“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55 8-10
Recently the team behind the Reality Church project in Yemen heard about a young man who had been told by his school teacher not to listen to their broadcasts.
Reality Church records simulated house-church meetings, with a ‘congregation’ made up of people from the Arabian Peninsula living elsewhere, and broadcast to listeners in Yemen: a precious model of worship for hidden believers.
Reality Church has a weekly slot as part of a daily 60-minute radio programme schedule that speaks to Yeminis caught up in the tragedy of civil war, offering valuable information, fellowship and encouragement in Yemeni Arabic. It is not without its dangers: the country’s official position is that all Yemenis are Muslim and the only legitimate Christians are foreigners. Yet there are many coming to Christ through listening to the programmes – and God is calling to new believers in different – and higher ways – than we could ever dare dream.
The programmes lead to a strong connection between radio, follow up, and the local church, with hundreds of responses from listeners wanting to talk about faith. Baptisms are being requested frequently. Listeners to Reality Church engage as if it is a physical church. As part of the recorded programme, the group pray together for those who are sick; the team then receive calls from listeners, some of whom have said they have been praying too, with others seeking ways to take part in an offertory to help those sick and in need.
Imagine the team’s amazement when they heard that the boy’s teacher had made a large announcement to the whole school assembly: “Do not listen to this radio station!” Perhaps not surprisingly the boy has reported keen interest from his friends, who have been able to listen and encourage one another at the school.
All parents know that to tell a teenager not to do something will likely have the opposite effect; it seems our Father in heaven knows that too!