When this post is published, I will be on a 9-hour flight to Rome, Italy for a conference with fellow Acts 29 Network pastors. This relatively small conference is a huge blessing for the european pastors. Many of whom are serving in very difficult contexts where Christianity is not popular. In fact, several are pastoring in places where they could lose their life for the sake of Jesus Christ. This does not deter them. Rather, it only spurs them on to herald the gospel more out of love for their fellow countrymen and adoration of Jesus. A friend and I are going to personally build relationships with these pastors, learn from them, and encourage them to keep spreading the Gospel.
In recent weeks and months, Europe has made international news due to terror attacks in France and Belgium. Security measures are high throughout Europe as nobody knows when there will be another attack or where it will take place. In the midst of such unrest, I am reminded of an incredibly important passage of Scripture. Ephesians 6:12-13 states, "...we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm." In Christ, we have power and authority over the schemes of the Enemy. So we must be united and stand firm.
We are not only united by the Gospel; we are also united for the Gospel! Acts 29 has done a fabulous job creating short video documentaries of church plants in Europe and around the world. Over the past few months, I have spent time watching them over and over again. They concisely communicate the stories of the various pastors and their churches while also describing their contexts and oppositions. As a result, these are great resources for personal and/or family prayer-focuses.
Would you check out this link and commit to praying for these pastors, their families, their churches, and their communities? http://www.acts29.com/media/?series_id=210
Jesus said, "...on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)