Rising Up From The Ashes
Persecuted and rejected, their church burned to the ground, Pastor Hector*, his wife and new baby keep their dreams alive.
“I found a lot of resistance to God’s Word when I returned to my hometown,” Pastor Hector recalls with a noticeable snort. “The village was just as I remembered growing up, where people were either worshipping idols or practicing witchcraft. The entire area was entrenched in these practices for many years and Christianity never really had an opportunity, or so I thought.”
”The reality was that very few of the local people were open to hearing about Jesus. Drawing strength from God’s promise, I was not going to give up. I went door-to-door, offering Project Philip lessons, and it was through Project Philip that we formed our first Bible study group. Feeling inspired, we continued to share the Gospel with family, friends and even strangers.”
“It was then that non-believers in our community grew hostile towards us and the physical attacks started. The brujos (male witches) burned down our Church and destroyed the homes of our church members. They instilled fear in our children who were now too scared to even go to school. I received multiple death threats as the Project Philip Bible study leader. One day, an angry mob broke into my home, trashing and looting it, while my mother and I were still inside. As they moved through our home they shouted at us, ‘Leave or you die’. I am sure the traumatic experience and fear of being persecuted in the community is the reason why my mother and the rest of my family do not want to hear the Gospel of Jesus.”
“Faced with persecution, family rejection, and a church burned to the ground, I was at a very low point in my life. Then by God’s grace my wife fell pregnant and what followed was a period of immense struggle. At this point most people would question God’s plan and purpose for their lives, I was determined to stay focussed on Him. Yes, it was hardship that forced us to move out of our area to live with my wife’s family. It was because of hardship and struggle, that I was able to lean that much harder on God’s promise to soon realise His blessing on my life, my family and my dream of planting a new church.”
*Name changed for security purposes
Pray: for Pastor Hectors congregation that they will become strong soldiers in God’s army.