TRAINING A COLONY OF ANTS


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

TRAINING A COLONY OF ANTS
=========================
For physical training is of some value, but
godliness has value for all
things, holding promise for both the present life
and the life to come.
1Timothy 4:8

Discipleship training is a
significant part of the ministry of Open Doors.
Today a report from one of
those involved in receiving training in the house
churches of Iran:

“I
am proud to be an Iranian, but I have to say that daily life has not
become
easier lately. Three weeks ago I had a small talk with a Muslim in a
park near
a main street splitting Tehran north and south. We talked in veiled
terms
about religion and politics. At the end, the Muslim told me, ‘It feels
like a
big prison, to be living here.’ I agreed, but didn’t dare to say so. I
glanced
away, thinking of my Christian friend arrested in December 2010 who
is still
in prison now.

“I realized that I have more freedom than many
of my Christian brothers and
sisters who are in jail. But after talking with
this Muslim, I also realized
that since I became Christian, I have even more
freedom than he does! Even the
Christians in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison
have more freedom than Muslims
do. It filled me with a feeling of sympathy
and I thought about the lessons we
had been learning. It’s part of our
discipleship training.

“That training really helped our house group.
Together with my wife, we are
the leaders of this house church, and every
week we get together for at least
one meeting. We rotate places and days but
it is always in the evening. We
study parts of the Bible, talk about the
paragraphs that we like or don’t
understand, and then we try to apply this to
our daily life.

“This sounds good maybe, but I often wonder if this is
the right way to do it.
How should I know? I became a believer six years ago,
when I was seventeen. I
don’t feel qualified to call myself a leader. What do
I know about the role of
the Holy Spirit, about a Christian marriage, about
explaining the Bible or
studying the Bible in the right way? But others came
to faith later, so I am
the most ‘experienced’ of our group.

“The
training helps us enormously to grow in our own leadership roles, but
also
motivates us to hand down the important things we learned to others. Now
we
know we have to stay close to the Word of God. Because it is easy to
ascribe
our own thoughts to the Holy Spirit, we learned how to test them
against the
Bible. The training also helped us open up and discuss untouched
topics, like
relationships in marriage and being a servant leader like
Jesus
was.

“Through this discipleship training, we’ve been so
encouraged to know that
people all over the world know about us and pray for
us. This helps groups
like ours to stay spiritually healthy, and grow in
numbers, too.

“Even though believers in house groups like ours have to
stay hidden and face
a lot of difficulties, I think the church of Iran is
like a colony of ants:
most of them you don’t see!”

RESPONSE: Today I
want to see new believers I know discipled in the
scriptures. I will do
everything possible to teach and model God’s Word.

PRAYER: Pray for the
discipleship training in Iran and other Islamic nations.
Pray that house
groups will continue to grow in their faith and reach out to
others around
them.

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