Open Doors

As you read your Bible – both Old and New Testaments – you will be very much aware of how many people have been persecuted, tortured and abused, for their religious beliefs.

Jesus, of course, made the ultimate sacrifice when he died on the cross at Calvary to save our sins.

From an early age, Jesus knew that one day he would be called upon to give up His life – for all mankind.

But it didn’t stop there.

Even after Jesus was crucified, His Apostles and Disciples, following Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon them and they began to speak in many tongues, faced great persecution as they travelled through many countries spreading the powerful teachings and messages which Jesus had shared with them before His death.

And today, in the 21st Century, many Christians throughout the world are facing great persecution, albeit, perhaps, in a slightly different format to when the Apostles and Disciples were preaching Jesus’ Gospel.

On July 15th 1955, a young man called Andrew stepped off the train in Warsaw’s Central Station, carrying a suitcase containing a change of clothes and hundreds of booklets entitled ‘The Way of Salvation’.

That trip changed Andrew’s life. There, behind the Iron Curtain, he first met Christians who were persecuted for their faith.

Ever since that day he has dedicated himself to the task of supporting and strengthening persecuted Christians, first in the Communist countries of Europe, and then further afield.

This was the beginning of Open Doors.

Since 1955 Open Doors has developed as an international ministry serving persecuted Christians and churches throughout the world.

Open Doors supplies Bibles, leadership training, literacy programmes, livelihood support and advocacy services.

As Syria’s civil war grinds on after four long years, the news in the media appears relentlessly negative. But there is also something much more positive happening: Muslims are finding Jesus.

An Open Doors contact send in this report after visiting a church in Lebanon.

“Early in the morning, buses stop in front of the building. Groups of Syrian refugees jump out and walk into the church. The pastor had to start a second service on Sunday mornings to have enough place for refugees and his own church members.

“One hardly can believe what happens. Veiled women singing praises to God. Later, their children singing with all their heart two moving songs, filling the building with joy and painting many smiles on their parents’ faces.

“In Lebanon, a miracle has happened. Where many Lebanese Christians hated the Syrians because of the things Syrians did during the occupation of Lebanon less than a decade ago, they now embrace them. The love of Christ makes them love the 1.5 million refugees that now are everywhere in the small country.

“But not only in Lebanon the churches see many (ex) Muslims enter the church buildings. Also in Syria this is what pastors and priests report. Recently a young Christian woman from Syria even said: ‘Thank God that we have gone through this crisis, we as a church became stronger because of it’.

“Could we ever dream of Sunni Muslims coming to our church?” a Lebanese pastor asks. “Of course not, we prayed for a long time for this to happen. Now is the time. The Church of the future will have an Islamic flavour. This is an amazing time that we are living.”

Let us give thanks that God/the Holy Spirit is building His church in Syria!

And let us pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to help the church to shine brightly in the midst of all the darkness.

For further information about Open Doors please take a look at:-

http://www.opendoorsuk.org

Open Doors needs all your love and support in helping them to make the lives of as many persecuted Christians as possible more durable.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

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Today’s Scriptural Messages

We began very slowly and gradually the numbers of people to whom I have been sending our Scriptural Messages has grown way beyond our initial expectations.

It is very time-consuming although I must say that at the same time it is very rewarding. Every day I receive a large number of messages – mostly through Facebook – from people who have been both comforted and encouraged by reading the words of God.

God knows the needs of everyone receiving the Scriptural Messages (Philippians 4: 19).

So that I may not only continue to send the Daily Scriptural Messages to people already receiving them, but to make the messages available to even more people worldwide who are hungry for God’s Word, in future I shall be sending the messages via Mail Chimp.

Subscribing online is very simple. All you have to do is to sign up by clicking on the link below:-

http://godsholyspirit.net/ScripturalMessages.html

And once you have signed up you will receive your Scriptural Messages courtesy of our friendly Mail Chimp.

May our Father God bless you mightily in everything you say, everything you do and everywhere you go.

Geoffrey

 

Isaiah 10: 27

Isaiah 10: 27

(“And it shall come to pass in that day that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing “.}

God’s people were in captivity and a Word of prophecy that there will be deliverance not from their distress but from captivity in Babylon.

Are we in captivity?

