“And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”
More than every other day there is a church being planted through one of our national missionary partners. Every other day there are at least three new leaders that have been trained to engage a world of darkness with the light of the Gospel.
The Holy Spirit that Christ had promised to His disciples came on the day of Pentecost – they began to preach and bear witness to Jesus as the risen Christ. This moment has traditionally been called the birthday of the Church.
In the Old Testament Pentecost was the feast which occurred fifty days after Passover. As the Passover feast celebrated the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, so Pentecost celebrated God’s gift of the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai.
In the new covenant, the Passover event takes on its new meaning as the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection, the “exodus” of people from this sinful world to the Kingdom of God. The Pentecost feast is fulfilled and made new by the coming of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ.
Do not take this lightly; these churches that are being planted are done so through the power of the Holy Spirit. For in the remote and dark corners of our world where our partners work, this testimony could not be given without His presence.
The testimony of one believer in such a region brings out the obvious, but maybe taken too much for granted. She was taken to a hospital after an earthquake hit her village. She was far from home and had lost half her family. At the hospital, she heard the gospel, heard that Jesus loved her. When she returned home, a national missionary supported by Partners International donors, talked to her further and she became a follower of Jesus. The Church that had just been established there had given out small mp3 players in their language, which was especially helpful to this lady as she did not have the chance to go to school. When our staff came to visit, this is the lady that they met, and when they left they asked her for one message. It was simple, “Let Jesus’ name be heard among them. We were told a lie since we were kids. They told us there is no God, but actually there is a God. His name is Jesus. He is the one true God. So, I think the first thing to do is, to let Jesus’ name be heard among us!”
Many Christians, especially those of us who have been influenced by the individualism of our culture, live as if the church is useful but unnecessary. We seem to believe that as long as we have a personal relationship with God, everything else is secondary. But Pentecost is a vivid illustration of the truth that is found throughout Scripture – the community of God’s people is central to God’s work in the world. Thus, Pentecost invites us to consider our own participation in the fellowship, worship, and mission of the Church. It is a time to renew our commitment to live as an essential member of the body of Christ, using our gifts to build the church and share the love and justice of Christ with the world.
Thank you so much for being in prayer with us and we continue to pray for more testimonies to God’s faithfulness that we can share with you.