Grateful believers allow FARMS to reach closed-access nations

By September 23, 2011

International (MNN) — There are some nations inaccessible to Christian workers and missionaries. Even the most well-spoken, best intentioned organizations cannot set a toe into certain restricted nations.

That doesn't mean that ministry can't happen in those nations, however. It just means that Christians have to be a little more creative in the ways the get in. Certain perfectly-placed believers can be a godsend to restricted areas.

FARMS International has attracted many of these well-placed believers. FARMS is a loan program for Christians, with the purpose of building the church and increasing evangelism within the 12 countries it serves.

Some of these countries border restricted nations.

"We have programs that sometimes border countries that are closed-access countries to missionaries and Christian workers, but the believers in those countries have a real burden to reach across borders," explains FARMS executive director Joe Richter. "They have found that the FARMS program is an effective way of building up the local church. So they find very creative ways of working across these borders."

Believers who have been helped by FARMS are thus able to take the program to nearby nations that FARMS could never enter otherwise. "There are always dangers, and there are always situations that are difficult. But I see that they believe the benefits far outweigh the risks," says Richter.

The benefits include not just the strengthening of the church, but the birth of new believers in countries that have strained attitudes toward Christians. This is a significant stride for missions and kingdom building.

Currently, FARMS has a number of believers who are ready and willing to take the program into other nations. Richter says, "We'd be able to go into a lot more places if the resources were available."

You or your whole church could become involved. Richter is always willing to speak to churches or Sunday school classes, or you can seek out more information about the ministry on their Web site.

Another huge need is prayer. Pray for the safety of bold believers crossing borders, and pray for this program to expand under God's direction. Already FARMS is moving into two new countries and will soon be able to share about that new work. Pray for these new programs as well.

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