The first year was really rough. We saw little progress, and asked God for a certain number of people. And God gave those. Seeing his work, we felt we really should have prayed bigger!
We saw more fruit in the second year. Along with that, though, meant we received more trouble from the officials.
The third year, we saw even more fruit, but the trouble from the officials really reached an extreme. Believers were questioned. Some were almost beaten, but since the officials did not want to lose face in front of visiting officials from outside their county, the believers were spared.
The whole process was difficult to watch. It was difficult to see the troubles such young believers had to endure. And unfortunately, it will all happen again. We are told very clearly that we will see troubles in this world. Our response should still be to praise the Lord, for his perfect plan is being accomplished.
We had to leave the town, and saying our goodbyes was hard, but the support of the people was so encouraging to us. We literally did not have enough meals in those last few days to fulfill all the invitations we received.
The most difficult part of the whole process came after we left that town. We received so many attacks of the enemy. "Just look, you were worthless: you invested so much time, but there are only a few believers." "You did not prepare them well for the persecution they received." "All you have after years of service for the Lord are a few boxes of junk to move to a new town."
Then, the Lord showed us the true fruit. The believers are continuing to grow. One wants to become a pastor and is very gifted in music. Another is already sharing back in the home village.
The Lord has begun a good work and he will continue. Among all the three million Dong people, there are probably still less that 200 believers. We must pray for the Lord to work!"