“I declare the Lord’s power over you! In His name, I command you Satan to leave this body!”
Sop* prayed this prayer over a troubled man who had been locked up by people in his village. No one could calm him – he would wail at night, curse the villagers and cause all kinds of trouble. But just a week after Sop’s prayer, the man was completely changed.
It’s this sort of thing that has bought Sop unwanted attention. He is Lao believer living in a strongly communist village in the northernmost region of the country. Because of their faith, and the fact they have seen many come to know Jesus, Sop and his wife Dara* have faced violent persecution – they have been forced to leave their village, had their pigs poisoned, had their rice farm set on fire, and their children have faced discrimination at school.
But thanks to your prayers and support, Sop was able to join in a house church leaders’ gathering in 2019 which has now evolved into a group of Christian leaders who equip Lao churches and prepare believers for persecution. Through Open Doors local partners, Sop and Dara were also able to attend train as literacy teachers – they now hold classes helping local people learn to read and write.
Sop explains how things have changed in the last few years…
“Compared to before, we are no longer physically persecuted. From time to time, we only receive mockeries and verbal discriminations from the villagers because we are Christians.
“Our church is growing. Since the covid-19 lockdown has been lifted, together with other believers, we have been going around our area preaching the gospel and planting churches. We also pray for people who are sick, and demon-possessed.
“My family is still taking care and providing shelter for people who were kicked out of their homes because they have become Christians and people who have become jobless because of the pandemic.
“Since the lockdown, we have paused our literacy classes and focused on helping our community put food on their tables. However, through the classes we conducted before covid-19, my wife’s mother and several others can now read the Bible.”
Although Sop and others in his village are now relatively freer to move from village to village, the impact of the pandemic to their livelihood has been significant. Through local partners, Open Doors was able to provide a tractor for Sop and his church that will hopefully help them get back on their feet.
“On behalf of my church, thank you for the hope you have given us. For over and again, supporting us. Thank you for the tractor you provided for our house church which not only benefits us but our entire community, Christians and non-Christians. We have been using it to plow our fields, carry sacks of rice from our fields to our homes, transport firewood from the jungle to our kitchens, and other tasks.”
In late 2020, Sop attended two Standing Strong Through the Storm training courses where he got to learn more about helping others when they experience persecution and about his legal rights as a Christian living in a Communist country.
Image: Sop being prayed for…
“We are one body and one family in Christ. When our brothers and sisters are hurt, we are also hurt. More and more persecution take place in our provinces, so we need to do something to encourage the house churches to not fear persecution.”
*Names changed for security reasons…
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.