gifts of food.
Opening the Gospel doorway
Through this approach, David befriended the rebels and now has permission to share the Gospel there. It takes courage and boldness in Christ to approach militant rebels whose anti-government stand could affect their own village with a possible attack at any time.
“I believe it’s one way we can show the love of Christ to these men,” said David. ‘We have to be wise in the way we present God to them; we cannot bring the message verse by verse but we look for other opportunities. They love our singing and when I sang the old hymn ”Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,’ some would come and join with us for about 30 minutes and then leave. We never forced them to stay but we knew the Spirit of the Lord was touching their heart.”
David knows how dangerous this work is, and the rebels always maintain that they are in control. “They say they are Muslim from birth, but since we showed them the love of Christ, I believe that’s the sword that we have to cut through their spiritual darkness. Slowly and steadily we are witnessing this love of Christ to them.”
It is important for us to support believers like David and Anna in prayer and with good Christian literature as they minister in this hostile environment where they choose to live so that the Gospel and the love of Christ may be shared with the nonbelievers there.