In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, highway patrolmen at a checkpoint in the Philippines stopped a local ministry leader, partnered with Christian Aid Mission and three of his co-workers on July 29 as they traveled together.
On their way to another province on the island of Mindanao as part of a project to proclaim Christ and plant churches, the local missionaries waited for the uniformed officers to let them continue on.
“I told them not to delay us because we were on a mission trip journey, but they just ignored what I said,” the ministry leader said. “I told them, ‘Since you are holding us longer than expected, and we cannot reach our destination, I want to share with you the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ.’”
He began telling them how Jesus of Nazareth willingly gave Himself over to death to pay for humanity’s sin and make God’s forgiveness available to all who believed in His sacrifice and resurrection, quoting John 3:16-19.
“One of them interrupted me and said, ‘Being Muslims, our faith is in Allah.’ I stopped him and continued my message.”
It was then that he learned they belonged to a Muslim tribe, he said.
Quoting Romans 6:23, Romans 3:23, Hebrews 9:27, and John 1:12, he told them about sin, grace, judgment and becoming children of God by receiving Christ and believing in His name.
“I then ended it by prayer,” the leader said. “After my prayer, I asked them to accept Christ as their Lord and I rejoiced greatly when they confessed!”
Not all intents to evangelize amid the pandemic are as effective or even possible, but local missionaries are finding ways to expand the kingdom of God.
Workers from another ministry on Mindanao Island hold Bible studies and church services in an area so remote it requires three hours through rough terrain to reach by motorcycle, and five hours during the rainy season. It is untouched by the novel coronavirus but full of other dangers.
“It’s surrounded with high mountains and deep forest, and this makes it an ideal nest for the communist rebels, the New People’s Army, and the Islamic extremist Abu Sayyaf Group,” the ministry leader said. “Terrorism is rampant in the area since it is the usual passageway to the next province.
The armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army has waged a protracted guerrilla war against the government since 1969, and peace talks have stalled. Along with the Philippines government, the United States and the European Union have designated it as a terrorist organization.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller
CALL TO ACTION
- Rejoice over the growth of the Gospel in the Philippines!
- Pray these missionaries would continue to see great receptivity to the hope and love of Jesus.