We lived for years in the Former Soviet Union...established a Russian church, bible school, reached out to those going to have abortions, and helped them financially to get food and what they needed to support the children they already had. Every day our lives were threatened and our people all had relatives taken out by the Communists and murdered. There was great suffering for these people if in any way they crossed the govt. We poured our lives out for them in every way we possibly could and many came to Christ and were amazingly converted.
We provided them with food, clothes, etc and the best Gospel we could preach. And when we poured out our lives for them we were imprisoned for five long years. Our story is something, and we have not shared it here. We do not share it to gain attention, for it is normal according to the Bible to go to prison for the Gospel. I could never tell you the suffering some have paid to live and/or share the gospel in many nations of the earth. How quick we are to give out our best religious ideas when we have not really had to really pay a high price.
Through it all, my doctrine was radically taken back to the Bible and I realized that God in His Word is serious about suffering for His name and for His Gospel. We are so blessed to have gone through it and would not change a thing that we suffered. Just that He counted us worthy is worth everything we had to suffer.
We lost all. We lost our ministry, our family, our minister friends, our reputation, our finances that we had. Our hearts were utterly broken and crushed during it all. And thank God we did go through it! And what He gave us in return is a million times worth it for how He changed us into what He wanted us to be. When the day comes that He says it is time, we will release our book.....IF He does. The title is" Love on Trial."
Now we live in Western NY and pastor a home fellowship of the most precious saints who love us and treasure us and we pour our lives out for them. And we have an intercessory prayer group, and minister at a large Coffee bar, Bistro, and juice bar one night a week where the lost come in and listen to us as we share. We feed the hungry, and do what we can with what we have. And there is not one minute we ever suffered for Him that we would take back, for what He suffered for us is a zillion times more! The best gospel that we shall ever preach is the gospel we have lived...
It is a straight gate and narrow way and few there be that find it. It is new to Americans to suffer but it will purify us like nothing else. Good ideas do nothing to change hearts. For Christians, suffering for His name puts something of such eternal value in us that it is only of Great Glory and worth it all a million times over.
Coming from where we have, our heart aches when we read articles that make the Gospel sound so easy. Our ride into the Kingdom is free, but each step we take from there on will cost our lives! So many are arm chair experts at the Gospel. That will soon change as our country changes. Thank God! And then we shall have a move of God that will be something else!
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Submitted 5/10/2012 11:51:35 AM | Author: by Joyce