Exciting news from Bangladesh and Nepal – November 2015

by John E Gore on August 17, 2016

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Dear Friends,

 Greetings from Vienna, Austria. Yes, that is right, Austria. We have a four and a half month housesit in a large, delightful home on the outskirts of Vienna. God is good! God is also good in that I spent two weeks in Bangladesh during the early part of October with the Evangelical Friends. The response was marvelous; one of the most amazing that I have experienced. I taught on the Holy Spirit for six days.

 However, Bangladesh, as many of you know, is not without its security problems: some foreigners and Muslim leaders had been killed in the weeks prior to my visit. The government wasn’t sure if it was the work of an IS related cell. Our conference centre was in the centre of the turmoil and this resulted in one leader not attending. His father told him not to go and, while he was a mature adult, it is customary for a son to obey his father regardless of age in that culture. That first evening there many phone calls between the manager of the centre and the Friends national leader relating to my presence and the threat that I posed to security. Fortunately, the National Director intervened and we were allowed to proceed.

 I was eager to discover what had happened to those who had experienced miracles last February. For example, would the man who had been freed from 22 years of bitterness still have contagious joy and freedom or would he have returned to his old ways? What about the woman who had the vision of Jesus who told her not to fear; what would her present condition be? I am pleased to report that they were both living in their newly transformed state; neither had reverted to their old way of behaviour. Both testified how they had been set free by the power of God.

 Let me share a few miracles which happened this visit; I would need a very long newsletter if I were to mention them all. One night when we were worshipping, there was a loud crash from one side of the room. Two women had fallen under the power of the Spirit and were lying among the chairs. Later when they had recovered and were on their feet, the first woman shared how God had told her to telephone her brother and pray with him for her mother to be healed – her mother was paralyzed down one side of her body and was immobilized. On the last day she shared, with tears running down her face, how she had received a phone call from her brother to say that her mother had been totally healed.

 The second woman shared how God had given her a prophecy in the form of a verse; it was Rev. 2:10. Read this verse and pray for this woman and all the believers in Bangladesh.

 A number of men were also given verses as they lay under the power of the Spirit; one was Col. 4:2.  To fully appreciate the miraculous nature of these insights, one needs to understand that the Friends church is committed to church planting where there are no other churches and, as a result, the vast    majority of their pastors and leaders have been converted from Hinduism or Islam. Only three of the twenty seven present had any sort of Christian influence before their conversion. These people don’t have a background of Bible memorization; these were definite words from the Lord. Do you know what Revelation 2:10 or Colossians 4:2 say without referring to your Bible?

 While we prayed for a number of people who harbored unforgiveness there were two pastors who refused to forgive those who had wronged them. Fortunately, one of them came to the point of forgiveness on the last day. I expect to hear great things from him when I return next year. Unfortunately, the other man will remain captive to this hurt until he decides to forgive as “Christ has forgiven us” (Col.3:13).

 Let me share another incident that related to a former Imam. You may recall from a previous newsletter that he came to Christ as a result of his Islamic studies.  (The Christian message is in the Qur’an: the divinity of Jesus and the Trinity, the virgin birth, the death of Jesus, the fact that he is presently alive and will come back one day. One wonders why every educated Muslim doesn’t turn to Christ; although many are doing so.  2 Corinthians 4:4 has the answer.)  The former Imam’s house is at the rear of the mosque and this is where he holds his church services and shares the Gospel with those who come to see him.  The persecution is intense, and his daughter and son-in-law seem to be the main instigators of it all, although things are improving in regard to his daughter. To give you some idea of the extent of the persecution, his father, who lives in another village and is still a Muslim, has been told that he is no longer allowed to live in that village because of his son.  He has since told his father he could live with him for the rest of his life and he would take care of him. This will give him the opportunity to share Jesus with his father. The former Imam (I don’t mention names for security reasons) called the Friends national director the day after the conference had finished to give him the news and to share how excited he was.

 During one ministry time, we were praying for him and he started to cry. I naively thought it concerned the ongoing persecution so I suggested to the National Director that he ask him why he was crying. His answer was enlightening. He told us that he had great sorrow and felt a burden in his heart because of all the years that he had led people astray by teaching them the facts of Islam. He was concerned as to what would happen to these people.  I shared how Paul faced the same situation but he knew he had been forgiven because he did it in ignorance. I then laid hands upon him and prayed for the ministry of the Holy Spirit to set him free and to give him the assurance that he had been forgiven. After I finished he told me that he had felt an electric shock going through his jaw as I prayed and he heard a voice say, “I am with you.” The next day he told us with great joy that the burden had gone and he felt free.

 By the way, the new convert who had been stabbed by his son is recovering well. The Friends paid for all his medical expenses. His wife has officially divorced him but he seems to have found another woman who is happy with him being a Christian.

 Pray for the National Director and his family. There is credible evidence that he is being targeted by extremist groups for his work in converting Muslims to Christ.

Every Blessing,
John

 

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