Stories

How My Faith Grew When My Church Closed

July 10, 2015 by Janelle P in ,

*Representative photo used to protect identity

Persecution is not comfortable. Many Christians try to avoid it at all costs; it is not something that is sought out. But what if you learned of the fruit and blessing that can come from it? Gita* shares with us her time of persecution and growth:

86-year-old Gita thinks her life is over when her house church is discovered. As a woman in her eighties, how could she have expected that this was just the beginning of her journey with the Lord?

“I am the oldest believer in our house church. Most believers in Iran are under 40; I am 86 and walk with a stick. Our church used to gather in my house sometimes, but apart from serving tea to everyone, I didn’t have a task.”

“The day our house church was discovered, I thought my life was over. Our leaders were forced to move. I was scolded for using my house as a church, and as punishment, they prohibited me from accepting guests in my house. If I disobeyed, they would send me to prison.”

Gifts

“My house felt strangely empty during the months after the closure. My children were all married and had moved out. Now, my fellow believers weren’t visiting either. What was I to do? I felt alone and depressed.”

“One day, I was sitting alone in my house praying. I felt the Lord saying to me: ‘I am not imprisoned within these four walls. Nothing can restrict me. I want to use you in ministry outside the home. Recognize your place in the Body and use the gifts I have given you.’

“I decided to do what the Lord had asked me to do. I got in contact with some ladies and started having fellowship with them in their houses and in coffee shops. I did what I hadn’t done before in the church: I shared my faith with them and began discipling them.”

Bear Fruit

“I now meet with eight ladies per week. The ladies tell me that they have grown deeper in their faith than when we were attending our house church. Every one of them is involved in evangelism and personal discipleship. They are passing on what I am teaching them.”

“I feel happy again. I am working in God’s kingdom. When people ask me for a bible verse, I read from Psalm 92: “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. […] They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.”

*Name changed for security reasons

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