PERSECUTION’S IMPACT ON US
We have not experienced any persecution during our almost 2 weeks in India. Of course, Nancy’s been praying that God’s angels make us invisible, like Peter when he walked out of the prison (Acts 12:1-10). The states we are in have Christians in government and pretty much leave the church alone. Still the changes affect everyone, even those in these states. The rules now state that no one can preach or evangelize outside a church building. They can’t give out tracts or Bibles, something that churches used to do a lot of. Speaking about faith can only be done inside a church building. Foreigners are not permitted to speak outside a church or even inside a church. They have a democracy but don’t follow their own constitution. That can change so everyone is careful.
Pastor Moses has to fill out paper work about why we are coming and what we are doing. They do not say we do pastors’ conferences. He says we do training for marriages and family life. New Hope Foundation is also involved with water wells, orphans, sewing schools, leprosy work, children’s programs and other similar things. Bringing in large amounts of money is difficult and noticed by the authorities.
On a more positive note, the current situation has caused the pastors and churches to work together. Previously they were often suspicious of each other and very competitive. Now they need each other and must work together. That has been VERY good for the church in India.
Pastor Moses also said that things are easier for Christians in the big cities because “nobody cares.” That seems typical of big cities everywhere. In the villages everyone has their nose in everyone else’s’ business, and that can cause problems. We stay in hotels in big cities but our conferences are in village churches. Everyone is very careful and protective of us, especially God. We are in good hands! (January 22, 2020 Vijayawada, India)
Acts 12:6-10 6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
Thank God for the religious freedom you still have in the USA. Use it to the best advantage possible.
Pray for the Christians in India to have wisdom and courage and they spread God’s Word in their country.