I've spent a fair bit of today sitting around listening to Wolfgang Simson talks. I was feeling really encouraged on Saturday after we were able to share the gospel with the family we visit every week for language learning, and a few hours of hanging out after our lesson. This new friend of ours had not appeared to be searching spiritually much before. But it seems the Holy Spirit woke up in her a memory of a time in her life that she was searching. Back when she was 27 she spent a large sum of money on a Bible, as it had previously been impossible to buy one. She read through the whole Bible and said, "This must have been written by my ** people group, as the ***(dominant people group) would never behave that way." Immediately the stories of the Bible spoke to her as if they were directly for her own people. We are praying that the Lord is reminding her of her spiritual search and that it is now restarting.
Sadly, I then got quite discouraged yesterday. Another friend of ours, who has so much potential to do huge things in God's kingdom is struggling with alcoholism. Despite initially appearing to be ready to do something about his problem, he is not admitting that he needs to. Until he takes the step of humility, he will be stuck in this stage that he is in. I don't know why, but I got my hopes up that he was ready to seek healing. At the moment, I'm feeling a bit lost for him, but will continue to pray. The Lord is a miracle worker and things are not finished for my dear friend.
Today was a day off, which means I haven't even done my homework. Arrgh. I was so tired I just lay there on the couch this afternoon and listened to Wolfgang Simson. His talks about God's revolution in the church were very stimulating and eventually had me on the edge of my seat instead of lying down. Wolfgang was getting excited, "if you want to know where the most number of people are coming to Christ in the world, it is definitely the Muslim world." Exciting stories of over 4000 house churches in Egypt and a new movement sprouting up in Iraq are just a start.
I remember a story that came back from the Lausanne Worldwide Evangelization Congress held in 2004 in Thailand. An Afghan believing husband did not know that his wife was also a believer. Muslims in Afghanistan were so afraid of persecution that they were hesitant to tell their spouses they believed. They both happened to be at an underground meeting together, and discovered that they were both believers. They had of course been maintaining their regular appearances. This means that there could be so many more that are maintaining their appearances, but beneath the surface they are believing in Christ. I like describing the Muslim world as a mountain. On the outside it seems formidable. But on the inside thousands of tiny ants are eating away, until one day the exterior will simply collapse when the Muslim world turns to Christ in its majority.
God is definitely doing exciting things in the world. I was talking to a friend who lives in Mongolia. Back in 1990 there were 2 known Christian believers in Mongolia. Today there are over 100 000 and the church is beginning to explode there. Mongolians are excited about their new found faith in Jesus. They have the highest ratio of believers from the church going out in mission of any country in the world. Many of them are going to their brothers in China. They are beginning to talk about going into Buryatia to their north. I hope they keep heading north after that, to the Siberian peoples. They are also talking about going west to Kazakhstan. In fact, the Mongolian Christians like to hang a map of the Mongolian empire on the wall and say "there is our mission field." Mongolian people are nomads and they aren't afraid to travel.
It excites me to think of this map. The Mongolians have a big view of the world. They are aware of the terror that their empire brought to the world. They are also aware of the healing message of Jesus Christ. I think it's a spiritual principle that the people the Mongolians hurt, they will need to bring the gospel to. This is what redemption means for the Mongolian people. It is probably a spiritual principle that applies to every nation on earth. An even more powerful spiritual principle, that of forgiveness, is when a people take the gospel to those that have hurt them. This would mean that the Koreans and Chinese should be seeking to take the gospel to the Japanese.
There are coming waves of expansion in God's kingdom. The devil is about to lose some big battles. Things are hotting up. That is why we live in such turbulent times.