by Ben V., DTS student
The men on our outreach team had the privilege of joining a small group of believers in a predominantly Muslim city. We gathered at a public location, about ten of us, including our missionary contact. Some of the Turks there spoke a smattering of English, and my team still speaks virtually no Turkish. Fortunately, our missionary contact here is able to translate for us most of the time.
In spite of language barriers, our fellowship with these men was unimpaired. We sang songs (quietly, so as to avoid being harassed or arrested), and continued to study the character of God through Scripture. While we didn’t always understand each other, we knew that we all love the same God and that we all took some degree of risk by meeting in public to study the Word of God. The sense of unity was tangible among us.
When we left at the end of the evening, I couldn’t tell you everything that was said between us. But I could tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would willingly die for each other, because we are brothers. We are in the brotherhood of Christ and we all answer to the same divine Authority. Our languages may be different, but we are family.
I was also reminded that the less safe it is to do something, the more it means when it is done. In America we can gather for church and Bible study without fear of discrimination or arrest. In this nation we’re in, claiming Christ can cost someone everything, even their own life. I could tell how much Christian fellowship meant to them by how much it costs them to be a part of it. That’s the economy of Christ: the more you sacrifice, the more heavenly treasure you gain.
photo by Flickr member http://www.flickr.com/photos/damiavos/287037914/sizes/z/