PUBLISHED ON 30 MARCH, 2017 BY JULIE BOURDON
International (MNN) — In the iconic 1950s film “The Sound of Music”, Maria von Trapp’s character realizes her plans for her life were not going to work. To console herself, she says, “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” This sentiment perfectly captures the changing environment of the mission field. Gospel-sharing opportunities aren’t ending; they just shift from place-to-place.
Helen Williams of World Missionary Press is constantly in contact with distributors of their Scripture booklets all around the world. She says some doors are closing for ministry, and others are opening. What either situation has in common is this: The demand for Scripture booklets is great.
She says, “There are places, particularly in Pakistan and India, where there is a tightening of things and time is short. And most of our major distributors are well aware of this and they are pressing the urgency.” In these areas, Christians must take great care in what they say and how they conduct themselves around their neighbors. In Pakistan, the anti-blasphemy law has become an easy way to punish religious minorities. Even so, there are workers on the ground who refuse to give up.
“They’ve been threatened and they’ve been told, ‘You can’t do this.’ They’ve been attacked — and yet, they’re saying, “Just pray for us, that we’ll be bold, that we’ll be wise. We’re going to continue to do the work, we’re going to continue to share the Gospel.’” In parts of India, there is a growing intolerance towards anyone who would become a Christian.
“We are seeing more and more anti-conversion laws being proposed in India. We are doing everything we possibly can in India right now because we are hearing there that it’s getting more and more difficult,” Williams says.
One of their contacts in India has ordered 20 million booklets which will be used in just the next few months as they pass them out to a number of villages. While some organizations are focusing on leadership training in light of the closing doors, World Missionary Press is working to resource these leaders while they still can.
And while time may be limited in these areas, people from other parts of the world have a chance to hear the Gospel for the first time. Williams explains, “There are also other places where things are opening up. The refugee situation in Europe — we are getting so many requests from Sweden, and Norway, and Finland where people have migrated all the way up there.”
One contact from Helsinki told Williams that it was as if all the nations had come to Finland. Many of the refugees are coming from countries closed to mission work and evangelism. In addition to Europe, shipments of the Arabic New Testament are heading to the Middle East to be shared with families displaced by war and violence.
Whether the door of opportunity is opening or closing, Williams says it’s like there is a recommitment from their distributors to reach as many people as they can with the hope of the Gospel.
“The Word of God is not bound in any way, and we just want to be on the front lines providing material for those who are willing to go.”
WMP ministry partner - June 9, 2017
"In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." - John 16:33b
One of our major ministry partners in India had one of their churches burned down recently. The ministry leader shares "It seems the Hindu activists burned down the church because they were angry that the pastor conducted Vacation Bible School for three days at his church. One hundred plus kids attended the VBS and most of them were from Hindu families."
World Missionary Press partners with several major ministries in India, supplying millions of Scripture booklets in various Indian languages yearly, as a primary tool for reaching India’s 1.3 billion souls with the gospel.
While hundreds of WMP How to Know God booklets burned during the fire, many millions more are at work changing lives for eternity.
The ministry leader states "The fiery darts of the devil may burn down church buildings, but they cannot snuff out the passion we have in our hearts to reach out to the lost! Church building or no church building, the Word we have in our hearts and the Word we have in our hands (WMP booklets) will continue the work of the gospel. If God moves in your hearts to send help, send us not bricks, but more WMP booklets!"
Thank you for standing with us in prayerful support of our ministry partners in India. If you would like to help provide more Scripture booklets for use in India, please click here:
The following testimony is from a brother in Nigeria.
“Thank you so much for diligently doing the work of Christ and for the love and kindness shown to God’s children. Thank you for determination to serve the Lord in your country and around the world, seeking for the lost and unsaved to get saved and matured through Christ. May the Lord comfort you and strengthen you to continue forwarding His ministry to the world. Beloved, some incredible evil things happened in my life that was to the point of stealing my life. But the Lord’s healing hand was upon me, and I was restored. I am grateful and my heart is filled with joy today. I am very glad to share my testimony with you. My family and I belonged to the Muslim Association of Nigeria. We were all accordingly in one body of Allah. We believed Allah was our god, and we worshiped him in the Islamic religion. We were against Christians. We spoke evil of them, and we hated them. One day, a believer came to our Islamic place where we prayed; and he was preaching the doctrine of Christ. We captured him and killed him; but we didn’t know we were wrong and the devil was ruling our lives, and we belonged to a false religion. So, after some days, I got attacked by a dreadful disease and became jaundiced. I was admitted into the best hospital with doctors working on me around the clock. I was given four bottles of blood and was on oxygen for six days. My pulse was disappearing, and my breathing was slowing. The pain in my entire body was unbearable. It was then the doctors gave up hope. The chief doctors said that I would have to be lifted immediately to Bombay for dialysis but that I may not survive the journey itself. My parents, brothers, and sisters were all nearly mad with sorrow. My father and his friends were consulting Islamic hymns to proclaim healing in my body. They tried and tried, but our gods failed them. It was then Brother "J", who was saved through your literature and ministry, came to see his sister in the same ward and he came to meet me for a purpose. My father was trying to abuse him, but my mother stopped him. He came towards me, and he was calling God’s anointing power of healing upon my life. Really, the Lord interceded and laid His hand of healing upon me; and I felt a move in my body. It was like a heat and the pains were vanishing. My blood was again tested for the last time, and it showed my liver and kidneys working beautifully, and I was completely whole. My family and the doctors were all surprised to see the demonstration of God’s power upon my life. From then on, my father realized that the gods we were worshiping were not true gods, and we got onto our knees and confessed Christ as our Lord and personal Savior. The Lord transformed our lives through the blood of the Lamb. He changed us from Islam to Christianity. We took our Muslim books, hymns, and bible and burnt them. We are now fellowshipping in Brother "J’s" church. Beloved, we are willing and anxious to study God’s Word so that we can grow stronger in our faith and be matured through Christ. We believe faith cometh by hearing and hearing from the Word of God. Please help us with 39 complete Holy Bibles to share among ourselves so that we can have the Word of God to grow and to know more about His Word. We want to become closer to God, and to receive the life He offers. Please, help me and my family with friends to grow rapidly in the Lord. Thank you for the love and concern shown to your African brethren.”
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