Our churches are constantly under attack from the enemy. Are we in bondage? Powers of darkness bring new troubles, and new attacks on the Body of Christ. Some of God’s people buckle so easily under the strain. Satan is sifting out people for his kingdom, trying to bring discouragement and to destroy the Body of Christ.People do not even notice what they are doing and begin to bow down to him for he is so very subtle.

Satan takes God’s word and twists it and makes it sound so good and makes us believe what we want to believe and it is certainly not the truth of the Gospel.Have we buckled under his words and to his power? Our churches are losing its power and are in bondage.Be discerning.

God has given us His Power. The power through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit breaks the yoke of bondage. The bondage of fear that grips our hearts. Do not bow down to Satan listening to the good sweet sugar coated words that make you feel good.

Be obedient to the Word of God, which cuts through our heart and makes us aware of our sinfulness and lifts us up. People of God arise through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Do not give Satan a foothold in your life or in yourchurch. Satan has a tight grip on the body of Christ.

People of God destroy his works and the church will prosper. Resist him and he will flee.The anointing will break that power. The anointing will set you free. In the midst of all the works of Satan, there is Hope in Christ.

 Prayer: –

Heavenly Father, we need the anointing. We desire the anointing.

The anointing that breaks the yoke of bondage.

The anointing that will release the Body of Christ from the vice grip of Satan.

Open our eyes that we can see. Set us free from all bondage so that the church will once again reign in the power of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit, come. Reign in me , Sovereign Lord reign in me. I need the anointing of the Holy Spirit in Jesus name.

Amen

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

In the Heart of South Asian Slums

A couple on staff from the Gospel of Asia had the opportunity to travel to the mission field and visit one of the largest slums in Asia. Through their time spent in this slum, they saw just how real the importance of basic health and hygiene is to those living in poor conditions. This is Amber’s reflection of her time in the slums of South Asia.

“The days we spent in South Asia were intense. Seemingly endless needs weighed heavily on our hearts, but then, what a joy to see the work that is growing! We visited a Gospel for Asia-supported Bridge of Hope centre that had opened just eight months earlier. The little students still had a very tangible ‘from-the-streets’ feel: little boys with shirts buttoned askew, girls with off-centre ponytails, each clutching brightly colored backpacks—all clapping their hands to praise Jesus!

A narrow pathway took us behind the centre and into a sprawling slum that is home for these students and their families. We visited the believers’ homes and met a number of families that had received Gospel for Asia-supported ‘Christmas gifts’ just two days before. One jubilant woman already had a pile of shirts she’d sewn with her brand new sewing machine!

In the Heart of South Asian Slums

This is a new believer, Asha, which means ‘hope.’ Her home was unimaginable—six people living in a room that was maybe 6’x6’. A little hole in the corner with two pots served as her kitchen, and a tarped-off corner was their bathroom, which was used for bathing only—there were no toilet facilities. Their home is at the end of an alley, and when the monsoons come, the water gushes into their house. For those months, they live in a few inches of foul water.

Like so many others in the slum, her husband couldn’t provide for his family, and that despair drove him to alcohol. Our Gospel for Asia-supported pastor and Bridge of Hope staff talked with him, and they found out he wanted to take care of his family but just had no way to do it. Just two days before we visited, the local church gave him a pull cart to sell vegetables. Now he’s made a commitment to work and provide for his family. Asha was radiant with excitement, talking about that pull cart. What a difference it will make for this family!!

It is difficult to imagine how they eat, sleep or even live. And yet, these vibrant believers were pulsing with life and greeted us with the most enthusiastic ‘Praise the Lord!’ that you’ve ever heard. Their present circumstances are dire and even deplorable, yet for them, none of it matters—they have abundant life in Christ.

What we experienced in these slums was the embodiment of all we’ve heard of and prayed for. [These believers] are what it’s all about.

In the Heart of South Asian Slums

It was this little boy that really made that hit home for us. He’s Asha’s youngest son. His mother’s kitchen is just a few pots on the ground over an open flame, and he had fallen and stuck his arm in a pot of boiling milk—an accident all too common. With no understanding of first aid in areas like this, most people have no idea how to treat injuries like that.

His blackened, blistered little arm is the sort of prolific, widespread tragedy that propelled one of GFA’s newest ministries: A health and hygiene initiative that is part of the Women’s Fellowship ministry.

