I was not sure what I would find as I sought out a place of worship in the sprawling city. After riding in a car and on a ferry and then walking up a hill, I found the church. I was greeted with graffiti scrawled on the wall surrounding the house of worship: “God hates us all.”
I knew this was the expression of many: people oppressed by their government, perplexed by an endless stream of refugees, and disheartened by the daily challenge of survival.
But what I found inside the walls was incredible: warm hospitality and the bonds of Christian friendship; members giving up their seats to visitors who walked in off the street and; open invitations for visitors—people who rarely, if ever, cross the threshold of a Christian church—to join them for lunch.
While I listened to the sermon in English, it was being translated. Later I discovered that the translator was miraculously converted through a dream, led back to his home country, and placed by God as a worker in this little church. He also helps distribute Bibles and other literature and connects with visitors. Hundreds of books are given out each week.
In a country filled with political and social tension and hostility to Christianity, the work of this church is vulnerable at best. Only the grace of God sustains it—grace they actively seek. Recently church leaders in this region launched an aggressive prayer campaign, believing that the impossible challenges of mission can be solved only as God’s people seek His transformative power.
Now, I know that God does not bestow spiritual gifts simply because the church comes up with some new program. But we do know that when His disciples, long ago, banded together in humble, fervent prayer, God responded in Pentecostal power and shook the world!
It is not too early for your congregation to plan for a corporate prayer experience this January 2018. It may just transform your church! For more information, visit www. tendaysofprayer.org.