- Deep inside Burma…
Manny and his wife Lila sat on a jungle hillside overlooking the small mountain city God had called them to. Manny and Lila are missionary students from an underground Bible school inside Burma. Alongside their fellow graduates, the couple knew they would be called to some of the most dangerous, war-torn parts of Burma.
Although an ocean away from the U.S., the mountain city and its inhabitants resembled something out of the Wild West. Instead of gold, miners had dug deep into the hillsides in search of rubies. As a result, many greedy men had come, bringing corruption and darkness.
Being missionaries in a country hostile to Christians is risky enough, but Manny and Lila face a whole new set of challenges. The Burmese Army has used rubies to fund their war on Christian tribes. Villagers eager to earn their fortunes have signed up to dig for the treasure, only to become addicted to narcotics that are prevalent in the local area. Instead of riches, large groups in the city have sunk deeper into drug-induced poverty.
Many consider the area too dangerous for ministry outreaches, but not Manny and Lila. They are Alpha Relief sponsored missionaries and have already made plans to claim the people and the city back from the darkness that has strangled it.
Maldiv and Rachael have successfully ventured past the closed doors of one the most protected strongholds in the world. They are Arab Christians, and for years have been using their cultural background to bring the light of Christ deep into Muslim territory.
They were first called to this frontier mission while living in Egypt. “I want you to love them as I love them,” were God’s words to the surprised couple. Loving Muslims and introducing them to Christ meant risking not only their lives, but the lives of those who began believing the Gospel message. “It was a very scary time for us,” describes Maldiv.
The brave couple now lives in Jerusalem, in a Muslim neighborhood, under the roof of a Muslim landlord. Their love for Muslims has only grown. “We know it’s the place where we can be most effective,” says Rachael.
An underground church now meets in their home, comprised of new Muslim converts and those seeking to learn more about the love of God that is so vastly different from what they have known. In fact, the landlord’s daughter has become a Christian as a result of the couple’s loving outreach.
Even in Israel, the birthplace of Christianity, converts from the Muslim faith face severe persecution. Many risk losing their jobs, homes, and in extreme cases their lives. Should Maldiv and Rachael be discovered, they face being left homeless. Still, they are committed to remaining strong as undercover missionaries who light up a dark world.
A small team has gathered again to worship together, enjoy a meal, and most importantly be discipled as underground missionaries. Their training will equip them for a church-planting mission to an unreached Chinese people group called the “A-Che.” This team knows the challenges they will face in bringing the Gospel message, because they themselves are A-Che, representing the small 1% who have become believers in Jesus.
Many of the team members have experienced persecution from local authorities. Instead of hindering their work, persecution has spurred A-Che believers to burn with a deeper desire to build the body of Christ in their communities. The discipleship is giving them the skills they need for effective evangelism to their villages as well as training for leading and sustaining house church plants.
With the Lord’s help, the team desires to plant 12 new churches in the coming year among their home villages, offering new hope to a people living in darkness.
A Call to Give …
Manny and Lila, Maldiv and Rachael, and the A-Che team represent Alpha Relief’s growing team of supported underground missionaries, daring to go where many would never venture. As 2014 begins, please help Alpha Relief continue our mission to support the persecuted Church and its servants alike. As you read this would you please consider a one-time or monthly commitment to this work? The need is great, but the opportunity for the Gospel is greater. As we look to the year that lies ahead, may the confidence of God’s provision encourage you to take bold steps for His Kingdom.
With my deepest gratitude,
MORE DONATIONS FOR THIS YEAR: http://www.barnabasfund.org/US/Donate/Donate-online/ / http://www.aimint.org/usa/give / http://www.christianaid.org/News/2013/mir20131231.aspx / https://www.mygfa.org/
FREE RESOURCES ABOUT THE PERSECUTED CHURCH: http://www.barnabasfund.org/US/Act/ / http://www.aimint.org/usa/contact/request-an-info-packet / http://www.christianaid.org/landing/2013/2013HOMEFTT/
PRAY FOR ISRAEL AND ALL THE PERSECUTED CHURCH!
GOD BLESSES YOU AND SHALOM!