The Herald Weekly Vol XVII : 11

Mission Conference (Part II)

In countries where Christianity is suppressed, how do our missioners seek and approach non-believers? Are believing relatives supportive of the work for God? How can Herald help in the gospel ministry?

One missioner shared that they teach the Christians to pray for God’s strength to endure persecution. They learn to love their family members even when the latter persecute them for their faith in Jesus Christ. Unsupportive family members have been won to the Lord Jesus by the love of the Christians.

Two missioners shared that they organize parties during the Christmas season. The unbelievers will only come to the church for a Christmas party. One missioner shared that though the gospel cannot be shared openly with non-believers, he feels that befriending them at the party is the first step to bringing them closer to understand the meaning of Christmas. When the opportunity to share the gospel arises, they will share about the love of God with them. The church also reaches out to the children through tuition classes, teaching of the English Language, visitation of families and providing help when needed.

The pastors in the mountain churches are not fully trained in the Bible. They need more training sessions. Herald can help by providing Bible training more than just once a year. Some people may not come for a meeting in the church, but they may join small group gatherings with informal sharing. Members and friends of Herald could help by teaching the believers in the missioners’ churches how to reach out to families during visitation, or how to share about Christ through informal meetings.

How have individuals or families benefitted from counselling sessions?

One missioner shared that many individuals and couples have benefitted greatly from counselling sessions with or counselling courses from Pastor Bob. He has personally benefitted from his own interactions with Pastor Bob (and feels that he is like a loving shepherd, and not a person who is proud of the Bible knowledge he has). In some places, the evangelists / preachers are supposed to help out during the harvesting season. But they are sometimes away from their families. The neglect of family due to ministry concerns result in breakdown of relationships between spouses, and their children. The counselling sessions and temperament analysis have helped them understand their own shortcomings, and they have learnt to work on the areas for improvement.

Pastors / preachers / evangelists also face many setbacks in their ministry. They sometimes go into depression when they encounter many challenges and have no one to share their problems with. They need spiritual counselling. They need to be helped before they can help others. There is a great need to find more senior pastors to help us in this area – provide counselling and help with others in the ministry.

One missioner shared that in the face of persecution, the Christians will meet in smaller groups instead in their church buildings. This means the pastor / evangelist may need to minister to more groups on Sunday or during the week nights. There will be a need for more preachers / evangelists for these small groups. It is a challenge to ensure that those who teach / preach in the smaller group are sound in the Bible doctrines. It will also become more difficult to have overseas lecturers enter the country to train the Bible students. There is a great need to have more local Bible teachers / lecturers. There is a need to go overseas for further theological training. This will mean more expenses. We need to pray that those who go overseas will return to their own country after graduating from overseas Bible schools or seminaries.

He continued to share that they cannot always depend on financial help from overseas Christians. Local Christian businessmen are learning to support the gospel ministry in the country. Pray for more local Christians to dedicate their wealth and other resources to support the spread of the gospel in their own country. It is good news to hear about conversion of workers in Singapore. Pray for God to call many of these to full-time ministry when they return to their own home towns. Pray that they will reach out to family members, relatives, friends and colleagues with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

What can Herald do for the mission stations which we are supporting?

Beloved, God has given us a special privilege to be part of the Great Commission. We can ignore God’s work, support the gospel work prayerfully or financially, or even go on mission trips. God has given each of us talents and gifts, skills and resources. The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. There is a great need for teachers / trainers. Will you go and teach or train others in the Bible? There is a need to support many evangelists / preachers / pastors who are surviving on very small pay, sometimes without pay. Will you give that they and their families can carry on spreading the gospel? There are many facing persecution in their families, villages, work places, and among friends and relatives. Will you remember them in your prayers?

God has given us freedom of worship in Singapore, and we are free to come to church to worship our Lord Jesus. Will you come regularly to worship the King of kings, and the Lord of lords? We are free to pray in big and small groups, in church or in someone’s home. Will you come and join us to pray for fellow-believers who are facing persecution for their faith in Christ?

May God grant us the love and strength to do more for the gospel work, and for those who love Christ and labour faithfully for Him.

Pastor Bob Phee

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