LIVING IN A BROKEN WORLD
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 2 Cor. 4:8-9
Just over 7 years ago I experienced a crushing blow to the right side of my face that to my horror broke numerous facial bones, disfiguring me!
My life was swept away with various appointments and meetings with the plastic surgeon who would rebuild that side of my face. I still marvel at the expertise of the plastic surgeon that Tuesday evening of my surgery. As I prepared to walk into the operating theatre I sat down to sign the various documents the hospital required.
Glancing down the hall I saw my wife and daughter walk by waving to me at the end of the hall. I was now all alone, scared yet knowing there was no turning back, I had to deal with my brokenness. In the enclosed picture you can see on the left cheek of my face the broken bones in my face along with the broken bones below my eye.
What was to take 2 to 2 1/2 hours of surgery ended up being 4 hours. When I awakened around 3 am in the morning, I groggily opened my blurry eyes and even without my glasses I could make out my loving wife anxiously looking at me.
My parched throat ached and I felt so cold that the nurse had to place numerous blankets on me to try and warm me up from the coldness of the operating theatre.
Three incisions were made, one in my eyebrow, another one that was over an inch long below my eye, and the final one was made in the top of my mouth whereby they would be able to realign the broken bones above it by screwing metal plates to hold the bones together. I was a mess… but my surgeon knew what she was doing.
If you were to look at me now you wouldn’t see any scars, but with my fingers I can feel the metal underneath my skin still holding me together. My surgeon did a fabulous job giving me back a face that my wife can still look at and think I’m handsome.
Today, there are millions of people throughout Asia who are broken, spiritually disfigured, lacking any hope for a brighter future. Every day they hope their life will somehow be different as they bow before a lifeless idol. Sin, unbelief and false gods promise much, but aren’t able to answer their prayers.
Thankfully, we have a master surgeon… Jesus Christ, The Great Physician who can not only restore what is broken, but prescribe what we need in order to heal. Today I look perfectly normal… my face is no longer ready to cave in thanks to my skilled surgeon. God is ready to do the same in countless lives who are desperately searching for truth. Together we can see God at work changing lives!
Thank you for making a lasting difference! Your generosity is changing lives!
Yours for Asia’s Harvest,
(Reverend) Dale R. Hiscock
PS: Thank you to our many partners and friends who financially supported our recent Apologetic Seminar and Youth/Young Adult Discipleship Camp in the Muslim world. Countless lives were changed!
MONDAY / Pakistan - YOUTH / YOUNG ADULT DISCIPLESHIP CAMP TAKES PLACE DESPITE RISKS
This was a huge risk to our ministry team, especially if Muslim extremists or Muslims in the area became aware of this camp. Thankfully, the entire camp took place without any incident.
Bro. Hamid, our AsiaLink Director, just wrote to say that they have been overwhelmed since they returned from the Discipleship camp responding to students in our AsiaLink Bible Correspondence Institute which is geared towards Muslims and nominal people of faith who have little understanding of Christianity.
He shared that an area close to them has been experiencing wide spread flooding as it’s Monsoon season for them, and as a result our AsiaLink Bible Correspondence Institute staff were involved in providing relief items to those in urgent need. He was especially concerned, as we have an adult education centre and sewing centres for women in this affected area.
The camp was small in number, intentionally so. Every one who attended had to be interviewed in order to gauge their interest as space at the retreat centre was limited.
In order to facilitate the opportunity of Muslims to attend, our team had to make special arrangements for them that would not compromise them or the ministry of this camp. Bro. Hamid is so thankful for what God did in the lives of those who attended. He expressed his thankfulness and appreciation to all those who helped sponsor this special camp.
He knows times are hard and uncertain for us here in Canada, yet they are even more challenging and difficult in this Muslim country where many families have been jobless, with no financial support during the pandemic.
Since the above report, he has been inundated with testimonies from so many of the campers! This coming Sunday, many of those who committed their life to Christ will be water-baptised.
• Join us in thanking God for answering our prayers that everyone who attended would be touched by God.
• Pray that everyone who attended will continue to fuel the fire of God’s presence in their lives as we know the enemy would like nothing more then to extinguish their love for God.
• Pray for the many who will be water baptized later this month because of what God did in their lives.
• Pray for revival among the young people of Pakistan!
TUESDAY / China - HOUSE CHURCH GATHERING RAIDED BY POLICE
During a Sunday gathering of church members at a local tea-shop, police became suspicious and decided to intervene, sending 30 police officers to arrest everyone present.
For several years now Chinese authorities have heavily persecuted this one house church in particular, hoping to destroy it. Despite sentencing their pastor to 9 years in prison along with other church members, believers continue to meet for fellowship and worship.
Upon their arrival police announced that ERCC had been officially disbanded and closed and that they were gathering illegally. They locked the doors to the tea-shop and refused to let house church members leave until they supplied their identification cards with their addresses and information.
Christian writer and translator Xing Hongwei, who was present, was reluctant to give his personal information and resisted giving police his personal information. Due to his response, Hongwei was thrown to the ground and handcuffed, and led away along with his wife, Zhao Qing.
