Christmas Greetings 2014 & church growth in Iraq

by John E Gore on January 30, 2015

LDM_Inc_logo 410pDear Friends,

I have just returned from a month in Rwanda with the Evangelical Friends and the Revelation Church. I have to admit that it was probably one of the most tiring and difficult trips that I have ever had but there were also some very positive and exciting moments. I will give you a more detailed account when I write my next newsletter in January.

In the meantime, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas and to share some exciting news with you. I received an email recently from my friend Simon in Burundi which included the following:

“One pastor serving in an ISIS-controlled territory shared that in the previous week three men in his church were shot and killed for running children’s clubs in their homes. But then he went on to say these striking words: ‘Whenever we see disaster and tragedy, we run towards it. We see throughout history that it is in these alarming moments that God works. It is in times of war, not peace, that history is changed. Would any of your churches have ever dreamed that one day they would be full of Sunni Muslims?! Our nets are breaking with those coming to know Jesus… despite – maybe because of – these terrible times!’”

Tertullian’s oft quoted words come to mind, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”  I read a couple of years ago that the fastest growing church in the world is in Iran which has a growth rate of 20% per annum. In fact, the best thing that ever happened to the evangelical church in Iran with regard to growth was the Islamic revolution. Before the revolution it numbered around 300, now it is measured in the millions. One pastor is reported as saying that if the present growth rate continues Iran will become the first Muslim nation to become Christian. Of course, it hasn’t been without its difficulties; a number of pastors have been martyred for their faith.

When we watch the evening news bulletins on television we need to remind ourselves that God is at work and he is building his church and the gates of hell will not stop it.

Carol, myself, and the Board of Leadership Development Ministries wish you a happy and prosperous Christmas (2 Cor.8:9). 

Every blessing,

John.

 

 

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