The baptism ceremony started, and Pastor Simeon Popov spotted movement off to his side.
Behind a bush, a secret government agent was pointing a camera at the group of Jesus followers standing in the water. Pastor Popov looked after a legal church registered with the Bulgarian government. Among the secret police, Pastor Popov was known for his illegal evangelism methods.
Without hesitating, Pastor Popov called to him, “Hey, you. Come a bit closer!” The man sheepishly approached. “Since you have a camera, why don’t you take a picture of our group?”
The police officer was so surprised that he just did it without asking questions. Then the ceremony of baptism took place as planned!
A few days later, the secret police agent was even fair enough to give the photograph to Popov who kept it and made copies. Pastor Popov had taken a huge chance, and succeeded in not being arrested.
Fearlessly moving forward with the Work of God was always Pastor Popov’s method of operation. The concept does have scriptural grounds in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline”.
The Chinese word for crisis is comprised of two Chinese characters. One character means danger, and the second character means opportunity. Pastor Popov over in Bulgaria liked to push the opportunity button every time he found himself in a crisis.
Many other people allow the danger sides of the crisis to win out and they scrub to fear. Each circumstance must be evaluated on its own merits. Not everyone can be a missionary or an evangelist in a dangerous country.
God places those with a specific type of faith in such circumstances. Let us support our persecuted brothers and sisters with our prayers as they choose opportunity to share the gospel over the danger they face.
Kim Wenzel is a local Open Doors USA ministry representative who speaks in churches and groups about praying for the persecuted church. For more information, persons interested may contact Wenzel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-919-1490. Hear more about the persecuted church at 6 p.m., every Saturday on KWXC 88.9 FM Christian talk radio.