Nearly two dozen Christians gathered for worship and Bible study. Some walked a few miles to get to the meeting site; others found their way on motor scooters to this remote church in the world’s largest Muslim-dominant nation. In an otherwise empty room, they sat in 25 simple, somewhat flimsy plastic chairs of the style that is ubiquitous around the world to sing, pray, and read God’s Word.
These Christians, led by Yudi, an FMI-supported pastor, focused on a vision to impact the surrounding villages. “One of my strategies for evangelism,” Yudi reports, “is to personally pray with whoever is sick in the community. Now everyone in the church is praying for their neighbors.” As they prayed for the needs of non-Christians in their villages, their mid-week prayer meetings became a pivotal event in the life of the church. Then, the unexpected happened when they decided to invite the people for whom they were praying to actually join them at the prayer meeting: the visitors far outnumbered the church members to hear the Christians pray in Jesus’ name for their needs.
The church members quickly saw that they did not have enough chairs to accommodate the crowd of about 100 people. So they stacked their current chairs out of the way and humbly decided to all sit on the floor together. They sat this way week after week. “What a blessing it would be to our guests,” Yudi explained, “if we could provide them with chairs to sit in. Even though they are not a part of the church, such an act would give them further evidence that we genuinely care for them.”
When FMI supporters heard of this opportunity, people quickly donated funds to our Tangible Resources account help the church purchase more chairs. The chairs are useful for the mid-week prayer meetings, but now some of those seats are also occupied during regular worship services by folks who have placed their faith in the One whom they witnessed answer prayers on their behalf. They are no longer guests but regular attenders.
Now Pastor Yudi looks to plant a church in another village several miles away. Once again, he’s beginning with prayer in Jesus’ name.