[BREAKING: One of the Gospel workers belonging to this church has just been murdered. Filipino Christians shared the following with Christian Aid Mission: “He was a former Muslim persecutor of Christians who became a follower of Jesus. His bold witness angered many Muslims in the Islamic region where he lives. A Muslim relative is suspected of the murder. More details to follow…please pray for his family.”]
Philippines (MNN) — Filipino Christians are overcoming persecution, and pressing on toward the goal of making Christ known.
Steve Van Valkenburg with Christian Aid Mission says “during the [Christmas Eve] service, there was a firecracker thrown on top of the church building. Of course, it was just material that could easily be burned…within a short time, the church was burnt down.”
The people were fine, but everything in the church was lost. Including the only Bibles the people had — and shared.
Despite this persecution, believers aren’t giving up. Rather, many are choosing to stay, face the persecution, and share the Gospel.
“There are local, indigenous, people, sharing the Gospel. And they’re sharing the Gospel in some of the most hard-to-reach, out-of-the-way places — places where there is potential persecution,“ explains Van Valkenburg.
“When you reach out with the Gospel, there’s always push-back [from] people who don’t like that the Christians are planting churches, and people are becoming believers in Christ.”
Established in 2013, in an area with a population that is about 60-percent Muslim, the church’s short history has never been without persecution. Why have these believers chosen to stay in an area where they are clearly unwelcome? First, it is their home. Secondly, these Filipino Christians desire to serve the Lord and see their neighbors come to Christ.
It’s up to the worldwide Body of Christ to help them as they carry out their mission.
“I think when you ask them, those local native workers, they would say not to pray that there would be less persecution,” Van Valkenburg notes.
“[Instead] they would [ask you to] pray that the Gospel goes out and that they would have the boldness and the power of the Spirit to present the Gospel in a way that many of their friends and family become believers in Christ.”
The church plans to rebuild. But, this time around, they plan to build the church out of less-flammable material, like concrete and iron. Building a church out of these materials costs less than $5,000 USD in the Philippines.
“We are praying for a bigger tribal hall-church because Brother Makisig believes God will multiply the members of the church,” says a Christian Aid MIssion contact. “And to God be the glory, the number who believe in Christ is growing in spite of hindrances and persecutions.”
Christian Aid Mission’s desire is to help indigenous ministries, like this church, by providing the resources needed to sustain and expand them. You can help fund the church’s rebuilding process through Christian Aid Mission by donating here.