Isn’t This What Heaven Will Be Like? Thinking Missionally
By Pam Bush
Recently I received a letter from a friend who ministers to Christian workers in closed Muslim countries. The work is very dangerous for the staff living in these countries. The organization they are associated with recently brought 650 workers to a western location for a conference for Biblical input, vision, training and refreshment.
My friend (I’ll call him David) asked one of these missionaries what he thought of the conference and he responded, “Isn’t this what heaven will be like?” He went on to explain, “Didn’t Jesus say that he left to prepare a mansion for us where there would be no tears but joy, great feasting, constant praise and fellowship day after day? This week we are in heaven. Next week we return to hell!”
David writes: “It brought tears to my eyes. This may sound overly positive but you must understand the context for many of our local staff who live and minister in some of the most dangerous countries in the world. Some are regularly in danger. Five were killed last year. If their community or the government finds out they are Christ followers who share their faith and plant churches, they would be executed. Yes, they are in “heaven” for a week but are willing to return to their home countries to continue serving as witnesses for the Gospel of Jesus. One country represented saw 86 local villagers trust Christ this year including two imams (mosque elders). They are being discipled and house churches are being organized. ”
One of the church movements is led by a group of young local men who openly and proudly call themselves “Infidels for Christ”. What might the Lord call us his Church in Reading to do?
May we all be inspired by our brothers and sisters in dangerous settings who continue faithfully in serving the Risen Lord. He lives!