The persecution of Christians in Asia is severe, but the message of God’s unconditional love and grace is reaching into those hard places and transforming lives. However, it wasn’t always that way. During a three-day conference hosted by Charis Bible College World Outreach, a prominent church pastor there spoke at a private meeting about the problems caused in the church by a lack of understanding of God’s grace. Andrew’s teachings have really helped many Asian Christians receive the grace of God. This pastor’s humility and openness, especially as one of the main ministry leaders, was a sign of just how deeply the Lord had touched him:
“We didn’t want grace. I mean, we did want grace, but we wanted to add it to suffering. We wanted to add suffering by carrying the cross. So, our teachings misled the next generations. We didn’t see the cross as grace. We saw the cross as a mark of our religion. We suffered for the Lord, and as we suffered for the Lord, our self-righteousness and our pride would come out. We used the cross as an excuse to treat ourselves badly and to consider that valuable. That was the Asian church—to consider suffering as spiritual. The generation above me, those preachers and workers in the church, are all tired and worn out. Toward the end of their ministries, they are not only in bad health, but their hearts are filled with bitterness, disappointment, and complaints. So, when I heard about this message, I realized we really [needed] to repent. So, on behalf of my [generation], I say sorry to the next generations.”
This pastor then took a deep bow to those listening, and in response, they applauded him. He continued, “When a father starts a family, he tries to make an inheritance for his children. Right? Jesus Christ has done everything on the cross and brought us great grace. But we have taught people to suffer. We have not only taught them to suffer in their hearts but also taught people that they have to have a hard life to be more spiritual. That is our misunderstanding—our misconception of ministry. We couldn’t, at that time, enjoy life. So, our clothes would get old, and if we bought new clothes, there was a constant condemnation that would fall on us. We didn’t understand or comprehend the grace of God. We lived under fear because we feared people’s judgment and we feared people’s criticism. We thought that if we did more, God would be pleased. We didn’t understand how to come back to the rest of God. But through this study, we understand what grace is. Grace is the power of God released inside of us, and He is going to set us free in mind, body, and soul.”
Christians in Asia are being set free with the good news of grace because of the translation efforts of Charis World Outreach. A portion of the donations to Charis World Outreach goes toward translation projects that enable people to receive the Gospel in their native languages. In every part of the globe, people are being equipped to teach the Word and are being mobilized to launch and establish new Charis locations.