At the Gospel for Asia-supported field headquarters, we met 80 women who coordinate the Women’s Fellowships across our congregations. They had travelled from all across the mission field to begin implementing this new program of teaching basic hygiene and first aid to communities—meeting a critical need. It was stunning to hear some of the myths and misunderstandings in regards to health. For example, because cow dung is considered to be holy, it is used to treat all kinds of injuries and diseases—and even applied to a newborn’s umbilical cord. When asked how most people would treat a burn, many answered with things like ‘Potato! Salt! Oil!’ or even ‘Curry powder!’

When we stood in this South Asian alleyway and saw that tiny boy’s blackened arm, we realized that in just a few months, his mother will be learning what to do if anything like that happens again. And even by simply learning the importance of covering their pots, she and thousands of other mothers will be able to prevent such needless anguish.

Several of our leaders told me if even a fraction of those first-aid trainings make it back to the mothers, many children’s lives will be saved, and their quality of life will be so incredibly improved. We’re already hearing amazing reports of how the Lord is using this new ministry. Praise the Lord!”

—Amber

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What an amazing and truly moving report.

Let us pray that our Father God provides all that is needed to improve the living conditions of the many many people who live in the South Asian slums.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Penny Candle

It’s just a penny candle,
That’s burning in my room;
A light that grows the brighter,
The thicker falls the gloom.

 

It’s just a penny candle,
And yet it is no less,
A symbol of the God I love
The faith that I profess.

 

The wax is God the Father
The wick is God the Son.
The flame the Holy Spirit,
The Candle three-in-one.

 

It’s just a penny candle,
But like the God of Light,
The glow becomes more golden,
The blacker is the night.

the-holy-spirit-be-with-you

With many blessings from the Holy Spirit

Geoffrey

From Savagery to Salvation

The young Muslim man moved to Brussels, Belgium, to flee violence and war in his native Syria. But violence followed him when ISIS suicide bombers in Brussels killed 32 people and injured more than 300 on 22 March this year.

As people grieved over the deadliest terrorist attack in Belgium’s history, we quickly deployed several crisis-trained Billy Graham chaplains from the UK to Brussels, where they were joined by Rapid Response Team colleagues from the US and Canada. The team provided emotional and spiritual care to people affected by the tragedy, comforting the grieving, praying with all who desired it, and sharing the Gospel message of eternal salvation.

The young Muslim from Syria came to a memorial site with other mourners, and there he met and talked with one of the chaplains. He had many questions about why bad things happen, about God, and about faith—so many that he returned the next day to talk more.

He wanted to learn about Jesus. Chaplains shared their personal stories of redemption, and one of them explained the Gospel. “It was amazing to see the man react and accept Christ as his Saviour,” said a chaplain named Jeff. They gave him a Bible and made themselves available to continue meeting while they were in Brussels. They also worked to put him in touch with a local church.

IMG_0424.jpg - Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) in Nice, France, praying and ministering to the emotional and spiritual needs of local people days after the city recovers from the truck attack this week. - on Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016. Photo by Pierre Terdjman/Genesis Photos

“I have been privileged to be a part of this little team and to see what the Lord can do,” a UK chaplain named Douglas said after the deployment. “I’ll continue to pray for Brussels, for the multitude we were not able to reach, and for the handful—whom the Lord will use—who gave their lives
to Him in repentance and faith. I am praying also for the churches there who continue to serve after we leave.”

Will you pray also? Pray for the people who encountered the love of Jesus Christ through our chaplains in Brussels, and more recently through Rapid Response Team chaplains deployed to Nice and Munich, that they may find “all joy and peace in believing [in Christ] , so that by the power of the Holy Spirit [they] may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13, ESV).

(From the Billy Graham newsletter)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Pray, Pray and Pray

Billy Graham often said that the three most important things a Christian can do in evangelism are, number one, pray; number two, pray; and number three, pray.

Those are the same three most important things anyone can do for a nation whose people have turned from God.

In the Bible, Nehemiah prayed urgently and faithfully for his nation. He began on his own, just one person, and his first step was repentance—confessing the national sins of his people, the sins in his own family and family heritage, and his personal sins. Then he prayed for the nation to be restored.

Will you pray for your country, again and again, with repentance and urgency? There has never been a greater need; every country in our world is passing through troubled times and only God can help us to restore some sanity into our earthly existence!

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey