Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hide it Under a Bushel? No!

It's Wednesday night and the sky is darkening as I squeeze into a small Ram Tekdi slum house with countless other children. They have come for the weekly Bible Club led by Missionaries from the YWAM Pune base. There are thousands of slums just like this in India, filled with thousands of slum children eager to hear Bible stories.

After some rowdy fun worship songs the leaders settle the kids down to learn a new Bible verse: Mathew 5: 14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

”What a perfect lesson for them to learn!” I was thinking as the leaders explained what Jesus meant in this parable.
You see, during my time in Pune I have interviewed several Missionaries and pastors who talk about the “secret Christians”. Many people know God and believe in Jesus, but they are not willing to confess Him to their family or community.

Understandably it would be difficult to proclaim Christ in a Hindu/Muslim country. Many Indian States have anti-conversion laws, and Christian missionaries and pastors undergo tremendous persecution, even death every day.
But if the Christians do not stand up for Christ, how will they be a light to their community? How will they be a city on a hill that points to the Truth?

I pray that this generation of children sitting around me, listening to the Bible story, will be bold and stand up for Jesus. Perhaps when they bring their coloring papers home with the Matthew 5:14-16 verse written on it their parents will be convicted to stand up for Jesus too.

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