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A Church on Four Wheels

A van church

“Rob” waits at a prearranged location, watching for a familiar vehicle among the heavy traffic passing by on the street in front of him. When he sees his friend’s car maneuver to the curb, he hops in and they drive around for a few hours. In this Central Asian country, where meeting in public could draw the attention of Islamic extremists, using cars is one of the safest ways for Christians to fellowship and worship. Secret believers throughout the region use a number of discrete meeting places in order to practice their faith undetected. VOM workers have heard of church meetings in the forest, in a rented vacation home in the country, and even in a chicken coop.

Rob and his friend cruise the neighborhood and talk freely about their faith, sticking to side streets to avoid police checkpoints and meeting only during the day for safety. Rob pulls out his mobile phone and the two men begin to sing along exuberantly with recorded worship music. Those idly watching them drive by might assume they’re singing the latest pop song, but the two men are in fact joining in heartfelt songs of praise to God in their local language. After worshiping in song, Rob and his friend listen to Scripture from an audio Bible and then discuss what they’ve heard. They then pull into a restaurant parking lot for a few minutes to pray and
read more from God’s Word. Finally, after about an hour, Rob’s friend drops him off again at a street corner.

Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You for the faithfulness of Christians like Rob and those he disciples who take great risks to fellowship and grow in You. We pray that You will help them continue to meet in ways that do not raise suspicion from those who would try to stop them. Just as You provided a means of escape for the Apostle Paul when his life was threatened, we pray that You will provide a means of escape for these Christians if their meetings ever become known to those who would harm them (Acts 9:23–25). Thank You for the church you are raising up in this highly restricted nation. We pray that many more will come to know You as the one true, living God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(Source: The January 2018 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine)


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