1st ONLINE SUNDAY FELLOWSHIP FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH IN INDIA.
2 months into the Covid-19 Nation wide Lockdown, and we are still in the midst of the pandemic which shows no signs of retreating. Schools, Colleges, Offices, Churches, Temples and various other places are still under lock and key in an effort to contain the widespread of the virus. However, the Church of God is still moving, with the internet being a great catalyst tostay connected and be edified by the Body of Christ.
Although many of us are joining our churches online and getting a regular dose of ‘spiritual manna’, there are those who are not a part of an online fellowship. For a very long time now, Persecution Relief had been contemplating an online service, especially keeping the Persecuted Church in mind. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, we turned our focus towards bringing relief to the Persecuted Christians who were affected by the lockdown, but we thank God for making it possible for us to start an Online Fellowship for the Persecuted Church in India.
On the 25th of May 2020, between 6:00pm to 7:30pm in the evening, Persecution Relief had its first online service on Zoom.Being our first Sunday, we had a limited number of 100 guests but were amazed to see a large number of persecuted Christians wanting to join in as the invitation had been widely circulated with great excitement. We regretfully apologize to all those who could not join us for the meeting due to the overwhelming response but are happy to announce that henceforth, we have opted for a capacity of 500 guests and everyone is invited!
Founder of Persecution Relief- Shibu Thomas conducted and presided over the meeting and also shared powerfully from God’s word. It was indeed a blessed time together as Rev.N.K. Vargese from Pune began the meeting with a word of prayer. We drew inspiration from the Covid-19 relief testimonies by Raju Nath Sapera and Rev. Satyamurthy. Pastor C.P.Matthew also encouraged us from the book of Psalms along with times of Praise and Worship led by Pastor Stephen. The meeting was only scheduled for 1 and a half hour but because of the enthusiasm and joyful presence of God, it went beyond 8pm.
We extend this invitation to Persecuted Pastors and believersacross the country. Please do spread the word, especially to Christians who have been or are being persecuted for their faith. Indeed, these are times of refreshing!
We are a part of the same Body of Christ (The Church). If a finger hurts, the whole body suffers. Are we suffering, taking into account the persecuted church in India? Are we really a part of the same Body? Are we only interested with the affairs of our own house hold and forgetting about the House of God? Let’s step out of our comfort zones and treat every Christian as a part of the Body of Christ. Whether rich or poor, sick or well, different culture, language, colour, from villages or cities etc., may we care and love, one for another as our own, united in Christ.
No Prime Minister, Chief Minister, MLA, MP or any other authority have the solutions to our country’s problems. It is we, the Church of God, who have all the answers. We are the light of the world! We are the game changers and the problem solvers. Our help does not come from the Government but from the Lord. The Bible speaks of many incidents, whether it was war, plague, famine, unrest, diseases etc., the Lord’s people took control and were able to achieve extraordinary results for God’s glory. In turn, they proved to be a blessing to the government and the country alike. The Church of God must rise up and take control of every impossible situation and surrender to God in the name of Jesus Christ. He has given us the authority to use His name and whatever we ask in His name, He will give it to us. Luke 10:19 says, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Let us stay near the stream as Jeremiah says, “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8
The Corona Virus- an invisible enemy has caused the worst destruction this generation has ever witnessed. The evil one is out to steel, kill and destroy. Given the current situation around the globe, the word of God delivers clear indication of what lies ahead in the future. People are searching for God and looking to him for answers. Church structures and buildings stand empty. People have been confined to their homes. This is a cloud with a silver lining for the Persecuted Church, however, hate crimes against Christians are still being recorded. The Church of God cannot continue to be mere spectators of these happenings any more. The time is precise for House Churches to be promoted. Traditional and bigger Churches which exists in states where Christian persecution is high must train, encourage and release their leaders and believers to continue to fellowship as a Church in whichever way possible.
The Fellowship of the Persecuted Church in India will be conducted every Sunday on Zoom between 6:00pm to 7:30pm. It will involve Praise, Worship, Word, Testimonies of the persecuted, Praying for the persecuted and the persecutors.
To join in, please send us your name and city on WhatsApp- +91 9993200020, so that we can send you the password and log in ID.
God bless you!
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