The gospel is going forward in an unprecedented fashion—especially in the most restricted countries—driven by prayer, boldness, persecution, and the Holy Spirit, according to a recent report. “What we are seeing around the world is really a gospel wildfire,” says Brother Jonathan, a Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) international ministries worker. “We’re seeing the gospel go forward like never before,” he says. A strong commitment to prayer creates an atmosphere for the wildfire to burn. Brother Jonathan asked one indigenous leader in Myanmar about his ministry’s strategy to send workers into unreached villages. “The secret is Fridays,” the leader answered. “On Fridays we all come together and we fast and we pray—every Friday, all day.” “What if you’re going into a hostile village?” asked Brother Jonathan. “If we think it’s going to be a really hostile area, we set aside seven days to fast and pray,” the indigenous leader replied. “When that’s over, we go.” The fuel Brother Jonathan sees in this gospel wildfire is a bold proclamation of the gospel. In North India, he met with a coalition of 1,000 pastors working in Uttar Pradesh (UP), one of the most unreached states in India. “They risk their lives every single day,” Jonathan notes. One young minister told him, “I ride my bicycle into a village where there are no Christians and I bang on my drum until a crowd comes out and then I preach the gospel. We see people’s hearts touched, we see them repent, and we see the birth of a church.” Jonathan noted there are 1,000 other young ministers like him riding around UP State on their bicycles doing the same thing. As a result, UP state has gone from almost no Christians to about three percent Christian—about six million believers. The spark for the gospel wildfire is the Holy Spirit, Jonathan observes. “Dreams and visions are becoming so common among Muslims that when we meet someone for the first time we ask if they’ve had any strange dreams lately.” Among Hindus and Buddhists he is seeing signs and wonders, with many miraculous healings. One pastor told Jonathan, “Maybe we’re lazy, but we don’t want to spend 12 weeks convincing them that Jesus is God. We just want God to show up.” Persecution is the accelerant of this move of God. “When the church is persecuted, the church thrives,” Jonathan notes. “The places where the church is growing most rapidly are also some of the worst places of persecution. So if persecution comes to America, praise the King, because it means the church is going to explode.” Brother Jonathan’s advice? “Make prayer a priority. Proclaim the gospel with boldness. Don’t be ashamed of anything. Trust God to show up.” –Mark Ellis is a special correspondent for ASSIST News Service and the founder of Godreports.com.
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