Southeast Asia (MNN) — In a closed country in Southeast Asia, Christians cannot openly share the Gospel. Instead, believers’ lifestyles lead to questions about the God they serve.
“God has given us principles [for] how we are to live our lives, and this should be in every aspect of our life,” says Caleb*, a believer partnering with FARMS International.
“When [we] run our businesses according to God’s plan, or according to the principles that God has taught us, then we can live [as] an example to those around us.”
For example, “a lot of people work seven days a week, and they end up exhausted, worn out,” Caleb says.
“They see the believers that work five, six days a week and take a Sabbath to rest. Then they ask, ‘Why are you making the same amount of money when you’re not working as much?’” he continues.
“That opens the door for saying, ‘God has taught us to take a day off to rest and be in His presence. And God blesses that when we are obedient to Him.’”
FARMS International combines Christian stewardship with interest-free loans to help believers give and work their way out of poverty. More about that here. In Southeast Asia, believers use business to fuel their ministry.
Mary* used her FARMS loan to operate a village laundromat, where she currently has three employees. She hired them to train in this field, teach them the Bible, and how to make disciples.
“After a year of training, she sends them to their hometown so they can set up a shop and do the same [technique], and share the Gospel with other people,” Caleb says.
Dennis*, another FARMS participant in Southeast Asia, used his FARMS loan to expand his motorcycle shop. Today, he uses the profit from his shop to pay for his family’s needs and his ministry.
Through vocational training, Dennis teaches tribal kids how to be motorcycle mechanics. He also uses that time as an evangelical outreach for making disciples in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Kids get excited about God, and they share to the parents, and parents are curious and see the change in their kids’ lives. They start asking questions [like] ‘who is this God? Why are my kids so happy?’” Caleb says.
“That brings them closer to God and opens the door for ministry.”
Believers risk persecution with these endeavors, but obedience to Christ’s commission is more important. “There’s a lot of persecution in these countries,” Caleb says.
“Pray for those (people) persecuting the Christians, that they will see the love in the believers, and God will use that to change their lives.”
Header and story images courtesy of FARMS International.