“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” I Peter 5:10
November 2020 Newsletter
I have an exciting update for you about a gripping story that I shared in a newsletter last year – and how God is working in miraculous ways!
Reny is a gentle lady in a remote and dangerous area. The only religion she knew in her forest village was Buddhism. One day she stumbled across some Scriptures, then walked from village to village to find a Bible.
At first, she thought that Jesus was Buddha. Then she realized that Buddha never healed anyone. Buddha did not offer eternal life. Only Jesus did. (Would you pray for others to know this, too?)
Reny believed in Jesus and was baptized. Her parents and family also trusted in Christ. That was when trouble began.
Villagers saw that her family was blessed – and realized their faith could lead more people away from Buddhism.
So they burned Reny’s family home, stole their land, drove them out of the village and threatened to kill them if they returned – unless they converted back to Buddhism.
Through it all, Reny persevered. The certainty of eternal life with Jesus gives her hope and a solid foundation.
Reny never regretted becoming a Christian. “Jesus has answers and heals people. Buddha did not solve any problems. He said that suffering continues endlessly.” Her family forgave the villagers who persecuted them.
When I shared Reny’s story last year, the verse that fit was a promise: God will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” those who have suffered for the faith.
I’m excited to tell you “the rest of the story.”
Last year our vision was to help Reny and her family in a very practical way. I asked if you would pray and consider giving for a place for Reny’s family to live safely and sell their beautiful handcrafted baskets.
We even had dreams of a small building where Christian converts in this dangerous area could safely come.
Well, with the help of Christian Freedom International’s partners like you, Reny and her family now live in a small house we are renting for them.
This modest place is better than the leaking, buginfested hut of woven plants they had to live in after the villagers torched their house.
And – of course – Reny promptly turned this safe haven into a Ministry Center!
Just as Jesus combined practical care with spiritual ministry – He forgives, feeds, and heals – this home is a center for persecuted Christians to serve others.
Reny’s center hosts prayer meeting, teachings, meals, and a safe place for new converts to Jesus to stay.
During the Covid-19 crisis, the center has been a busy hub where Reny distributes emergency food aid to the poor and struggling – whose plight is worse from the pandemic. She tells people the true God supplies everything for us.
That is so true – God supplies! And sometimes He does it by bringing us together. He touched generous Christians like you to give to Christian Freedom International for persecuted Christians like Reny – all for the glory of God.
Reny does more than work at her safe haven. She walks to villages sharing God’s Word – including her old village!
When Reny shares about Jesus, she draws from her deep knowledge of Buddhism to show how it points to Jesus.
Reny is a Chakma, which is the largest ethnic group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region in southeastern Bangladesh. The Chakma people believe that in their beginning they worshipped one god and only later converted to Buddhism.
This background is a bridge to the true God.
This year, since Reny’s Center opened, over 35 people from Reny’s village – the same village that persecuted her – turned from Buddhism and now believe in Jesus Christ!
Some are experiencing dreams and miracles – confirming that Jesus is Lord.
One new believer, an old man, dreamed that a man with a sword rushed at him to kill him. He was afraid. But the old man told himself that he had accepted Jesus Christ – and he didn’t have to be afraid of dying. He called out to Jesus in his dream and the man with the sword vanished!
Another man, a farmer, decided to make a test. He had two plots of land – one fertile and one infertile. He dedicated the fertile plot to Buddha. He dedicated the infertile one to Jesus Christ. Months later, the Buddha plot produced bad crops. But the Jesus plot yielded fruitful and good crops.
Of about 40 families in Reny’s village, nearly one member from each family has come to faith in Christ!
If anyone tries to cause trouble for Reny when she visits, one of the new believers will escort and protect her.
Remember how the Apostle Paul was protected at times from persecution by local officials? Reny does, too.
A Buddhist monk tried to stop Reny from sharing Christ. But a powerful tribal leader put this question to the people: Do they want to hear Reny’s message? They said yes, and the leader told the monk to stop bothering her!
New believers say that unlike their former lives under Buddhism, they now feel peace.
Would you please pray with us that:
• God would multiply the harvest of new Christians;
• He would protect these new believers from both spiritual and physical attacks;
• He would supply all their needs and equip and enable us to help them.
As you pray, will you also consider giving as God provides to help these dear brothers and sisters who take risks out of great love for Jesus?
I so appreciate your partnership. Together we are joining hands and seeing God “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” our persecuted brothers and sisters.
Gratefully in Christ,
P.S. Reny not only survived persecution – she is thriving and serving others through the Ministry Center that generous Christians like you helped to provide!
Your gifts – whatever you can afford – will continue Reny’s Center and other ministry centers, schooling, Bibles, food aid, discipleship and much more for persecuted Christians!
Thank you for your prayers and your partnership!
When Reny’s family believed in Jesus, Buddhists in their village burned their home, stole their land and animals, and cast them out of the village – threatening to kill them if they returned.
She has never regretted becoming a Christian. “Jesus has answers and heals people. Buddha did not solve any problems. He said that suffering continues endlessly. Only Jesus offers eternal life,” she said.
Christian Freedom International provided a small house for Reny’s family. She turned it into a Ministry Center, teaching and holding prayer meetings, distributing aid to the poor, and a safe place for new converts to Jesus.
Please consider passing this newsletter on to a friend, family member or your church when you are finished reading.