“Minutes after the service started, a church member ran into the building with a head injury and was being chased by a man with a sword. The rest of the congregation tried to escape, but the man wounded two church members as well as an 81-year-old church leader.”
This recent report is about a persecuted church in one of the “IMPOSSIBLE” locations for Bible translation—impossible for Westerners to assist in Bible translation.
Hatred, terrorism, and persecution are all about instilling fear. Yet Jesus teaches that those who are hated and persecuted are blessed. Jesus promises that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the persecuted. What beautiful promises for those who experience so much pain and suffering. Oh, how the persecuted believers need to read and hear Jesus’s words—just for them:
Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
Luke 6:22 (NIV)
Blessed are those who are persecuted
because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:10 (NIV)
But what about the new believers who never see this? Where is their comfort? Where will they find such beautiful words of encouragement?
My dear friends, recently we have prayed and prayed for those in Muslim- and communist-controlled areas of the world. Christians are hated there. Americans are despised.
One Asian translator told us, “An American coming into these places sends red lights flashing. It invites kidnapping.” These are places where any outsider is suspect. Even if you can get into the country, your every move is tracked. A knock at the door could mean martyrdom.
Right now, at the very moment that you read this, 20 highly qualified Asian ministry leaders are ready to launch Bible translation for 40 language groups in these previously IMPOSSIBLE countries. These leaders know the risk. God has prepared them to go, to teach Bible translation methods, and to assist local churches who are yearning for God’s Word in their own languages.
You are part of the answer to their prayers. These Asian ministry leaders are saying, “Equip us, and WE WILL DO THE WORK.” They are ready to move ahead, immediately, to places where we cannot go—ever! The leaders of this initiative who call it the “River of God” are ready to move out all across Asia.
Later this week Wycliffe Associates begins the River of God initiative to raise the funds to equip and send these ready and willing workers to flow, just like a river, into the darkness bringing the light of the good news.
As we receive emails over the next few days, please pray with me, that God will bless this campaign to raise the funds necessary for the River of God to indeed flow into these once IMPOSSIBLE countries with the Good News.
- Please pray and visit each donation page to learn more about the River of God.
- Pray for donors to give as God leads.
- Pray as you watch the thermometer measuring the progress of the campaign.
- Pray every time you see an ad on Facebook or Instagram.
- Pray for the equipping of every one of the Asian leaders—they all are ready to go!
This is our calling, dear prayer partners, to pray for the thousands of language groups still without the precious Word of God.
It is indeed our calling to pray for church leaders. We pray for the River of God leaders. We pray our leaders will continue to seek God’s face and lead us all to follow the Lord Jesus more closely. We pray that we will each one do our part to help the believers in impossible places and situations to have God’s precious Word in their languages, sooner than later.