April

Apr 28, 2021 by

 

Azerbaijan

 

Azerbaijan is a stable, secular Muslim nation located on the Caspian Sea, between Iran, Turkey and Russia. Collectively the region is known as the South Caucasus or West Asia. A couple first moved here more than two years ago, and some more saints arrived later. After a while some of the saints returned to their home localities. By His sovereignty the remaining saints continued to live near one another. Such arrangement allowed us to meet for daily coordination.

 

Last fall we began to remember the Lord at His Table, but we have not yet taken the ground. Since February of last year there have been regular online meetings conducted in the local language and several other times of online blending with overseas saints. Last year we walked through Paul’s four Epistles—Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians—the heart of the divine revelation and through the Gospel of Luke. We read through and fellowshipped over all of the associated Life-study messages. To be built up as the Body and the Lampstand depends upon our eating of Jesus.

 

In chapter five of “The World Situation and God’s Move” we read: “What the Lord is going to recover is simply this: Christ as the mystery of God to live in us as the indwelling Spirit¡K. Do not be preoccupied with anything else.” Chapter seven says, “Our responsibility is to live this Christ, to bring this Christ wherever we go.” We must not just preach the gospel. We must bear the testimony of Jesus…. We must bring forth fruit by abiding in Him…. After a few years there could be a small testimony in many countries.” While non-residents cannot preach the gospel openly in this country, our homes are open to receive friends. We have a few college students and local saints under our care. We also contact about a dozen seekers. We simply live a normal church life day by day. Our life seems to be along the lines of the above fellowship.

 

In October, Azerbaijan went to war with Armenia for 44 days until a political resolution was arrived at. Though it was a time of painful loss for both nations, even worse human destruction was averted through the prayers of the Body reaching to the throne and through the diplomatic settlement. During this time, we participated in a three-week training with Amana Trust in the UK together with four new ones here. This helped us quite a bit to see the heavenly vision and to endeavor to get on the way of the healthy practices which are ordained for us on the ground that God has chosen.

 

Through all of the blendings and speakings in the various inter-national conferences we have come to a fresh realization that we are slaves who have each been given one talent. All we can do is renew our consecration to take the way of truth, life, the church and the gospel, which are the four pillars of the Lord’s recovery according to the book of Acts and the Epistles. May the work of the literature continue to progress here so that many can be gained as part of this corporate vessel. “Be sober and alert that the Lord may grant you the proper guidance—whether to stay or to go, where to go, and the way to go…. A lampstand is not big like a lighthouse; I believe the Bible uses the lampstand to signify the church in order to give the sense that the church does not have to be a big thing.” (The World Situation and God’s Move, Chapter 7)

 

We thank Him for the grace which enables us to bear such a responsibility and for counting us worthy to take part in the one work of the ministry. Please pray for us and for His move here that we may continue to stand firm for the Lord.

 

Prayer burdens:

1. Pray for the printing and distribution of 6000 copies of the six Rainbow Booklets in Azerbaijani, 1800 copies in Russian, and 1000 copies of Mystery of Human Life in Azerbaijani.

2. Pray for the recipients that the booklets in their hands will be read and shared, and that they will receive nourishment and enlightenment from the booklets and seek God’s economy.

3. Pray for the continual shepherding of two brothers that their spiritual appetite for the Word of the Lord will increase more and more, and that they will become companions pursuing together.

4. Pray for some contacts to be raised up through faith and become stable pillars here.

 

 

Bangladesh

 

Dhaka and Chittagong

 

Daily Online Pursuit

Due to the pandemic, all the church meetings have moved online. Starting in August last year, the churches in Dhaka and Chittagong formed a Daily Manna Pursuit group, sending out daily messages and setting up a reward system to encourage the saints to enjoy the Lord’s daily portion of grace by memorizing verses and sharing with one another. Now many saints are in the group. They not only memorize and share Bible verses themselves, but also actively invite other saints into the group to enter into the Lord’s word together.

