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Testimonies

An open door for the gospel

by Theodore Wright.
 

In April of 2018, we spent three weeks in the Philippines in the hometown of wife. There was a home there we could stay at. I was praying in the living room one morning for an open door for the gospel of Christ to go through this very Roman Catholic town in a very Roman Catholic country. I then looked up from prayer and out the window. I saw the gate that was outside which was part of the fence around the house. Strangely, the gate looked simultaneously both closed and open at the same time. I thought I was having a vision at first but when I moved a little, I realized this was simply a very strong reflection off one of the other windows of the house. Yet, I perceived that God was somehow speaking through this a message I had yet to understand.
 

That evening, I wanted to go outside the gate to do some things but I found that my wife and everyone else took the gate key and had already left. I was locked inside. Not something I particularly liked.
 

Later that evening, I sensed that Satan was coming after us. My wife and I had discussed doing various outreaches before and I perceived that the devil was seeking to stop the work of God. I resolved to go out and walk around the town at night, praying again for an open door for the gospel there. Yet, I found that the gate was again, of course, locked.
 

Before I could look for the key, if I could find it, the Lord spoke to me when I looked at the gate. God spoke to me and said quite firmly, “That’s right! The door is closed and it will remain closed unless you pray all night until sunrise for that door to be opened!”   I then replied to the Lord, “O.K., I am just going to get my Bible and I will be right back.”
 

Therefore, I immediately got my Bible and went back to the yard of the house inside the gate, sat down on the concrete stool, then opened my Bible and started praying for the door of the gospel to be opened in that town. The place in the Holy Bible which I turned to was Ezekiel chapter 12…
 

Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying. Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God. – Ezekiel 12:26-28

 

I realized that now had come the showdown for the call in our lives to share the gospel and win souls in the Philippines. Yes, at our last trip here, there were eighteen that came to faith in Jesus. Yet, a larger work was in store and this needed to succeed. So I continued praying through the night.
 

In the middle of the night, near midnight, the Lord told me that my wife is coming out to me. Which shortly happened. I said to her, “I knew you were coming. Come pray together with me.” This she did for a while. Then, I continued praying throughout the night. In the early morning, when it was still dark, I did nod to sleep two or three times briefly. So I said, I am going to pray extra time after the sun comes up. Which I did. After 6 a.m., I felt confident from the Lord that the door for the gospel was now open here.
 

I just found out that morning that two pastor friends of ours were coming to the farm area with us to share the Word of God. We went with them. They were willing to let me speak also, however, though I was quite awake I was too tired mentally to speak the regional dialect of Hiligaynon there. I had not slept. Still, in the dialect, I did speak a little from Ephesians…
 

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
– Ephesians 2:8-9

 

We and the pastors came out for two days. Fifty souls received Jesus as Savior by faith, making the “Sinner’s Prayer”. Just after this, we returned home to America. Then we received word that a church started in that farm area after we left. After that, we heard that some church attenders were not continuing there. When we made phone calls to look into the matter and we found out that it was true. What happened was that these were some who were going to the church denomination’s mother planting church in the town.
 

I was disappointed that I was not personally able to share a more full gospel message during the time then with more than just two Bible verses. This is even after that now I could understand the dialect without translating it into English in my head first. Yet, I do praise God in Jesus’ name that we did have the opportunity to forerun and pray this event in which led to the immediate planting of a church. You can see that the furtherance of the gospel is not merely our own labor. Others are to be worked together with. Foremost and emphatically, though God uses us, it is the work of God. Still, our role is to stand in that gap.
 


Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. – Galatians 6:2-5

 

Afterwards, back here in America, the Lord spoke to me from Habakkuk…

And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. – Habakkuk 2:2-3

 

Even now, I am writing the vision with this very post. We will continue the work. As for how soon “an appointed time” will actually be, I do not know. As for now, we abide in prayer and wait for what next the Lord will do. I still earnest await the opportunity for full-time mission work there in the Philippines. As for the time being, we go when we have the opporunities.
 

O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known;
– Habakkuk 3:2b

 

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