God still works miracles, my staunch cessationist position notwithstanding.
What an awesome, patient, faithful Father we have. Even though I spend far too much time screen-sucking, I am glad I booted up the ol' laptop this afternoon, as in a few minutes time I have had the pleasure of reading about two glorious works of God. Feel free to rejoice with me.
The first is a testimony of God's faithfulness in a prison in Nepal. For those of you who have followed Gospel for Asia's ministry for any length of time, you may remember the gross injustice of Pastor Manja Tamang, one of the very few GFA native missionaries in that country. He was framed for murder and imprisoned for 20 years by an anti-Christian group in Nepal, after he reported a dead body in the river to the police. During his imprisonment, which GFA supporters around the world have prayed to end for nearly a decade, Tamang led many fellow prisoners to Christ. Here is a brief excerpt of the story:
Gospel for Asia native missionary Manja Tamang was released from a Nepali prison Friday after serving 9 years of a 20-year sentence. Manja was imprisoned in 2000 after being falsely accused of murder.
Manja was freed along with 13 others in his prison and 120 others from jails around the country. His release was the cause of celebration among Christians in Nepal and was praised by GFA Founder and President K.P. Yohannan.
"We rejoice that our faithful brother has been released from prison," said Dr. Yohannan from his Carrollton, Texas, office. "He was unjustly accused and has spent nearly a decade in jail. But his testimony is a parallel with the testimony of the Apostle Paul. Even in prison, our dear brother was preaching the Gospel and bringing people to Christ. Whatever has happened has been used by the Lord to bring even more people to Him."
...All through his imprisonment, Manja continued to be a joyful witness, sharing the Gospel with the other prisoners. He organized and led Bible studies and worship services, with at least 30 inmates attending many of those services. And several men in his little "prison congregation" chose to follow Christ. Manja also taught social studies classes in the prison's education system.
"Manja's patience in bearing all these difficulties and injustices is a lesson for all of us to learn," said N. Sharma, GFA's leader in Nepal. "Whenever I saw Manja in prison, he was always smiling. He reminded me often of the Apostle Paul's own statement from prison ‘rejoice in the Lord always.' This is a quality that can only be developed through bearing pain from within, such as our brother Manja has done."
Manja's wife, Rati, was equally as strong during his long imprisonment. During her time as a "single" mother of two, she completed studies at a GFA-affiliated Bible college and carried on her husband's ministry. She also works with the Women's Fellowship and teaches the children in the GFA Bridge of Hope Center in her village. Manja was reunited with Rati and their two children on Friday. He was also welcomed back to freedom by Sharma and other pastors from both Nepal and India.
"The Body of Christ from literally around the world has been praying for this day, and now we can all rejoice together at what God has done in releasing our dear Brother Manja," Dr. Yohannan said. "Let us continue to pray for him as he and his family begin a new chapter of their life—together for the first time in many years,"
You can read the full story here and watch a slide show of Tamang's release and family. Many praises to the God of all comfort for this answered prayer!
Concurrently, the son of an imprisoned Hamas leader has embraced Christ and is encouraging other Muslims to leave the religion he described in an interview as "a drug". The Palestinian terrorist organization virtually controls the West Bank region where Masab Yousef grew up. A "chance" meeting with an Evangelical tourist caused him to start questioning the foundation on which Islam was based, and after one reading of the Bible Yousef gave his life to Christ. He is now living in southern California and hopes soon to return to his Palestinian hometown. Becoming a Christian in Yousef's culture takes "counting the cost" to a whole new level - he is now an outcast and if he returns, his life will be in very real danger.
Watch this interview, "Escape from Hamas":
Demographically, the Muslim world seems poised to take over within another 50 years or so. Even so, we know Who is on the throne and His individual dealings with His elect - from every tribe, nation and unlikely sociological background - are astounding. What an amazing God!