Working Through Challenges
Last month I mentioned several countries where our national pastors are experiencing difficulties. This is not unusual when you consider that Barnabas1040 Missions works primarily in Restricted Access Nations with a long history of political and religious opposition to the Gospel. Christians in those nations understand that persecution from family and society are the price you pay for following Jesus.
Persecution is not new to Christ Followers in Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Communist countries, but the Covid virus has produced a plethora of new problems, as well as opportunities for our people. For example, the 19 counties we currently support church planters and missionaries in all have lockdowns but none of them have stimulus or welfare money for people to fall back on. This has produced situations where people are desperately in need of food.
We know of churches in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Indonesia, and India that are reaching out to the formerly working poor who are now destitute. Pastors are delivering rice as well as the love of Jesus to help people survive. There have been several cases of families being brought to Christ through these acts of compassion.
If there is anyone reading this email that would like to help in one or more of the countries I mentioned please write to me and I can put you into contact with a missionary that I know and trust, or if you prefer we can forward any designated food relief funds through our office on your behalf.
Even though many areas of Asia are experiencing a Covid resurgence, many areas are also experiencing a gospel resurgence.
My people report that this quarter saw 849 people trust Christ and almost 200 follow Jesus in water baptism. I believe that we will see the baptism numbers increase as the Covid restrictions ease and people can get out into public again.
When we compare the numbers of people professing faith in Christ and those being baptized it is important to remember;
- The act of baptism can lead to arrest and imprisonment. Most of our people do not have church buildings with dedicated baptistries. They improvise and immerse converts in bathtubs, rivers, water tanks or wherever they can find enough water.
- Government stay at home orders have made it very difficult to have even a small group walking to a river or entering a house where a public baptism can take place. When it is illegal for someone not in the immediate family to enter a house, you can imagine the precautions that must be taken.
When I consider the conditions our people work in, I am amazed that almost 200 adults followed Christ in baptism this quarter.
- Pray for those infected with the Virus. Several of our men, their families or church members have been infected. A few have been very sick to the point we were afraid they might not pull through. Please pray for the third world countries that are genuinely suffering under the pandemic. Prayer is especially needed in Myanmar and Indonesia where it can be very difficult to obtain oxygen.
- Pray for pastors in Vietnam, China, Laos and Indonesia that have recently been visited by the police. In some cases the police want bribes, in others they seek to stop religious services, or they may be building a case for an upcoming arrest. Pray for great wisdom and courage for the pastors.
- Pray for our ministry to be able to vet and add new church planters even as we do it from a distance working though our existing and trusted coworkers. We were able to add one new pastor in China this month and in August we plan to add at least 4 new men in Myanmar.
- Pray for safety and health for Gayle and I as we continue to travel and present the needs and opportunities in the 1040 region. Pray that hearts will be stirred and more will heed the Master’s command to pray and go to the multitudes that are still waiting to hear of Jesus Christ.
In closing I want to thank each of you who prays for, or financially supports, Barnabas1040 Missions. We could not possibly do what we do without you.
Gayle and I love you and we sincerely desire that your investment in Barnabas1040 Missions will be a worthy one.
God Bless You,
Dwight & Gayle Tomlinson
USA Cell: (949) 880-9415