After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
Dale and I worshiped our Lord Jesus Christ together with brothers and sisters from another nation and another tongue today. It was glorious. The entire service was in their native language of course so we were unable to follow completely during the times of singing and prayer (though we did have a translator nearby doing a great job of helping us follow as much as possible) but we rejoiced all the same in Christ our Lord who makes us one in Him. We also received the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper together with these brothers and sisters. I will cherish that for always and will look forward to the day that I sit at the great banquet with these fellow believers and enjoy the eternal communion with Christ Jesus.
I was also given the opportunity to preach, with the aid of a translator. I must admit this was a bit awkward as I had to preach one sentence at a time with pauses for the translator to share. Despite that God blessed us I trust and spoke through His Word to those gathered on this day. Following the service I had a wonderful conversation with the pastor of the congregation. We shared words of grace and blessing with one another and encouraged each other to continue trusting Christ to supply all our needs in ministry and in life. I cannot express what a blessing it was to speak with him and to sense his care and concern for me and our church. One of the more impressive moments was when he honored Dale by asking him how the Lord has worked in and through him at our church. The culture here prizes highly those of greater maturity and wisdom and the pastor recognized those traits in Dale. I was able to share with him that as a young pastor the Lord has been especially gracious to me by providing more than a few elders with such maturity and wisdom to guide me in ministry.
One of our missionaries had opportunity to speak with three men who attended the service for the first time that day. He met with them for the better part of two hours after the service answering their questions about Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity in general. He was encouraged by the thoughtful nature of their inquiries and is hopeful they will return for more conversations in the future. Please be in prayer for these men and ask the Lord to call them by His Holy Spirit, through the regeneration of their hearts until they receive Jesus Christ by grace through faith as their Savior.
Pray for this congregation of brothers and sisters. Ask God to give them unity with one another, love for the people who come to inquire of Christ, a heart for the lost, confidence in the face of persecution, and grace for whatever trials they may face.