by Kari Stewart on October 30, 2023
I was part of a small team visiting very different bordering countries. The first one was very open and welcoming to foreigners, offering to make us a meal every place we went. The people were excited to see the churches in their communities grow in their love and knowledge of Jesus through teaching and serving one another. They openly shared the gospel wherever they went. They are unafraid of their churches being interrupted by disturbances from those who do not believe the name of Jesus should be proclaimed. They are not worried about being arrested and put in jail for their belief in Jesus. Their hearts were full of peace.
As we entered the bordering country, we were dropped off 400 yards from the border as a car couldn’t cross the border. So, we each pulled and carried our luggage to the small border building to show our passports and be questioned about our reasons for wanting to be there. It was a long process as one of our team members was questioned for a long period of time. We were released, not really welcome to go into the country.
As we traveled in this country, we met with pastors whom God has called to shepherd their people and share the gospel of Jesus. This is not welcome in the country and can be dangerous for believers. These believers were not less passionate about sharing the gospel than the first country we were in, but much more careful and quieter in their conversations. We met with a pastor who had just gotten out of prison at a restaurant for dinner. We had to be careful what we talked about so that we didn’t put the work that this pastor has been called to do at risk. He shared many of their challenges but was aglow with the task that God had called him to. As we wrapped up our time together, I asked him how we could be praying for him, and he said, “Pray that our people will hunger for the Word of God.”
I have to tell you that, in that moment, I felt the passion of his words for his people, and I was convicted by his word because I wondered, “Do I hunger for the Word of God, in the way that he is asking us to pray for his people to hunger for the Word of God?” You see, they do not have the written Word of God in their language to give to their people. I have 15+ Bibles in my home, and they don’t have one written in their heart language.
We at Timberline Church are determined to continue to be part of projects that include Bible Translation. Please join us in praying for the translators in the country mentioned above who have been scattered during the translation process because of COVID and war in their country. They have persevered and continue to press in until it is done.
Our theme for Missions Focus is “Whispers of Faith.” In the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian, the Church is living, it is powerful, and it stands in defiance to their country's laws to meet, to share Jesus, and to disciple new believers.
We truly take for granted the freedom we have to hold the Word of God in our hands. To have several copies in our home. I want to encourage you, every time you see a Bible in your home, pick it up and thank God for it, and then pray for those who do not have access to the Bible in their heart language. Pray for those who may have access but could be put to death for even having a single page of the Bible in their possession.
At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
— Philippians 2:10-11
You see, their “Whispers of Faith” are shouts of Praise ascending to Heaven!
Missions Focus Weekend is November 4 and 5. We will have guest missionaries speaking at each campus sharing how their “YES” is making an impact in the Kingdom of God in the countries that God has called them to be.
We will be showing a movie on Sunday, November 5, at our Timberline Road campus in the South Auditorium at 6 p.m. titled, “Sabina: Tortured for Christ, the Nazi Years.”
Dinner will be provided, and we will be having a drawing for two people to be part of a Missions Trip in 2024, with the cost of the trip covered by the Timberline Missions Office. Please register for the movie by clicking here.
It takes getting in proximity to God’s Missions story to see how God wants to use you. Join us on Missions Focus weekend!