Sunday, October 21, 2007

We Are In This Together

One of the reasons that I have been unable to update by blog for a while has been that, for the past week, I have been out of the country at a meeting of leaders from the International Christian Association, the association of missions begun by or through the influence of Richard Wurmbrand. We meet once a year to discuss business and hear how God has been working in and through our ministries. It is usually a very encouraging and enjoyable time when I get to sit down with partners and friends from around the world. Many of our missions are, like VOMC, experiencing growth both financially and in ministry. Others are going through some difficult times. We rejoiced together and we mourned together. But we are in this together.

I missed not seeing them last year. While I was assured of their prayers and received messages of encouragement from many, nothing takes the place of personally seeing those you care about.
The same is true of ministering to the persecuted, themselves. We can (and should) pray for them, send them notes of encouragement, demonstrate our love through acts and gifts of compassion and solidarity, but nothing takes the places of actually going, seeing, and speaking to them. So many times, I have had believers in restricted nations thank me not for the "things" we bring them, but simply for coming and being with them, listening to their stories, and praying for them. This is an aspect of ministry that I miss so much right now, as I cannot travel to many places due to my fragile health. But I rejoice that we can send others in my stead to let our brothers and sisters know that they are not forgotten. In the next month, a number of us from the Canadian mission will be traveling abroad. Remember them in your prayers, together with those whom they will be meeting with. We are in this together.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a staff member of VOMC who attended the ICA meeting with you, I was also blessed and encouraged to meet for the first time with many partners and fellow co-labourers from various countries who serve the Persecuted Church. You mentioned that it was great for you to see these partners in the Lord's vineyard. But I can also testify that many of the delegates were very joyous and encouraged to see you. I saw that in the very warm hugs and holy kisses being showered on you as many were so delighted to see you there in a relatively good condition. Moreover, many of the delegates were blessed and encouraged by your insightful contributions during the meetings. The persentation you made on the theology of persecution and discipleship was very probing, informative, and edifying. May the Lord continue to sustain and strengthen you by His love and grace.