I've been asked by several people if I've heard any updates from Pastor T who I wrote about in my last blog entry. Below is an email I just received from him:
Dear Respected Pastor Nathan Martin,How are you? Thank you very much for your email to me. We are praying for you and for your ministries. Thank you very much for your kind prayer and great encouragements to us in this situation. We are still getting persecutions from the Hindu Defence Army people. Want to make only Hindu Religious Kingdom. But God is with us. They could not do nothing. We are still safe from the evil persons and evil one. You are so great man of God in this earth who loves us in the Lord. Yes, He is living God with us who protect every on of us.Yes, we are trying to live carefully in the Lord. Every church members are careful in this situation. The government security force people (policemen) visit us during the church service times and other times also. And ask us to be careful and wise for protections. But sometimes we inform them and ask them to come our church. The police office is near by our church. The asked us if any persons comes and trying us to threaten. Any one of have to go to police station to inform about them.Last week, some one called to pastor of Jawa Jiwan Church informing to Pastor during the praise and worship service time on Saturday Service that there is a bomb in your church. He informed to his church congragation, then most of them ran away from the hall. Police came and check there but nothing there in hall. Later policemen caught the man who informed about the bomb to the Pastor of Nawa Jiwan Church. Like this some people are trying to frightening and disturbing to the Christians of Nepal. Policemen care most of churches during the services times of Kathmandu.I will keep writing all the informations of situations of Nepal. Thank you very brother! You may pray for us continue in the Lord.Yours Faithfully,T [named removed to preserve identity]Kathmandu, Nepal
As you can tell, the difficulties continue and the strain is very great. After writing my last blog entry I was very impressed to share this story with our church. I had also received an email from my friend Babar in Pakistan with very similar concerns. These two emails had a profound impact on me. No longer was persecution some far away concept happening to some nameless faces. These were my friends. I had eaten supper in Pastor T's house. I had held Babar's baby in my arms. And the persecution was real.
As a result, I shared a message this past Sunday entitled "Remember My Chains" - based on Paul's admonition to the Colossian Christians in Col 4:18 and based on the words of Hebrews 13:3 "Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body." We are called upon to remember those who are persecuted for the cause of Christ because we are all part of the same body.
For those who may not have seen it, you can view the sermon on our website until next Sunday, when it will be replaced with the current week's sermon. Just go to http://christianchallenge.org/live/index.html and look for the "View Sermon Archives" section at the bottom of the page. Here's a list of the videos I used in the sermon:
- The Battle is Real: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_uLJT7n9vM
- Orissa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQlzOoXEXQ4
- We Are One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkBkO1DG_iA
- Thank you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV8t917nNIk
- Extraordinary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g5S3aZffBs
There are so many other good videos put out by Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs. I would recommend some time checking out their Youtube channels:
- Open Doors: http://www.youtube.com/user/OpenDoorsUSA
- Voice of the Martyrs: http://www.youtube.com/user/VoiceOfTheMartyrsUSA
We had several guests in service with us this weekend and one of them shared how the message impacted her on her blog at: http://createdtopraise.wordpress.com/2009/08/23/persecuted/ - She really captured the essence of the message. (Thanks for sharing that, Becky.)
At the end of the service we gave out a bookmark with pictures of Pastor T & family and Babar & family as a reminder to "remember their chains" and to pray for the persecuted church. On the back of each bookmark was taped a small piece of chain that I suggested each one put on their keychain as a daily reminder to pray for the persecuted church. If you'd like one of the bookmarks, send me an email. I'm not going to put my email address on here but my name is Nathan and I'm at ChristianChallenge.org - does that help you figure it out? :)
Anyhow, thanks for the inquiries about Pastor T and Babar. I'll keep the blog posted with updates as I get them. Keep praying!