Sign! Or Suffer Consequences
|For the Beauty of the Lord|
Anis could feel the beaded sweat in a steady trickle upon her brow. In concert, her pulse felt unusually strong. Suddenly, in a moment pregnant with emotion, the control of her motorbike nearly failed her. Promptly she pulled to the roadside, threw off her perspiration-soaked helmet and sobbed.
As Anis and our local Ssk focus team continue to implement DMM, we are seeing major advancement of those who are being discipled into followership of Jesus. This particular day, Anis went alone to coach the Discovery Group facilitators in one area of her Persons of Peace household contacts.
Seven male Muslim community leaders interrupted her coaching time. They interrogated her as the true purpose of these frequent visits. The Discovery Group facilitators were shocked by this frontal accusatory attack. These disciple makers in the making clung closely by her side. Though they advocated for Anis, the throng of Islamic leaders strong-armed her.
The Islamic leaders escorted to the area police for further interrogation. Anis was forced to sign a document whereupon she agreed that she had been “blaspheming” Islam. (Though this was not the case, in the moment there existed no seeming options). The police cautioned her that if she were to return to that community then they have no control over what the community could do to her.
Veiled threat? Not so much. Direct intimidation? You bet.
Immediately afterwards, we gathered our local Ssk focus DMM team, and listened to her story. We affirmed how the Lord strengthened her at every point, while highlighting that it is not our strength but the Father’s upon which we rely. For the ten of us gathered in the room that morning, we asked each person to indicate whether they had experienced similar threats. Half of us raised our hands.
In order to establish that persecution for the sake of the name of Jesus is the norm as followers, we facilitated a Discovery Bible Study in Acts 4. Time was also spent in listening prayer, in asking God “what needs to be done?”
In this time together, the team walked through a trauma debrief, as each one realized they could be next. Sometimes the distance between words of intimidation and physical attack is ever so slight.
God’s heart for each of us, in the privilege of the implementation of the launch of cascading movements to Christ, is to press into His sufficiency, no matter the cost.