Comfort and Security

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Recently, we showed pictures during our Sunday morning service of a church we support in Pakistan. We’ve been trying to raise money to help with their new building and, praise God, we’ve been able to send them more than half of what they needed.

We got to see pictures of them working on the new building and worshiping in and around it. It was exciting, seeing God’s people come together on something like that. To think that those people on the other side of the world were singing the same songs we sing at North Plains (though sometimes in a different language), that they were having Sunday School just like we do, getting immersed in baptism just like we do and that they were taking the Lord’s Supper just like we do. Being able to give monetarily is a blessing (and we thank Dumas’s Cowboy Church, which also contributed to the funds we sent!) and it creates a tie between our congregations, but not as strong as the tie we find in worshiping the same God and serving the same Lord: God’s son Jesus

I don’t know if any of us from here in Dumas will ever get to worship at that building. I’m hoping to go there one day and help them build—if not on that building, then on one for one of their sister churches—but right now travel to Pakistan is restricted, so I may not get to. If I never get to see those Christians in this life, I feel connected to them already through the Holy Spirit and through meeting some of them when they came through Dumas a while back. And one day I will get to worship with them in heaven.

Speaking of coming through Dumas, in the past couple weeks I have had the privilege of meeting with people who are sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in Brazil, The Sudan, Israel, Liberia, Oregon and throughout the world with Voice of the Martyrs. It’s so uplifting to hear how God’s word is being carried throughout the world and to learn of the harvest of souls. Truly, God’s word is going out and it’s not coming back void (see Isaiah 55:11).

And it’s not “just” a matter of preaching. In all these places, orphanages are being built and medical clinics as well. Housing is being built or repaired. One ministry I visited with—Mercy Partners in South Sudan—is focused on bringing fresh water (I take it for granted that when I turn on my faucet water will come out, even in dry Dumas) to places where there’s not a single clean well for an entire town of thousands of people. From Liberia, I learned of a modern day Apostle Paul who went from murdering Christians to now being a Christian minister and being persecuted himself—to the extent that even his eldest son was murdered but he continues to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.

In all this, though, one image that sticks most starkly in my mind is one of a cross being placed on the outside of the church building in Pakistan. I see that picture and I think: what boldness! In a land where they shoot teenage girls for advocating for education reforms and prosecute disabled children for their faith, to have the guts to put a cross right out on the front of the building amazes me! (You can see a picture of the cross on our church’s Facebook page.)

“Lord, you’ve blessed me with a country that lets me write an article like this and put it right in the newspaper and I’ve become soft and comfortable. Please bless me with the boldness I see Christians in persecuted countries displaying. Amen.”