This is probably one of the most difficult prayer letters we have had to write in our almost 36 years of service in this country.
The trial regarding the re-entry restriction code that the authorities imposed on me (the ministry leader) took place in October 2020. On Christmas Day the verdict came and we lost the trial. We took this to the appeals court, but the new trial will not take place until about two years from now. In January 2022, my work permit as a pastor expires, and if the Lord does not perform a miracle, this means that I will have to leave the country and will not be able to re-enter for an unknown length of time.
Despite the constant opposition we face, the work continues and we thank God for the unimaginable blessings that He has allowed us to see in all these years:
- The first church recognized by the government in our country
- Twelve churches established
- A retreat center
- For the past 15 years, a Christian kindergarten for children of local believers
- Aid to refugees and victims of earthquakes
- Sixteen different books distributed throughout the country
- Various ministries of biblical teaching
- Helping in the establishment of Christian television and radio ministries
- Daily contact with seekers of the Gospel
But above all we give thanks that God’s work is settled and is advancing in the face of many attacks. It is under the leadership of dedicated brothers and sisters who have the heart, the skills, and the experience to continue forward with renewed strength. Although I will follow the trial from outside, the work will go on. Local believers will continue to be in charge of the mother church and will help a local pastor to be ordained next May, Lord willing. For now I will continue to support from a nearby country.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that distances have been shortened and that, although it is not the same as face-to-face fellowship, there are many ways to “meet up” with people in different places. So I will stay in touch giving Bible studies, training, guiding, counseling, and supervising projects. And while I am here, I will take the opportunity to visit churches and share what I have learned in all these years with the local community wherever the Lord opens doors. We continue still on our feet!