There’s no way to express the feelings I had this week while visiting a Communist Country, one with a war-torn past, and finding Christianity thriving. I had the opportunity of meeting with Christian leaders in this Southeast Asian nation, and they told me of their struggles, their imprisonment and “reeducation” camps, and about the Lord’s faithfulness. They also told me they had a theological seminary on the outskirts of the city. When they asked if I wanted to visit, I jumped at the chance, expecting to see a small building with a handful of students. What I found instead was a remarkable complex and a veranda filled with hundreds of students. Since it was between semesters, the gathered students were pastors and church workers from tribal villages in the highland and northern part of the country, gathered for a one-week intensive. Speaking to these students is one of the most uplifting experiences I’ve ever had.
My hosts gave me full permission to post pictures and comments. They want us to know what God is doing among them. Still, I’m not mentioning the country in this post. The Christians in this country still face restrictions and pressure, but for the last few years the government has been allowing them to operate in the open.
The head of the school told me it was my country’s presence in the 1970s that allowed him to finish his own education here at the seminary before events forced the school to close its public work and operate in secret for a long time. He was full of gratitude to my nation for its support in those days, and to the Lord for allowing the school to now once again function in the open.
I left some of my heart there along with some of my books and other materials, as did my traveling companion, Michael Aulisio of Thomas Nelson Publishers.
There are possibilities of sending teams from our congregations to help with aspects of the Christian work that’s taking place from one end of the country to the other. Wouldn’t it be interesting if groups of former GIs, for example, found themselves back, doing the Lord’s business? If you would would like more information or would be interested in financially supporting this school, please get in touch with me.