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Demonic Force Locks Lao Man in Despair

Filled with sorrow that his wife had left him, a young man in Laos was walking through Buddhist temple grounds when he felt something like a small bird hit him in the chest.

A strange strength came over him, and relatives said that later he became violent and unable to communicate coherently.

His parents and other villagers were unable to calm or communicate with him; they built a cage and locked him inside.

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Christians in Laos Are Denied Food for Following Christ

In a country where rice is already in short supply due to drought in some areas and flooding in others, those who follow Christ are even more threatened as officials withhold rations from those who have left the ancestral gods for Christ.

At the same time, villagers refuse to sell staple items to Christians.

Many villagers are torn between love of the Lord and need for food.

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Obstacles, Opposition Come with Kingdom Expansion

Relatives hostile to Christian faith, flooded roads that damage motorcycles, government restrictions on travel – all can instill fear in both native missionaries and new Christians in Laos.

In one of the world’s last bastions of communism, a 2016 religion law known as Decree 315 threatens to cripple efforts to spread the gospel. Gathering together, holding worship services, traveling and planting churches where none existed require prior permission.

Native missionaries are confronting a new level of fear and intimidation.

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Good News for Those Spreading Good News

The scenario of tribal animists coming to Christ and being expelled from their village has played out time and again in Laos, but this time was different. Amazingly, district officials went to the village heads and told them to stop persecuting the Christians. They were able to remain in their homes and continue worshipping. That was not the case in another village, where a young couple faced expulsion.

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November 17, 2022
The wife and children of a new Christian in Indonesia still refuse to live with him, even though he has turned from his prior life of taking drugs and robbing people to support his former habit. By the time Dimas Sinurat accepted Christ, workers at the native ministry had discovered that discipling new Christians by simply scheduling times of Bible study and prayer was impractical and largely ineffective. With Sinurat and others, they have adopted an entirely new approach that is forming more committed believers.
November 10, 2022
A young man in Iraq who had left Islam to follow Christ recently began teaching school in an area where children of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters were living. Kassim Mahdi* had grown up watching ISIS militants destroy buildings and lives in his hometown, the leader of a native ministry said. “He saw many of his friends and relatives killed, and he did not believe that God sent His messengers in this way,” the leader said.
November 3, 2022
A native missionary was the only one who knew how to reach a jungle community in northern Argentina. Returning to the area to share the gospel and bring discipleship materials to a small church plant, the worker spent 10 hours making his way through thick foliage to reach the destitute tribal people. “It’s a risk,” the leader said.
October 27, 2022
A university student in Turkey often saw the cross on a native ministry’s church building while walking with her boyfriend, and a few months ago – though she was from a strict Muslim family – she suggested they check it out. Her boyfriend of three years, Ahmet Korkmaz*, saw no point in doing so. “There’s nothing in this church,” he told his girlfriend, Beyza Yavuz*.
October 20, 2022
The headman of a village in Laos summoned a local missionary to his office. “I heard that you are speaking to people in the village, and you are talking about Jesus, and now people told me that some of them are interested,” the headman told him. The local missionary, pastor of a house church, showed the headman a government booklet stating that Christianity was one of the officially accepted faiths in the country.
October 13, 2022
For 10 years a veteran of the Iraq-Iran war wondered how he could respond to Christ for having freed him from needing a wheelchair. Years after losing use of his legs, Mustafa Abbas* was watching a Christian progam on a satellite channel in 2011 when he followed the speaker’s encouragement to pray in Christ’s name for healing, he told ministry workers in his native Iraq.
August 25, 2022
A young Iraqi girl’s grandfather died when a suspected Islamic State (ISIS) militant rammed the car carrying him. Sara later learned from a teacher at a native ministry’s school in Jordan that God loved her and her family, so she thought He must be different from the divine being her parents blamed for the loss of her grandfather.
August 18, 2022
A native ministry leader in Liberia and team members at times walk five to seven hours daily through jungles to bring the gospel to the lost. They must rely on God to protect them against wild beasts or hostile followers of tribal religion. “Idol worshippers sometimes threaten us, saying that if we don’t leave their village, they will kill us,” he said.
August 11, 2022
Seeking to reunite with his brother in London, a 16-year-old Bedouin shepherd boy from the Middle East was growing frustrated with questions local missionaries were posing to him. The boy started crying when they asked him to sign an application form for asylum. “He had never gone to school and didn’t know how to read or write,” one of the leaders of the ministry said.
August 4, 2022
In a country in the Middle East, a young Muslim man recently passed by a local ministry’s church site and picked up a New Testament from the stack outside. “He took it home, secretly read from it and hid it, because he feared what his family might do to him,” the ministry leader said. The 22-year-old Muslim had no idea his older brother was also secretly exploring Christianity.
July 28, 2022
A young mother in Africa had gone to a series of traditional healers, each with their fetishes and incantations to tribal gods, in a desperate quest to heal her son. He was 3 years old and had never been able to walk. She heard about a meeting at a nearby community where villagers studied the Bible.
July 21, 2022
Heba was rescued before she could end her life, condemning the 32-year-old mother in northern Africa to continue in a misery whose sources she did not fully understand. An affair with a younger man blunted the pain at times but soon compounded it, further toxifying problems with her husband.
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