We are church planters. That means we seek to start a church where there is none, aiming to see its members reaching out to start other churches.
The challenge is that the government of our host country forbids the teaching of Christianity to our Focus People. It also forbids the Focus People to interact with Christians and especially people like us. Officially it disallows foreign Christian workers to be in the country. As you can imagine, that raises more than a few challenges – both for us and the Focus People.
However, we are not alone in our task. We have the likes of you who pray, cheer us on from afar and a team of others nearby who give us needed fellowship.
Not to forget that the Father intimately knows us. His constant love surrounds and keeps our souls alive. The promised presence of Jesus, in all authority and power, enables us to stand and move against all powers that resist. The creative Holy Spirit is at work in every person, and guides us in unexpected ways.
We saw an example of this recently. A local friend phoned asking if he could come over and join us for our evening meal. His family were away, he was sick, and feeling lonely.
He arrived looking very ill and discouraged as his doctor had diagnosed him with dengue – high fever, aches, no appetite and with the possibility of internal haemorrhaging. We offered for him to join us in our meal but not feeling well he asked for just tomato soup.
As we were about to eat I spoke out a brief request for God to heal him. Nothing else was said. Half way through his first bowl of Campbell soup he said it was delicious. Finishing that bowl he asked for another. His appetite increasing, he asked if he could then share in our rice meal.
As time went on, he visibly became stronger. I asked how he felt and he said great, so much better.
I responded that of course, I has asked for him to be healed. “No, it was the tomato soup”, he responded.
He stayed on for the evening, looking back like his normal self. The next day he messaged saying that his blood test showed the dengue was gone and he was back to his usual health. Dengue usually lasts for 4-5 days.
Needless to say, that event opened up further conversations about God’s care for him and the reality of His merciful power. And it started with the need for a bowl of soup.