What a fun time Godstock was! I am so thankful that God allowed this event to take place. I’m also thankful for the leadership there who were happy to accommodate VOM by setting up a table (right in the front I might add! 😉 for me. There was a lot work that went into this festival and I anticipate their hard work will pay off to God’s glory, I really believe that. The photo I posted is a little low in quality since it came from my phone, but hopefully you can see it ok…
Bibles were given out, beautiful music was being played, lots of smiles everywhere. Vendor booths with hand-made crafts, good smelling food (I was downstream as it were and my mouth watered the whole time!), it was really fun. I was able to make quite a few contacts, and a lot of people took newsletters. Some were surprised to even see a ministry like VOM. They did not know that there is a part of the Body of Christ that does not have the freedom to own a Bible openly, or that they do not have the ability to attend a true Bible believing church, therefore having to attend an “underground” house church in secret, or that they could go, or are currently, in prison for the name of Christ.
Some people realized perhaps for the first time how much peace and comfort American/“Western” Christians have in that we are tremendously blessed to worship Jesus Christ freely! This resulted in me hearing the word, “Wow” quite a bit and I was so blessed to be the one to tell them and ask for their prayers.
I’ll admit that in the beginning of all this, I didn’t really know what I was doing! I worked diligently at maintaining a neat and orderly table and subconsciously prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me the right words as people came along. Of course, He was faithful as He always is and I was thrilled when a few conversations turned to how wonderful it is for Christians here in America to be able to share the Gospel without fear of persecution. For the most part as we all know, this country is in a lot of trouble spiritually, morally, economically, socially and politically. Depending on who you talk to, discussions can get very heated about all that is going on. But that didn’t happen here.
With some people, you could tell by the look in their eyes that they were reasoning within themselves which eventually bubbled over and spilled out into conveying how blessed we are to have the freedom we do! When you take a step back and realize that there are people who actually suffer for the things most of us take for granted, that is a whole different mindset! And it seemed to happen right before my eyes. I got to witness a sudden realization, almost an awakening if you will, and that has never happened to me before. And yes, the awakening came in that little word- Wow.
Sadly, a lot of Christians today are so caught up with what’s going on (and I’m no exception some of the time!) they are neglecting to set their affection on heavenly things. Don’t let the earthy, worldly climate of the nation deter you from your calling. Walk worthy of your vocation as commanded in Ephesians and while you are at it, get an understanding that walking worthy in some places of the world comes at a high price. The point I’m driving at is most of the persecuted church today realize there is nothing in this world worth living for, other than to tell others about Jesus. Because they know this world is not their home, it is not permanent and how we are all strangers and pilgrims looking for a city, a city God has made.
Heb. 11:16 – “But now they [those who put their faith in Jesus] desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”
So to those who are:
Troubled on every side, yet not distressed;
Perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken;
Cast down, but not destroyed;
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake…
(The Apostle Paul writing to the church in Corinth, chap. 4, vs. 8-11a)
(Photo taken from VOM's Special Newsletter, 2010)
To those are on the run, cornered in on every side from danger, have lost a spouse, child or parent for the cause of Christ, don’t give up. God says that He is preparing a place for you. I believe Him (truth be told, it doesn’t matter if I believe Him or not, He cannot deny Himself) and I believe that He is your very present help in a time of trouble. We here in the states do not know what you are going through, but we are endeavoring to remember your affliction for His Name. I am laboring to be your voice, I am asking for prayer for you, I am seeking those whose eyes need to be opened to your plight, I am calling out for the Gospel to be furthered in us all. Mostly, in every circumstance I am purely seeking God’s ultimate glory through you, and through us. And none of what I am doing is possible without Him.
My prayers for opportunities have now come in His perfect timing and He is proven over and over again how faithful He is. Although I got impatient at times, I know that everything works out according to His purposes. There were moments where I questioned my involvement with this ministry because it seemed as if nothing would ever happen.
Nevertheless, what I couldn’t get past after much self-examination was my tears. Holding myself up to scripture was what kept me on the journey, the scrutiny of my heart and how I felt about those who were hurting for Jesus told me that I must keep going; to just keep waiting until God opened a door. To put it simply and bluntly, Jesus cares about the persecuted, and so do I. In fact, I care greatly. Actually, He cares more than I ever could and since I knew that I was desiring to carry out His will it means that if I ask anything according to it, He would give me what I asked for. And I praise Him today so much because of how He is answering my prayers for them.
My utmost goal for you is to consistently and continually stir you up into praying for the persecuted. Your hearts need to grow for those who are hurting for our Lord, as does mine. You have tremendous capacity and ability to help me in this work. Even the basest, yet most powerful way of co-laboring, should be in prayer for them. They are worth your time. JESUS is worth it. Ask Him tonight what His will is for you regarding the persecuted church- He will answer.
In the future, I’ll probably post less on the meetings and work more on covering stories of current day martyrs and persecution. I have been planning on building up a recommended reading list, so look forward to that sometime soon. But before I go, I want to throw in a couple tips for any other area reps who may be reading this, or are new and don’t have much experience (not that I have much, but everything is a learning experience!). These are just little helpful hints that I learned today.
If you have been allowed to set up at table and display materials for VOM at an outdoor event, here are some tips.
- Even if you’ve been assured a table, try to bring an extra table from home anyway. I almost didn’t get one because someone forgot to tell me I needed to bring it! Its just better to have it with you in case of an emergency, that way you are not without.
- Don’t forget tape and extra pens. Pens for signing up people for newsletters, and tape so you can tape up global maps or posters advertising for action packs.
- I have found that carrying everything; all the literature, books, newsletters, business cards, table covering in a big suitcase is helpful. You can just open up the case and start laying it out on the table. It’s more organized!
- This is a biggie: wind can be a problem! Bring paperweights- could be anything heavy that is small and looks presentable, but not too sentimental in the event is flies off the table and breaks!
- Make a small sign that reads, “FREE” and put it by the newsletters and program information packets. There were vendors there who were selling goods and I felt like people were passing me by because they thought *everything* I had was for sale, which wasn’t true. I constantly felt like I was trying woo people to the table by telling them most of my stuff was free when I could have saved my voice and had more people stop by if I just had a sign.
- Having a global poster map in plain view was extremely helpful. It gave everyone an immediate view of exactly how many countries are either restricted or hostile. I don’t think many people know just how much of the world is against Christianity, so it was nice to have in plain view and be able to explain.
In closing, I want to leave on this note in the event I’m not able to post again. I say this because no person is promised tomorrow, we’re not even promised another hour. So for those who don’t know Jesus Christ personally; listen to me, this world can dissolve into powder, this world can fall off its axis, this world could burn into vapor, but if you don’t know HIM you have a much bigger problem to worry about than what happens currently in “this world”. And if you’re living for it, you’re a fool! I love you, but you’re caring more about the temporal than the eternal at the detriment of your very soul. Do not trifle with your soul. Literal saving faith is so much more than simple intellectual assent. What I mean by that is anyone can just believe in God, but guess what? So do the demons; in fact, they tremble (looks like they appear to have a leg up on most of us!).
The reality is you can know the Truth, it is within your grasp. There are those who are willing to suffer and die for it its that important… Don’t harden your hearts, but listen closely to what the afflicted for Christ can share with you. Open yourself up enough to know what True Love really is:
And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. –Isaiah 32:2
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. –2 Peter 3:18
Until the Lord allows the next post-
Yours In Christ,
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