 

Perfecting Meeting

The brothers had a desperate feeling that online trainings and perfectings were necessary. Starting in July, we spent one hour every Friday afternoon helping the saints get into the book of 1 Peter. Before each meeting, we would gather some brothers to prepare for it together. Then on Friday, these brothers would coordinate to release the message. Gradually the saints became vital and released. Not only are there more brothers willing to serve in the meetings, but also more saints willing to join the meetings. The spiritual condition of the participants has advanced significantly, and they function proactively in the meetings. In the past, some were reluctant to join the perfecting meetings. But they had a great turn after they got assigned fixed services such as leading the hymn singing, message preparation, etc. On the one hand, they were faithful in the services; on the other hand, a genuine burden for such gatherings gradually grew within them. Some even invited their relatives to join the saints’ daily pursuit. May the Lord continue to bless the perfecting meetings.

 

Entering into the Word Corporately in Prayer

In November, some of us brothers began to pray-read the Lord’s word together every morning at 7 o’clock in order to enjoy God. Although each time it lasted only for about 10 minutes, this kind of strong and corporate enjoyment uplifted, strengthened and enriched our spiritual condition. Then we felt that the sisters could also follow. So the sisters, especially the wives of the previously mentioned brothers, also began to pray-read and pray together, keeping up with the burden of the brothers. In this way, more and more homes were gained one by one to enjoy and serve the Lord together and to become His testimony in their locality. We look to the Lord for further blessing and for more saints to join and to be blended together.

 

Online Gospel Meeting

In October, we started a weekly service fellowship with some saints after each Friday perfecting meeting mainly to share about the world situation and the burden for gospel propagation. The brothers deeply felt the need to rise up and preach the gospel. In December we held our first online gospel meeting. The saints invited their gospel friends. At the same time they prepared the gospel messages and prayed desperately in one accord for this matter. Thank the Lord! He is a God who listens to prayers. The number of gospel friends participating in this meeting was much larger than before. The new ones brought even newer ones. They came together, shared their enjoyment together, and called on the name of the Lord together. Through this the brothers and sisters also became more burdened for the gospel.

 

Being Burdened Continually for the Gospel

This year we are still limited in our gospel move as the pandemic persists. But the Lord’s word for us is to “proclaim the word; be ready in season and out of season”. In response to the fellowship concerning the gospel last year, several young working saints took the lead in this matter. A young single brother had some friends over his home for a love feast and invited some saints to join in online to share the gospel. Another young working brother also asked the saints to coordinate with him to preach the gospel to his family online. All of the invited friends and relatives called on the name of the Lord, and some were willing to receive the Lord.

 

Gospel Propagation in the North

Thank the Lord for still opening the way for the gospel to go out in the north in the midst of the epidemic. At the end of February we started to spread the gospel in northern Bangladesh through the help of the internet. At each place we went, we set up a laptop and a brother would preach the gospel remotely online with a local brother watching and translating simultaneously. Later on we replaced the laptop with a projector and a screen. After the gospel message, the local brothers would distribute Bibles and booklets to the audience and encourage them to get into these spiritual materials. We printed 10,000 booklets and 1,000 New Testament Bibles to meet this need.

 

The local brothers visited village after village almost every day for such online gospel preaching. Most of the residents in this area have Hindu backgrounds. Once a Hindu priest visited us and joined an online gospel meeting in front of the Hindu temple. There he got saved and baptized. Praised the Lord!

 

From February 20th to March 30th, around 1,200 people in about 30 villages in northern Bangladesh heard the gospel. The local bro-thers followed up by visiting and shepherding the saved ones in these villages with the view to have the proper church life there. Every Friday and Saturday, we also share the word of God online. Usually 30 to 40 saints participate. Currently we are pursuing Revelation and Galatians. Please continue to pray for us that the Lord will raise up the proper church life in the places where the gospel has been preached.

 

 

April

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