To God's Beloved At Cloverdale Baptist Church:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!
Today we begin a journey with precious people to seek to help them to trust God in difficult times. Please pray for God to fill me with His Spirit, and for us to be a tremendous encouragement to them.
The courage they show is overwhelming in the face of such oppression.
Last time I was with these precious people I learned two great lessons.
1. The Gospel Is Worth It. There is much that we stand for that is not worth our lives, but the Gospel is. Both in how we live now, and in terms of what we are willing to stand up for no matter the cost.
I have wondered before if we would be willing to go through what some of these people go through if it came to that, and I firmly believe, in God's grace, we could...and it takes the Spirit's power to have the courage and wisdom to know what to stand for, and how to stand firm in and with that grace. Only in the Spirit's power could they, or anyone else, stand in this way.
2. The Glory Of God Is Our Passion. I have often heard that there are two ways that we best display our faith: a) When times are tough we live with hope; b) In how we invest our treasures, time and talents...for God and not ourselves. I think that this is true, and what I have loved to see in the joy of these precious people as they sing praises the hunger they have for God's Word (and the notes they take so that they can pass what is learned on to those in their care) and strong conviction to live it out no matter the cost. Many have given up their financial futures, or been pillaged of their wealth now, and yet they continue to praise God and serve Him. They show that God is REAL and RELEVANT in how they respond to persecution and how they delight in serving God even at the cost of education, jobs, and risk to family. They glorify God by showing He is their greatest treasure, and live for Him in holiness and love, even when the earthly cost is overwhelming!
You will hear more from our hearts as we grow and learn here with God's people, and I hope the two lessons from past trips will be a blessing and challenge to you!
How are you showing with your life that you treasure God more than anything else?
How do you handle trials in a way that shows the hope you have in Jesus and the future with Him?
I am delighted to serve these saints, and need your prayers!
Please JOIN US IN OUR STRUGGLE BY PRAYING FOR US!
We will be excited to report back how God has used your prayers to change the world, and are thankful for you and your praying for us!
STOP...would you right now pray. Pray that God would fill me with His Spirit and open hearts and ears. Pray that we would be a massive encouragement to these precious people. Pray that they would be encouraged and have hope and that the gift of God's Word and gifts from His people at CBC would be a HUGE BLESSING. Pray for safety and joy as we travel and minister in God's strength for God's glory. Pray that my words would be loyal to His name and His Word. Pray that in the fullness of the Spirit all would leave this time together refreshed, renewed, and radical in our devotion to God!
PRAY PRAY PRAY! You actually are a significant part of our ministry as you pray!
If you struggle praying, reflect on Ephesians 3:14-21 and pray through it, using it as a guideline for us who minister, and those we are seeking to build up in the LORD!
May He find us faithful and fruitful!
Sunday Is Coming:
We have a guest preacher this coming Sunday from Mile One Mission. We support Matt and his family, and Johnny and I had the privilege of serving this precious congregation as their first guest ministers when we were there last year.
Matt loves God, and loves God's people, and will be teaching on following God in and through painful times.
So appropriate given what we have come through, and the ministry that Lori and I are doing on your behalf!
Review James 1:1-11 and reflect on how you can learn to grow in joy and character through your journey with pain.
Serving you, by serving the persecuted church around the world,
Pastor Rob and Lori