June

Aug 28, 2020 by

 

Pakistan

 

The pandemic reached this country at the beginning of March. At that time, everything seemed to be normal when suddenly the whole country began to be locked down. By 8pm of March 21, all flights had been cancelled. By March 22, all businesses were closed and the residents were put on home quarantine. The duration of this quarantine has been repeatedly extended due to continued rise in the number of infected cases. As the people followed the continuous government updates and announcements, and watched the number of infected cases rising, they were left feeling anxious and helpless.

 

The brothers felt that this was a time to swim against the tide and go upstream by looking after the material and spiritual needs of the saints. Through fellowship and much prayer, we were able to visit almost all the families of the saints prior to the lockdown to give them some daily basic necessities. We were also able to fellowship with them on how to practice the church life during the quarantine period, that is, to set the home as the unit of daily prayer and pursuit, and to establish all kinds of online meetings and fellowship. Thank the Lord, as we practice these in the past few months, we saw the Lord’s blessings in various aspects:

 

Islamabad

Since the government’s announcement of the lockdown, we have transitioned our church meetings to online meetings. At first, we thought that such an outward circumstance would cause the church to suffer loss. But praise the Lord, the Lord has His good intentions in all circumstances. He led us to a path that had never been taken, but it was indeed a path abounding in blessings. Initially, our church had three districts with five small groups. However, when we started practicing the online church life, we further subdivided our grouping in order to take care of every brother and sister; thus, we now have nine small groups. As a result, we also have nine Lord’s Day Meetings. Attendees on Lord’s Day went up from the average of 102 prior to the lockdown to 115, and the prayer meeting participants also increased from 39 to 57. Since we could no longer go out to preach the gospel and do visitations, we used our evenings to pursue the Lord’s word together in our respective small groups. Initially, our group meetings were held once a week, but now we meet almost every day. Praise the Lord! We seem to be experiencing what the apostle Paul had experienced, to be “pressed on every side but not constricted; unable to find a way out but not utterly without a way out.

 

Karachi

During the pandemic, we spent 43 days bringing the brothers and sisters into an in- depth pursuit of the book of Revelation, using two hours every day pray-reading this book chapter by chapter. The words greatly impacted on us and brought much enlightenment and revelation. All the brothers and sisters who participated in this Bible reading experienced a great spiritual revival. We also put much importance to the global prayer watch. By bringing the saints to take part in this global move, our prayers were strengthened and uplifted. This lockdown also prompted us to put the internet platform into great use. We started sending our daily enjoyments not only to the brothers and sisters in the church, but even to Christians acquaintances, their friends and relatives. The responses were very positive. Thank the Lord, may He continue to strengthen His testimony!

 

Lahore

The March 31st 24-hour global prayer watch brought us into the flow of prayer. On that day, many brothers and sisters seized the opportunity and were raised up to pray. Following this, the brothers called for a 30-day global prayer watch which we deeply felt was the present need and leading of the Lord. We thus sounded a call for the brothers and sisters to sign up for this prayer watch. From the initial number of twenty registrants, the number of brothers and sisters who participated in the continuous unceasing prayers every day reached 66 by the end of April. At present, there are already 82 brothers and sisters in more than twenty different prayer groups who are taking part in this prayer watch. The number of Lord’s Day participants was almost doubled that prior to the lockdown.

 

Certainly, the Lord heard our prayers. After the lockdown, the number of participants during Lord’s Day meeting and other various meetings not only did not decrease, but continued to increase. In addition, we started the brothers’ online prayer meeting and fellowship. The Lord’s day meeting attendance also increased from an average of 44 people in the past three months to an average of 56 people in April (average for the first three weeks of May was 68 participants). Previously, only four places had bread-breaking; now it has become eight. The number of those who joined the small groups also increased from 29 to 47. Moreover, 17 new ones got saved and baptized in the first three week of May. These are blessings we have never experienced in the many years of the church’s propagation work. Praise the Lord!

 

Rawalpindi

During the pandemic, although our outward activities were very restricted, we grasped the opportunity to gather the brothers who have the burden and led them to pursue the book of Revelation and the spiritual book “The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit.” A group of brothers continued steadfastly to enter into the Lord’s Word almost every day which laid a foundation of pursuing the truth. W have received so much help from the Lord’s Word that we feel we must not only practice in this way during the time of pandemic but must continue to do so until the Lord returns.

 

Testimonies from the Training of the Serving Ones

Beginning the second week of May, we have also started an online national training for the serving ones. Thirty-three brothers who signed up from various localities pursued the eight messages on “The Will of God” from the Spring 2020 ITERO. Then, on May 16, we also had an online national fellowship where all the brothers prophesied online one by one. Each of the localities also reported on the statistics of their attendance before and after the pandemic, and concluded on the blessings received. Finally, a serving brother encouraged the brothers to seize this rare opportunity to gain even more people through the Internet; to rise up, pray, carry out God’s will, and usher in God’s move; to be vital persons having a God-man living and being the overcomers of today in this ultimate age bearing the ultimate responsibility; and to carry out the living of vital groups of two’s and three’s.

 

May the Lord grant more grace to the churches that by entering into these burdens and practices, He would bless the churches with more multiplication and building up.


Current Situation of the Church in Bangladesh

 

Shepherding in the Midst of an Outbreak

In the early days of the lockdown, the brothers prayed and fellowshipped regarding the need to set aside time to enter into God’s Word. So we selected some reading materials by Brother Lee concerning training on the God-ordained way. Every day, we took up a message and shared to the online community. Many who have read these were enlightened and uplifted in our view of the practice of begetting, nourishing, perfecting and building. After pursuing these messages, we put to practice through the use of the social media to reach out to our gospel friends and saints we have not contacted for a long time. They were all very anxious and without peace. So we prayed with them and supplied them with the nourishing word of the Lord. This kind of practice is time-saving and allows us to reach even more people. As our home meetings and Lord’s Table Meetings are held online and we have increased the number of Bread-Breaking meetings, the attendance in May has recovered back to regular attendance before the pandemic.

 

Ushering in the Fellowship and Prayer of the Body

Although the lockdown was still in effect in May, this was a special time that God has arranged for us to pause from our busy lives and have more hidden prayers. Following the fellowship of the Body, we led the saints into the global prayer watch. Before, they only prayed for themselves and their families. However, through the global watch prayer, they gradually have the burden for the Body and the Lord’s move on the whole earth. We also had a corporate online pursuit of the Memorial Day Conference with a number of saints, through which we saw the world situation and God’s move, and fully entered into the Lord’s present day burden.

 

Gospel Video Production and Promotion

To the world, this pandemic is a disaster. But according to our brothers, we should look at this as a period of travailing in order to produce the overcomers. Moreover, it is an excellent time for the gospel, and we must seize the opportunity. Thus, the saints responded and participated in the production of gospel videos. At present, there are ten produced and are socialized in Facebook and other online channels. May the Lord use these videos to let those who seek find, that they may gain Him as their peace and cause more young people to be saved.

 

Finally, may the God of all grace strengthen the saints in various ways that they may know His will and cooperate with Him to be His overcomers, and the means of advancing. May He also provide for their practical needs during this pandemic.

June

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