As churches in many places around the world begin to meet once again, church buildings that have stood empty for the last few months will once again fill. Many are taking time to clean and prepare the building for an exciting first assembly , but HeartCry missionary Zhenya, with the church he pastors, took a different approach. Read his account below of trusting the Lord’s direction in sharing funds he could have used towards the church’s building:
I would like to tell you about our church and the work of God in the life of our church. We continue to build our church building. We finished the facing of the exterior walls and now we are working with decoration of the walls inside of the building. The Lord has consistently provided necessary resources for the building as we have gone along. Most recently, due to the fact of my brother and sister in law and the generosity of another church, we have received the sum of $450 that we desired to put towards the building. When this large sum of money was sent, it came with a note saying: “No flesh will be justified by the works, but only by faith we may please God”.
God sent a test for our hearts immediately after this. One of our brothers in a church in a neighboring country had a fire in his apartment. Their pastor wrote us about this accident and asked for us to pray for them. The pastor knew about our financial needs for the church building, so he didn’t ask for financial help for that family. But the Holy Spirit worked in our hearts to move us to do more than only pray. It is absolutely necessary to pray, and it is also important to demonstrate the love and care within God’s family. And our hearts should be ready for God’s leadership. God convinced us in this instance that the souls of our brothers are more important than the church building. In any case we may still gather from house to house, leaving the church building unfinished. We decided we would like to bless our brothers in Christ and send the money we had been given for the building to the brothers and sisters in need: all $450. The money could serve for the church building, but we are sure that it had brought more glory to our God by giving it away to others in greater need.
I have realized it’s much harder to live up to a belief than just talk about it. But I am really encouraged by your prayers, so I am not alone in my struggle. Thanks to your support Lord provides strength to overcome sin and trials even when I fail. I find joy and satisfaction for my heart only in my struggle with sin and pleasing God. Please, pray for the Holy Spirit to continue His work in my life for the glory of God. I trust this act of faith on our behalf will bring glory to God – much more than if we had acted selfishly and kept the funds for ourselves. Please pray for those we sent the money to that it would bless them and that they would be cared for in recovering from the loss of their housing.