A Little Flour and Oil
By Gina Goh
09/25/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – One of ICC’s lesser known, but extremely important, initiatives involves expanding the reach of the Gospel in the toughest and most dangerous parts of the world, the places where missionaries typically cannot go. In regions dominated by Islam, we support the most effective evangelists: Muslim-background believers (MBBs) who have the inroads to outreach to their old Muslim friends, neighbors, and family members.
In Indonesia, many of these evangelists found themselves struggling during the COVID-19 lockdown. They work in rural areas where there is no internet. Because of the nature of their outreach work and their need to reach people face to face to minister, their work ground to a halt. They, like so many others, have been stranded financially. Unemployed and often unable to access government aid as a result of their faith, they are left destitute.
Helping 300 Evangelists
Because of your generosity in response to our COVID-19 Crisis Fund earlier this year, we had the financial means to help 300 of these evangelists, as well as MBBs all over Indonesia — from Sumatra to Java to Kalimantan to Sulawesi.
Pastor Arnold told ICC, “We have not had a Sunday service for the last three months. My church members are not used to doing bank transfer[s]. Some of them don’t even have a bank account since they only make their ends meet from their day jobs. Your support really helps us. Thank you ICC.”
With his church members heavily impacted by this crisis, Pastor Ateng has not been able to receive support. He praises the Lord Jesus for His blessings through ICC, and he truly appreciates the gift provided to him.
A Little Flour and Oil
The Lord has called ICC in this time to minister to the minsters. In 1 Kings 17, God provided food and shelter for Elijah in the midst of a nationwide drought. The Lord performed these good works through the compassion of a widow, who only had a little bit of flour and a jug of oil. However, in his miraculous mercy, the Lord provided so that both the widow and Elijah never ran out of food. Just like the widow in this passage, we seek to be used by God as the hands and feet of Christ, ministering to those on the frontlines of evangelism and ministry.
One evangelist named Repi expressed his gratitude to ICC, sharing, “As the Lord blessed Elijah in the three years of drought, we also see how He provides for me and my family. Thank you so much, ICC.”
One MBB, Mrs. Lia, is a farmer who sells her produce in the local market. When the pandemic hit, she was not able to sell her goods in the public marketplace.
“She was absolutely surprised by the delivery of our food package. She cried and hugged the deliverer and repeated ‘Thank you,’ again and again,” our partner shared.
Dangers in Myanmar
North of Indonesia, in Myanmar, ongoing armed conflicts throughout the nation make the pandemic especially hard to deal with. Tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) dwell in camps that have been cut off from access to much-needed aid and food staples. When the government imposed the lockdown, soldiers began blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid.
In war-torn Rakhine State, ICC provided two months’ worth of rice and financial assistance to 48 Christian IDP families living near Bangladesh. Given the strong presence of the ethnic militia Arakan Army (AA) in the area, our partner had to smuggle in rice in small batches to avoid being spotted. Despite repeated calls for a ceasefire during the pandemic, the ethnic militias have refused to halt their operation.
Blessing the Persecuted
As we continue to minister to the ministers in Indonesia and vulnerable IDPs in Myanmar, we pray that you will also extend your resources–your little bit of flour and oil. Like the widow in Elijah’s story, your hands will not come back empty; the Lord will not leave you depleted after blessing his vulnerable children with your time, prayer, or offering. Thank you for partnering with us to serve the persecuted.
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