GOD IS AT WORK IN HIS CHURCH


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

GOD IS AT WORK IN HIS
CHURCH
============================
And in him you too are being built
together to become a dwelling in which God
lives by his Spirit. Ephesians
2:22

Daniel, a young “underground” house church believer from Muslim
background
(MBB) would not attend the open church in his Middle Eastern city
because he
felt its leaders were cooperating with the government. Everything
had to be
secretive in the house church meetings with no loud singing. It was
risky
meeting like this. Daniel shares his story of discovery and what he
learned
from the experience:

“A few months ago, I was at the church
leader’s house. They were old family
friends and I was helping their kids to
repair their computer. The mother
answered the door and men came into the
house. They were plainclothes police
with papers that showed they were from
security and had authority to arrest.
They took everyone’s phones,
disconnected the internet, and gathered all of
the computers while they
searched the house for Bibles. They found 300. They
didn’t want to touch the
Bibles, like they were dirty. They took the husband
and wife away in
handcuffs.

“The leaders were still imprisoned when the police came to my
house about a
month and a half later pretending to be postmen. In my whole
life, that was
the first time I saw my father cry. They searched through my
room and took my
computer, my books, my prayer notebook, my written plans for
our youth group,
and my personal Bible. They also took my sister’s laptop and
all of our cell
phones. At the end of their search, they told my parents that
they were going
to take me with them. My mother was distressed, but I hugged
her and told her
I would be back.

“They took me to the central prison. I was there for two weeks. They only beat
me the first day, but they still
threatened me. For the first week I didn’t
answer their questions, but the
second week was difficult. I was imagining my
mom and dad—I had talked to my
dad and knew it was a more difficult time for
them than for me. I still
wondered what I had done wrong and why I didn’t have
the right to praise my
Lord.

“After two weeks they let me go after guaranteeing I wouldn’t flee.
About a
month later they also released our leaders on bail. After that, they
told me
my case was still open and they could call me in at any time. We
were
uncertain of our sentence because they wouldn’t hold a trial for around
six
months. Constant pressure. It was a pleasure to be persecuted for my
Lord.”

Asked what he learned from the experience, Daniel replied, “First,
God taught
me patience. Eventually, even though I was worried about my
family, God gave
me a chance to witness to my persecutors. I really don’t
hate them. I love
them because they don’t know what they’re doing. They’ve
been taught bad
things, they’re not bad themselves. I felt a responsibility
to tell them about
the light of Jesus that can break through their spiritual
darkness…I want
western people to know that God is working in the Middle
East, through
persecution, deception, and difficulties.”

RESPONSE:
Today I will be thankful that God can work through my fellowship of
believers
regardless of the level of freedom we enjoy.

PRAYER: Pray for those in
underground house churches who risk everything to
meet and fulfill the five
functions of the church.

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