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Behind Closed Doors

By David*, Apr 16, 2013
Sunday evenings are always a scramble for our family. We stuff toys, shoes, and drying clothes into closets and drawers to make room for the church we host in our home. One Sunday as members trickled in, there was a knock on the door. Two police officers greeted me and said, “We want you to come upstairs to answer a few questions for us.” My heart stopped.

Our work here in South Asia is highly illegal. To be found church planting is nearly certain grounds for eviction from the country—or even worse for residents of the country who can’t leave. So as I climbed the stairs to the terrace with the police, while members continued to arrive down below, prayers raced under my breath.

One officer said, “I see you’re having a party downstairs so we won’t keep you long.” Our local police station was taking a “census” to keep tabs on residents in its jurisdiction. They wanted to know everything about my family, my work, and me. After examining my business card, apartment lease, and visa, they were content to go. I breathed a sigh of relief and thanksgiving.

That night 40 of us squished together on couches and folding chairs to worship, pray, and study the Gospel of John together. An Iranian Muslim, a Nigerian Roman Catholic, and an Indian Hindu joined us. Our two Japanese agnostic friends couldn’t make it because of work. (That was disappointing because the previous week they brought a bottle of vodka for the snack table.)

Close calls with police and the unbelievers in our midst remind me that planting a church is participating in something far greater than myself. There is an enemy, a roaring lion, seeking to devour the Church wherever it starts. But the Lion of Judah will not be thwarted. His Church will prevail, His ransomed will gather, and His kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven.

*Last name withheld for security purposes. 
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DAY 30: Pray for new missionaries preparing to serve in restricted-access countries around the world that the Lord would use them mightily.

DAY 29: Pray for the identification, training, and appointing of leaders for new ministry opportunities across Europe.

DAY 28: Pray for national leaders being developed and cared for in Muslim-majority nations across Asia and the Middle East.

DAY 27: Ukraine: Pray for an end to the war, ministry to those who are displaced, and for spread of the gospel.

DAY 26: Pray for connection, encouragement, and support for wives of church planters in East Asia, facing both internal conflicts (family/church) and external (government) pressures.

DAY 25: Pray for Japanese church members not returning to church because of fear of the coronavirus. Pray for their faith to thrive in the midst of the continuing pandemic.

DAY 24: Pray for continued development of ministry candidates in the Timothy House program, a two-year residential training program to develop West African church planters.

DAY 23: Ethiopia: Pray for Ethiopia ACT’s family advocates, who care for the physical and spiritual needs of families affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other communicable diseases.

DAY 22: Europe and North America: Pray for new team leaders, refugee/immigrant ministry workers, ESL teachers, and more to reach out to Muslim people in Europe and North America.

DAY 21: Cherokee, North Carolina: Pray for the ministry of Grace Community Church and that God would raise up additional team members for the church planting work there.

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