Vision Beyond Borders recently concluded a visit to a closed country in Central America. The news they bring is not of Christians merely surviving, but of Christians thriving under oppression and persecution.
God blessed the trip even from the beginning. Entering the country, they were met with little resistance at customs. There is always the possibility–and a likely one–that goods brought to the country will be refused. This was not that case as a whole load of Bibles and other materials made it through safely–something that rarely happens. The usually long and difficult process went smoothly. Few questions were asked about their intent in the country.
The country visited is socialist. Wages are kept at about $10 a month and ration cards are given for staple foods. Anything frivolous is hard to come by, and the citizens of this country rarely have meat. The people have no access to internet, and TV is limited to government programs. VBB estimates that they are about 20 years behind the modern world.
The country is also resistant to Christianity. Some lose their jobs because they are Christians. Pastors are asked to close their churches. Persecution is a common theme for many.
Despite these serious challenges, the people of this closed country are content with life. The Christians with whom VBB was able to meet were thankful to have brothers and sisters visit the country. Little do they know the full blessing that they are to Christians who come from countries where faith is practiced freely.
These Christians, who are poor and constantly under opposition, know the full meaning of being selfless. They give to those who are needier without hesitation. Even for the VBB team, they served about three weeks rations of meat at several meals.
Their grasp of the gospel is profound, and these people are blessed with more significant things than food or wealth. They have a unique perspective of the Bible and flourish under hardship.
Their zeal for the gospel is seen especially through their numerous house churches. These gatherings become so crowded that the house is completely full.
Praise the Lord that this country has so many genuine and passionate believers. Pray that the gospel would continue to spread despite oppression. Pray that future VBB trips would succeed in encouraging and blessing both the missionaries and those ministered to.
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