So much of what I write about here deals with principles and "big picture" issues that it is easy to neglect calling appropriate attention to matters that are personal and local. Yet, life is always lived personally and locally. Today I want to let you know about a situation that has been burdening the church I serve--and some other churches--as well as several families and individuals for the last 3 weeks. Specifically, I want to tell you about our great God's kindness and grace in hearing and answering the prayers of His people.
One of the families that our church sent out 7 years ago to preach Christ to an unreached Muslim people group has been under severe stress due to concerns raised by government officials about their work in the country. The family has been divided with the dad and oldest son in one city and the mom and other children in another several hours away. The dad was not allowed to leave and they were under the threat of being deported. As the days dragged on the cloud of uncertainty grew darker.
Yesterday the elders of our church called for the members to give today to prayer and fasting for this family and their ministry in Central Asia. We specifically asked the Lord to grant the father favor with the governmental officials and to allow the family to stay in the country to continue their work. We had planned to culminate these prayer efforts tonight in our congregational meeting. However, today at 2:49 PM EDT I received an email from the wife saying that her husband and son had received clearance from the government to join the rest of the family in the capitol city tomorrow night. Details are still sketchy, but the decision was made after long meetings today during the afternoon and evening (which is our morning and early afternoon). The family will not be deported.
So, tonight, instead of continued pleading with the Lord to resolve this situation we will unite to praise Him for moving graciously and powerfully in behalf of His people. There are still serious issues that they face but we will pray about them with thanksgiving and renewed faith in the light of God's gracious intervention in their behalf.