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December 14, 2012

IDOP: Small but mighty

A member of the Voice Volunteer Network recently shared her experience showing the International Day of Prayer video featuring an imprisoned pastor in Southeast Asia. She shared the video at two churches on IDOP Sunday: her home church and All Nations Church, a Thai/Lao church she and her husband have attended.

Although All Nations Church is not Angela Thompson and her husband’s home church, the congregation welcomed the opportunity to see the IDOP video. Angela was ecstatic. As refugees from Laos and its surrounding countries, members at All Nations Church personally know that Laos, one of the few remaining Communist countries in the world, is hostile — even volatile — towards Christians.

Angela sat in awe as Pastor A. Phang translated the IDOP video for his congregation. And although a refugee from Laos, Pastor Phang stayed quiet after the video and asked Angela to talk. As she stood in front of All Nations Church, she saw tears in the eyes of the members.

“All I could think was, ‘These people know persecution first hand, and for some, their families are still facing it.’ Always before and after showing a VOM video clip, I see the crowd moved. Today was different.”

This crowd didn’t need to be asked, “Do you know about the Christian persecution in Laos?” The church’s members are refugees from Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. One woman is from the same area as the Christian featured in the video.  Suddenly, Angela realized that the stories of persecution she talks about are happening here, directly affecting members of her own church.

Pastor Phang’s wife was crying. She told the congregation that only three months ago, her father visited them in the United States and became a Christian. When he returned home, his family was irate with his decision and harassed him. He is not allowed to attend church. He has to read his Bible in hiding. In their understanding of persecution, the church agreed — Pastor Phang must send the IDOP video to all Laotian churches in the United States.

Moving on to Whitesburg Baptist Church, the Thompson’s home church, Angela showed the video once more. With more than 1,500 in attendance, many hearts were touched by “Boun’s” testimony. It was a great sermon. The pastor asked those who brought their Bibles to raise them high in the air. With hundreds of Bibles lifted, he challenged them “What would you do to get your hands on a Bible?” Many eyes were opened to the reality of Christian persecution.

Still, throughout the day, the phrase “Small but mighty,” echoed in Angela’s heart. Only 26 attended All Nations Church, but their appreciation reached a new level —one of action and prayer. Join them in prayer for persecuted Christians.

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