Like most countries Malaysia has been struggling with a severe outbreak of Covid-19, but earlier this month flooding killed several people and displaced around 50,000 others. But, in the midst of the floods and a global pandemic, five believers still chose to get baptised.
Image: The baptisms took place in a river
“Amid this natural disaster, there is space for praise,” shares Mikal (not her real name), a local OD partner. “Five new believers were added to a church… To hear from three pastors that a lot of them are beginning to grow so much in their faith and have shared the faith with their neighbours too (is fantastic).”
Heavy monsoon rains have led to intense flooding and a landslide in the past two weeks: “In some states, flood waters have gotten so high, you can only see the roof of homes and buildings,” Mikal said.
This disaster, coupled with an intensified Covid lockdown, hit believers hard.
“Some of the believers who work in fields to grow crops had a major loss during the first Covid lockdown, when they were unable to harvest any of their crops as policemen were nearby making sure that everyone stayed inside,” shares Mikal. “They didn’t lose hope and began to replant, but just as it was time to harvest their crops again, the floods destroyed their crops.”
“It’s been very difficult. I know that these men – these farmers – are full of faith, but this has really challenged them,” Mikal continues.
Malaysia in number 46 on the 2021 World Watch List, a ranking of countries where Christians face the worst persecution. In Malaysia, the government and other religious groups monitor churches. It is illegal to share the gospel with Malay Muslims. Converts from Islam to Christianity experience the most persecution, as every ethnic Malay is expected to be Muslim. These believers are often forced to hide their faith and meet in secret. If discovered, they could face divorce from their spouse, rejection from their family – or even risk being sent to a re-education camp.
Please pray for our friends, our partners, the believers we serve, and everyone else affected by the floods. Pray for the waters to subside soon and people to be able to rebuild their lives. Pray too for an improvement in the Covid situation in the country.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.