House church members waited for Hongwei outside the police station, only to learn that he was transferred elsewhere and would not be released anytime soon. Hongwei’s wife said he was charged with “assaulting police.”
As one China watcher commented, “The government’s goal is to see all house churches go extinct so they can fully control Christianity in China.”
• Pray for Xing and his family that they will be strong during this time of testing.
• Pray for China’s Christians to remain strong despite the winds of persecution.
• Thank the Lord that nothing can come against the work of His Holy Spirit in building His church.
• Pray the believers will creatively find other ways to meet.
• Pray they will continue to be faithful!
WEDNESDAY / Pakistan - CHRISTIANS FLEE MUSLIM MOB - LIVING IN A MUSLIM WORLD
Thankfully, Police intervention saved the only church in the area and averted a potential attack on the Christian’s homes. The pastor of the Presbyterian church reported that at about 1.30 pm he was informed that hundreds of Muslims were marching toward his church, chanting slogans against Christians.
He said, “Instantly, I rushed towards the church, where already hundreds of people had gathered and were chanting slogans against Christians and pro Islam. They were very agitated and eager to attack anything to do with Christianity, namely the church building.
Fortunately, after a few minutes, the police arrived and immediately engaged the Muslim leader, who was leading the mob. I informed the police that I (was) not aware what had happened…
The police said the mob was furious about a program that took place in the church on Saturday. It was a youth seminar and people had misunderstood the topic ‘False Prophets’, which was considered sacrilegious. I told the police that it was a youth seminar, and we had no intention to hurt anyone’s feelings. I apologised on behalf of everyone if inadvertently, we had hurt anyone’s feelings.”
Thankfully, upon learning this, the mob slowly dispersed. This is the only church in an area that has about 250 Christian families. Most of the families have lived there for years and have never experienced such a situation before. Such is life living in the Muslim world for our AsiaLink team ministering in a large Muslim city.
• Pray for the Christian families that live in this area that they will not live their lives in fear but courageously with love and wisdom.
• Pray that the Muslims in this area will come to understand Christianity and God’s love for them.
THURSDAY / North Korea - NORTH KOREAN FAMILY KILLED WHILE TRYING TO ESCAPE
The married couple in their 50’s and daughter in her 20’s had been attempting to cross a river on the border in mid-July when they were discovered by North Korean border soldiers who shot and killed them.
After North Korea closed its border in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020, North Korean authorities set up a “buffer zone” about one to two kilometres from the border and had the police announce that anybody or anything that approached barricades along the border would be shot.
Since the border closure remains in effect, there have been continuing reports about soldiers gunning down people who were attempting to defect or smuggle across North Korea’s border with China.
Many North Koreans were infuriated to learn that the soldiers, while inspecting the bodies of the family they had shot, put another bullet in the daughter to finish her off when they noticed she was still moving.
• Pray for the families of North Korea that are desperate for food, and the necessitates of life, and are facing increasing threats to their survival.
• Pray that our North Korean partners working in the country would be able to increase their food production to even more needy children and families.
• Thank God for those in China who are sharing the gospel with North Koreans.
• Pray for the protection of our partners.
• Thank God for those in China who are sharing the gospel with North Koreans.
• Pray for the protection of our partners.
• Pray for the people of North Korea.
FRIDAY / Sri-Lanka - BUDDHIST MONKS THREATEN TO KILL CHRISTIANS
When a local Buddhist leader learned of the project, he quickly opposed it. One Sunday, as Malaramma led a worship service at the Christian man’s home with other new believers, several Buddhist monks arrived. They stole everyone’s Bibles, chased the worshippers away and threatened to kill Malaramma if she didn’t leave that night.
She and other believers prayed through the night for God to protect them. The next day, local authorities learned of the threats and assured Malaramma that she would be protected.
• Pray that Malaramma and the other believers remain safe.
• Pray that their persecutors find faith in Christ.
• Pray that the Hindu priest who became a Christian will be strengthened in his newfound faith.
SATURDAY / China - PASTOR STILL BEING HELD IN PRISON
The New York Times reported at the time that, “As part of his sentence, he will also be stripped of his political rights for three years and have 50,000 renminbi, or almost $7,200, of his assets seized” by the government.
Since then, Pastor Wang Yi’s wife and son remain under house arrest. Elder Qin Defu, another Early Rain leader, is serving a four-year prison sentence, and authorities took four adopted children away from church members Pei Wenju and Jing Jianan and placed the children in other homes.
Continue to pray for members of Early Rain Covenant Church, especially those in prison and those who are regularly harassed by government officials.
• Continue to Pray for members of his congregation that are under constant harassment from the authorities forcing many families to move from their homes and hopefully find another place to live. Some have been forced to move 3 times in the last several months.
• Pray that God would strengthen Pastor Wang and his congregation with scriptures and memories of God’s past faithfulness to him. (Psalm 51:10).
• Pray for the many other pastors and Christians who have been arrested and imprisoned.