Jared and I returned yesterday from a trip to Bangladesh. We had the opportunity to be a part of the graduation of 160 students that studied under The Timothy Initiative. Its encouraging to see that many students work so hard for a year in the study of God’s Word. It’s a very intensive course. They are very grateful for the training.
We also traveled with our national director, Anwar Hussein, to both Northern and Southern Bangladesh. We traveled through many villages, speaking in open-air meetings. We had the opportunity to share the gospel a number of times to Muslims and to encourage new believers throughout the country. It was an amazing trip.
A highlight of the trip for us both was taking a seaplane to Southern Bangladesh. We actually landed in a river (just down from the Bay of Bengal) and were greeted by hundreds of villagers lining the shore (and many actually swam to the plane). In the area that we flew to, there are only 50 believers. There are many, many villages that the gospel has not penetrated yet.
Bangladesh is a Muslim country. As we were sitting in our hotel one morning waiting to leave for the day, we were flipping through the channels. We came across “Peace TV”…a Muslim television network. There was a children’s show on the network and it opened my eyes to Islam. It is very sad what they are teaching their children. There was a man who was telling the children all about Allah and the prophets. He explained how we must earn our way to heaven and that it all boils down to the good and bad works in your life. There was no talk of love or mercy. The man painted a picture of Allah as a distant, hard and uncompassionate God. That is not the God of the Bible. They are working very hard to spread this picture of God and so I believe that means we must work harder. Its imperative that the people of Bangladesh hear the good news: that we have a God that loves us. And He didn’t just say that He loves us. He proved it. Because we WILL fall short. We will struggle with sin. I cannot imagine the hopelessness and desperation that they must feel knowing at least to an extent that they are sinners and cannot gain access to a Holy God in and of themselves. But there IS hope…and it has nothing to do with their own good works or righteousness. It has everything to do with Christ. This must be shared!
Lord-willing, I will be taking a team from Grace Fellowship to Dhaka, the capital city and to the Southern region of Bangladesh this October. If you’re interested in being a part of this trip, please let me know. Email me at [email protected]
Please keep the believers of Bangladesh in your prayers. And please pray for the church-planters that have just graduated. Pray that their new ministries would be fruitful and that God’s Kingdom would advance in Bangladesh.
Here are some pictures of our trip…