Southeast Asia (MNN) — Christmas is still two months away, but it’s never a bad time to be thinking about the impact Jesus made when He came to earth as an infant.
And it’s never too early to be thinking about how you can make a difference this Christmas season as well.
Vision Beyond Borders is one organization working to make an eternal impact this Christmas. This December, VBB will be hosting multiple Bible delivery trips to closed countries in Southeast Asia.
“We just feel like there’s no greater gift we can give to someone than the Word of God in their native language,” says VBB’s Dyann Romeijn. “And what better time than Christmas, when we celebrate Jesus coming to earth as an infant, to celebrate with people in all these closed countries the truth of the Gospel?”
Though the goal is to spread Christmas cheer and eternal hope, there’s still a chance things could go wrong. There’s not much risk for the Americans delivering the Bibles, but if the indigenous Christians are caught with God’s Word: “They could actually go to prison for that,” Romeijn says. “So that’s why it’s important for us as Americans to be the ones to carry these Bibles over, where we can do it at little risk.” The local believers are “truly risking their lives to see the Gospel go forth.”
But Romeijn says the threat of danger won’t stop indigenous Christians from receiving God’s Word and sharing it. She says they are willing to do whatever it takes to spread the Gospel, and they refuse to complain about any persecution.
“We would like to see that burden eased, but when we ask them for prayer, very seldom is that what they ask [for],” Romeijn says. “They ask mainly that the Gospel would go forth, however God sees fit, and that they would be strengthened to endure whatever it is that they’re called to endure.
“They don’t have this idea of comfort that we have in the American church. They’re not afraid to be uncomfortable for the Gospel. They’re not afraid to risk their life for the Gospel. What they need are the tools to be able to take that message to their own people in their own countries.”
The boldness of persecuted Christians is proving fruitful. In one closed country where VBB works, there is a pastor who continues to share Christ despite hostility. The first time he was arrested, authorities said they would kill him if he was caught again. But he refused to stop.
“He actually continued preaching the Gospel. They actually put him in prison the second time,” Romeijn says. “And when they released him, they told him that he was doing a lot of good, because not only [is he] preaching the Gospel, but [he’s] actually sharing whatever [he has] with people in need. [Pastors are not] only sharing the Gospel, but they’re living the Gospel and loving the people they come in contact with.”
With the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church set for next month, it’s a great time to be interceding on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Would you pray for their safety and for boldness in sharing the Gospel? Pray also for the international believers who are bringing them God’s Word.
There are still opportunities for you to help VBB spread Christ’s love in Southeast Asia this Christmas. Click here to find an available trip.