The last few months I have visited with pastors in a few countries where pressure and persecution happen on a semi-regular basis. These pastors feel 'the heat' on a sometimes daily basis. Their plight reminds me of Jesus words from Matthew 5:10-12:

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Pastors

Most recently on one trip, the leader of Asian Access, a pastor who has been closely monitored for several years (nearly 24/7 for six months last year), shared how many of the pastors we work with have been in prison and now are under house arrest. In other areas, some of the people we work with have even hit the press as noted in this Wall Street Journal article on "Theology of Repression".

The pastor mentioned above thanked me for the work of Asian Access in investing in them and encouraged me to continue investing and encouraging them through the pressure. Ultimately he said, "The skies may be cloudy but the sun is always shining." The inference was that despite this pressure, Christ is supreme and that He will prevail.

As Jesus tells us to rejoice and in the midst of their pain, I join them; their reward will be great in heaven.  Thank you for coming alongside them with your prayers and support.  They want you to know how much they appreciate you.

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