Friday, November 16, 2012

Setting a Church on Fire

2012-10-28 08.31.24  Recently we went to a church service that was a little hot. They started around 8am in the morning but in the tropical heat of Timor Leste we all got hot and sweaty pretty quickly. The elderly men and women found it particularly hard. But this was not a church service to miss. The week before, someone had decided to burn the church building down. They had been threatening to do it for quite some time and now it was done. Now all that was left was the concrete floor and the chairs that were saved from the fire. The Church at Sidara had bravely persevered through years of taunting and threats. Over the last year or so, the group was finally starting to be accepted by the wider community as a legitimate gathering of people just wanting to follow Jesus. I remember back in 2004 seeing Branca go up to the village with her medical kit in her hand bag to treat the people. Back then she sat on the foundations of a small clinic being built to do her work. Now there is a thriving centre with the clinic, birthing centre and preschool. Only the church building was built out of thatching and bush materials. After the fire, the burnt poles were chopped down and the floor swept ready for the Sunday service. There was a real feeling of solidarity and never-say-die. When the service was over the men began to talk over the details of rebuilding. This will be a challenge. Decisions will need to be made about materials, quality, dimensions etc and I think these decisions are difficult for any group in any part of the world. Pray that God’s Spirit would carry them long after the smell of ash has gone and the hard work of rebuilding has begun. If you’re a member of a church somewhere that has nice things like carpet, electricity and perhaps even a kitchen then whisper a quiet thanks to God for these things and pray that He would set your Church on fire.

2012-10-28 08.31.40

1 comment:

Preach7 said...

My Prayers and thoughts are with you at this time. I pray the Lord builds your church and turns it ON FIRE after this burning of the building. May the riches of Christ's Grace be always with you as you rebuild the physical Church. Remember no one can take away the Church that is within you. Love in Christ Kel and Clare Cherry