(As you will gather from the report below Pastor R and his church have faced acute persecution from the country in which they reside. Join us in continuing to pray for the spread of the Gospel where they are located.)
God continues to do amazing things through the simple efforts of our central church plant. We were able to start two schools and three more church planting efforts. The two school locations are in villages that are poor physically and spiritually. We can help the community and share the good news of Christ with those who are open.
O is a key leader spearheading our church planting efforts in both villages. He spends five days each week doing visitations and leading Bible studies. I am very excited to announce that White Fields will begin supporting him in January 2018!
It has been a very challenging month for my wife, and I. The schools and church plants are both in large Muslim villages. While most of the community members appreciate our work, there are also some vocal opponents. It only takes a few agitators to create problems for us. Complaints of evangelism have put my church and me in the spotlight of the governor’s office and the secret police. I was called into the governor’s office and pressured by his staff to sign a document promising not to evangelize. When I refused, I was told that I had to come back and communicate my refusal directly to the governor himself. While the laws prohibiting evangelism are unclear, refusing to comply with any command of the governor is a punishable offense. He is both judge, jury, and by his word executioner. To disobey a command from the governor can result in lengthy prison sentences or worse.
The most discouraging part of the drama was that none of my fellow pastors were willing to come with me to my appointment with the governor. It was a very isolating time, and my wife was very concerned about me going alone. The morning of my meeting, our White Fields country director called me and offered to come with me. We went to the appointment not knowing if either of us would leave free men. After waiting for a long time, we met again with the governor’s staff, but the governor himself refused to see us. They insisted again that I sign the document. Still, I refused, and they requested copies of all my registration permits for the church and schools. I provided those registration forms, and they said that I would be hearing from them again. I am still waiting for that phone call, but I am resolved to stand firm and profoundly grateful for the support of my White Fields family in the USA, Canada, and my White Fields family here on the field.
Remember us in your prayers, Pastor R