Today we were visited once again by the local police. This time they handed out a fine. Still, we are very thankful for the way they conducted themselves and thankful that they chose to give the lowest possible fine. The Lord has been very kind to us - to Him belongs the praise for this mercy.
The police knew we would be meeting again in the afternoon, and I fully expected them to return. They did not. But here's what did happen:
Our numbers were small, but never has our worship been marked by such joy. I have never heard our congregation sing like they sang in the afternoon service. I certainly sensed that the Lord was among us. It was a reminder of something I already knew. Persecution makes a difference. It is always always good for the Church.
As a brother said today, "our churches have been 'unmasked'. Now we know who's who." Strong words but I believe there is a lot of truth in them.
But... what a spirit there is among the people of God when their coming to worship is because they really want to and when they know coming could be costly! It felt as if the world and even broader Church were frowning, but God was smiling.