Bangladesh (MNN) — Christians in Bangladesh are a minority, but God is still raising up leaders. FMI’s Bruce Allen says while he was recently in Bangladesh, he was given governmental permission to attend a church dedication in a restricted area.
FMI helped supply resources to construct the church building. Allen was to preach at the dedication and document it through photos and a written report, to later share with donors and the FMI board. However, things did not go as planned.
The morning Allen was to make the last leg of the journey to the church site, there were special intelligence military officers waiting for Allen.
“These officers were saying, ‘We cannot let you go any further. We know you have the permission. We see your papers. But, we had to track you down because last night while you were sleeping, there was a terrorist incident. Six local officials in that area were assassinated by terrorists. In addition, 50 other people were wounded and they had to be hospitalized,’” Allen recalls.
For context, the closest hospital to this area was still five hours away and required traveling through remote, jungle-like terrain.
National Believers at Work
Allen was traveling with two local ministry colleagues who were allowed to enter the area, under the condition that Allen willingly submit to a temporary house arrest. While Allen stayed behind, these two men traveled on and split the tasks of preaching at the church dedication and documenting the event.
“It just reminded me of how vital this strategy is of partnering with local believers because, number one, this is an area where foreigners aren’t allowed anyway. We cannot send someone from Canada, the UK, the US to go into these restricted-access places to serve as missionaries. It’s just not allowed by the government.
“And yet, that’s not a barrier to God’s Spirit. He has already raised up Christian leaders in these tribal areas that have restricted access,” Allen explains.
In these remote areas, local Christians are living the Great Commission and not only sharing about Christ, but discipling and strategically maturing their congregations.
FMI exists to help empower these local believers in their work. God is using the faithfulness of these Christians to make Himself known in Bangladesh.
“It just reinforced that fact that partnerships with the local believers are so invaluable,” Allen says.
Pray for believers in Bangladesh. Pray for their protection, perseverance, and obedience to the Gospel. Ask God to help these local Christians endure the trials they face, the persecution they sustain, and for God to build their ministries and fortify them.
Also, pray for the congregations these FMI-supported pastors and church planters disciple. Finally, pray these same congregations would catch the vision for a growing Church.
Will you partner with the Church in Bangladesh and support national FMI pastors and church planters?
To support a national believer through FMI, click here.
Learn more about FMI’s work in Bangladesh here.
Header photo courtesy of FMI.