Welcoming Unseen Angels
By Hudson Muller*
He was puffing away on a cigarette, yet the experience was so beautiful. He sat there observing, with a halo of smoke surrounding him. I didn’t mind it, nor the singing that was terribly off key. It sounded incredibly beautiful to me. I was just thrilled that so many lepers had showed up for Sabbath worship today. And I was so thankful that Jesus “did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17).
A few weeks ago, we had 28 lepers show up on Sabbath morning for worship. It was an unusually high turnout. The next week, we encouraged our volunteers to pray daily for 30 lepers to come the following Sabbath. To our pleasant surprise, 32 lepers showed up the next Sabbath. We then decided to pray for 35 lepers to come the next Sabbath…and God answered our prayers. We had 35 lepers worshipping with us today! What a joy it was to see lepers coming to worship for the very first time. I can think of only one thing sadder than an abandoned, disfigured leper with missing limbs—an abandoned, disfigured leper with missing limbs who does not know Jesus.
One of the highlights of each week for me is Sabbath morning when our missionaries go out working together as a team to invite the lepers to join us for worship. We have learned that we need to work together, unitedly, as a team. We make sure to visit every building and knock on every door. Some lepers do not respond to the first invitation, but will come after the second or third invitation. We also recognize that the lepers respond better to those who are very warm and have the gift of hospitality. Therefore, we have these gifted individuals visit every room to give a second invitation to all the lepers.
I can’t wait for that day when we will one day be in heaven. There will be no more pain, no more tears, no more suffering, no more heartaches, no more disfigurement, no more leprosy. The lepers will have their limbs restored; they will be made whole. But until that day, I thank God that we can get a taste of heaven here on earth each Sabbath, in answer to our prayers, as we worship together. It is a joy to know that we are welcoming unseen angels, and also making music in heaven. Consider these words:
“As you open your door to Christ’s needy and suffering ones, you are welcoming unseen angels. You invite the companionship of heavenly beings. They bring a sacred atmosphere of joy and peace. They come with praises upon their lips, and an answering strain is heard in heaven. Every deed of mercy makes music there,” (Desire of Ages, p. 639.2).
Although we can’t tell you the country that we are in, please pray for our work as we seek to reach many unreached lepers. Our greatest needs are twofold: 1) We need a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and 2) We need more consecrated laborers who can speak the local language.
*Author’s name is a pseudonym. This story was originally shared by ASAP Ministries. ASAP stands for Advocates for Southeast Asia and the Persecuted.
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World Church Prayer Requests
March 17 - 24, 2019
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for those affected by the recent cyclone and flooding in Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. A lot of the communication infrastructure has been destroyed or damaged, especially along the coast, so communication is still limited.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray also for the staff and students at Mozambique Adventist University in Beira. There has been a lot of damage. Please pray for the clean up and repairs that will need to take place after this very challenging cyclone.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for the leper colony featured in this week’s prayer testimony. Pray that God will send more laborers to take care of these special people.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for Larry Evans, assistant to the President for Special Needs Ministries for the General Conference. Pray for those who work with Special Needs Ministries worldwide. Pray especially for those with special needs in your local church, whether handicapped, blind, deaf, or with some other special situation. Look for ways to reach out and show these precious souls the love of God.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please join us in praying specifically for the following “Prayer Focus” city. Hefei, China, has a population of 7,965,000. Hefei is the provincial capital and is one of the top 20 emerging cities in China. It has a history stretching back as far as the 8th century, BC. The majority population of Hefei is Han Chinese, though there are also Hu Chinese, and migrants from other areas. Air pollution is a problem, particularly in May and June when farmers in surrounding areas burn fields ahead of planting.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for God’s blessing on Hefei, in many areas including the following:
o Pray for wisdom for Hefei’s leaders.
o Pray for the families of Hefei.
o Pray for the young people making major life decisions.
o Pray for those who struggle with their health in Hefei.
o Pray that the city’s most lonely elderly residents may find friendship.
o Pray for women of Hefei—for their safety, education, and well-being.
o Pray for men of Hefei—for wisdom, for their careers and their sense of purpose.
• PRAYER REQUEST: We are now only one week away from the big event, which will take place March 24-30, 2019. Please continue praying for the General Conference Youth Ministries Department as they prepare to mobilize Pathfinders and other young adults all over the world to preach at 100,000 different sites for Total Youth Involvement. #TYI19 (To learn more visit: https://youth.adventist.org/Total-Youth-Involvement)