I’ve got some exciting news! I am literally on my way home from visiting some of our Christian family members in a very hostile nation, but I couldn’t wait to share! In the country I just left, just over one percent of the population is Christian, and it is a very difficult place to live.
One of the greatest joys of my life, beyond the joy of life with my wife and children, is to meet with sisters and brothers in these remote locations. It is a deep honor to share a greeting with them from their American family members, to offer them support and encouragement and to “refresh” them. Our presence alone refreshes them in incredible ways. It reminds me of Paul writing to Philemon, “For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother” (Philemon 7).
It is invigorating to spend time with these dear family members, and our swelling love for each other shows. This was my fifth time in this particular country, and I have been honored to develop enduring friendships with our staff there. We have also shared time together outside of their country several times. When we get together now, it is like a family reunion!
Jesus said that we would be known by our love for one another, and He works in astonishing ways through these interactions. This brings me to the wonderful news I want to share with you.
After spending a few days shuttling us around the country and watching us meet with persecuted Christians, our non-Christian driver, “Navotny” (not his real name) told one of our youngest staff members that he would like to know more about this Jesus.
Our staff member asked me if I could meet with Navotny to tell him more—of course I would!
The next morning, after breakfast, we spent about 30 minutes in a hotel room, where I carefully, and slowly, shared the story of Jesus and what distinguishes our faith from the religions of the world.
Navotny listened carefully, answered my questions and showed genuine interest. I asked him if he was interested in receiving the gift of Jesus’ forgiveness and the promise of peace with God—now and forevermore.
He thought about it carefully, and then said he wanted to think about it for a while. I assured Navotny that I would be available during the rest of the trip for any questions that he may have and we started our journey for the day
Meanwhile, I asked my family and colleagues to pray for wisdom and for the Holy Spirit to guide each of us.
A few days later, two days before we left the country, Navotny said he was ready. Yes, he wanted to place his trust in Christ alone! Early the next morning, I asked him a few more questions to make sure that he understood what he was asking, and then our team knelt with Navotny and prayed with him as he surrendered his life to God.
A few minutes later, we gathered with a small group of Christians and celebrated our new brother! Our national leader is already working to connect Navotny with a local pastor who will disciple this infant brother, and will share with his family. Please pray with us that God will lead Navotny to the ideal community of believers! Pray also that God will give each of us more opportunities to demonstrate His love to a watching world.
Dr. Jason Peters serves in VOM’s International Ministries department, traveling frequently to meet with our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. Jason and Kimberly have been married for more than twenty years, and have five children who are actively engaged in standing with their persecuted family members.