Oh, the stories we have heard already this week! Because I live in the U.S I often feel personally disconnected from the work that is happening over here, but after just a few days with these families-on-mission my excitement for the global Church is overflowing.
There is an ICC church in Prague that is battling the sex trafficking industry head-on. There is an ICC church in Georgia that is offering truth to Muslim tourists who are seeking out the church with questions about Christianity—questions that are dangerous in their home context. There is a church in Geneva that is making great strides to establish an official community of Christians within the United Nations, as well as shepherding Muslim converts who are still in very dangerous situations. Just this morning we prayed for a young woman who is fleeing her country and her own family because her newfound faith in Christ endangers her safety.
While there are incredible things happening, there are also many hardships for these churches and the pastors and families that lead them. Full-time ministry is a difficult calling in any context, and these international pastors and families face a multitude of challenges as they strive to obey God's call.
There are those who are suffering deep personal loss, those who are receiving intense criticism from their own congregations, those who feel terribly isolated, those who are struggling to parent their children and teens in a foreign context, those who are in very real danger of persecution or deportation.
Yet we believe that the gospel is not just for individual gain. We believe that Christ's sacrifice was not to ensure our personal comfort. We believe that the good news of Jesus has the power to radically change lives, change communities, change culture. We believe that "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5).
Please continue to pray for the ICC churches—God is working in amazing ways. Pray for the pastors and their families as they fulfill the Missio Dei—to live out God's calling in difficult, radical, beautiful ways. Pray for the lost in Eurasia and all over the world—that the gospel of Jesus Christ would be proclaimed to every tribe, tongue, and nation, and that lives will be changed to the glory of God, our Father.
Katie Pollard is the Administrator and Communications Director for Lake Baldwin Church in Orlando, Florida. She became involved in International Christian Community through LBC's senior pastor, Mike Tilley, who serves on the board of ICC. Katie and her husband, Joel, have participated in the 2015 and 2016 ICC retreats as worship leaders, and part of Katie's mission is to use her communication skills and experience to help tell the story of the ICC organization and its affiliate churches.