Good morning, dear friends in Messiah. This is "Part 2" of my story from my time at the Global Missions Conference in North Carolina. I must begin with a Scripture:
Exodus 5:7-18 7 “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. 8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”
10 Then the slave drivers and the overseers went out and said to the people, “This is what Pharaoh says: ‘I will not give you any more straw. 11 Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all.’” 12 So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. 13 The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.” 14 And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding, “Why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before?”
15 Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants this way? 16 Your servants are given no straw, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.”
17 Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ 18 Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.”
I can imagine how strange this must sound to you as the Scripture for my blog. What could this possibly have to do with anything happening TODAY? Well, my whole world and my very soul was rocked when I listened to the testimony of a young Pakistani man who is ministering life to about 56,000 believers in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus in the brick factories of Pakistan. What happened to the children of Israel in ancient times (in the book of Exodus) is happening RIGHT NOW to believers in Pakistan. I will not disclose the young man's name for his own safety, but I am longing to share with you his very real story of his work among these enslaved, persecuted people, and ask you to commit them to daily prayer. I will call him "Solomon" for the sake of telling his story.
The extremely strict Islamic government of Pakistan has relegated any Christian believers they find to work in the various Brick Kiln factories. Fathers, mothers and their children are working day and night to produce the required QUOTA of bricks for each day. If they fall short of their quota, that number of bricks is added to the next day...and if they fail to meet THAT quota the next day, the number they were short is added to the next day, in an unending cycle of indentured servitude.
When Solomon discovered their plight, he found that they were not being given any clean drinking water or adequate food, so many of them were succumbing to disease. When they began missing their quotas regularly, their fingers were amputated. When they got too sick to work, they were thrown into the fire of the brick kiln, where they died a horrific death. Outrage over the plight of these hopeless, persecuted Christians began to grow and by the grace of God and the Power of His Holy Spirit, Solomon and his team were granted permission to bring in clean water and food for these people, as well as spending time with them once a week in prayer and encouragement. I could literally HEAR his tears as he related his experiences with the people who have come to be known as "Brick Kiln Christians." Most of the world is unaware of their suffering and their unending servitude. I stayed to talk with Solomon after his time of speaking, and gave him the largest donation I could give. I plan to continue supporting his work, but I also know that the united prayers of all of us can work MIRACLES for them! Please pray that God will have mercy on these courageous people who have not abandoned their faith in Jesus, and like the ancient story of Exodus, He will deliver them out of this bondage and set them free! And if you are moved to help me support this work that so few even know about, please send your donation to:
PO Box 233
Eaton, CO 80615
Mark it for "Brick Kiln." Or you can click on this link and donate over our website. I will be faithful to see that Solomon gets it. https://www.doorkeeperministries.com/donate.html
Our little ministry is being given more and more opportunities to sow seeds that will advance the Kingdom of God and spread the Love of Yeshua. We are also partnering with the amazing FAI (Frontier Alliance International) teams in Iraq and Iran, where they are encouraging, blessing and teaching the pastors of the fastest growing churches in the world! If you've not had a chance to see their incredible film, "Sheep Among Wolves," I will paste a link here:
God is on the move, brothers and sisters, in ways greater than we can imagine! And after experiencing this conference, I believe what He has asked me to do is to send out a small Prayer Request Letter each week, for those who want to commit to prayer for the Persecuted Church and the missionaries who are risking their lives. If you want to sign up to receive this, please e-mail me back and just say SUBSCRIBE TO PRAYER LETTER. The exponential power of our united prayers truly will make a big difference and we will send up praises as we watch and see what the Holy One of Israel will do in the earth!
One missionary who spoke to us delivered this powerful challenge: ARE YOU SETTLING FOR SLOGANS AND BUMPER STICKERS WHEN GOD CALLS YOU TO SCARS? As I said, my soul and spirit was rocked by the passion of these people. We can't all GO and bear the scars and risk of imprisonment and death to encourage, feed and minister to the Brick Kiln Christians (and many others like them around the world) but we can all PRAY!
The acceleration of time is real and something I cannot overcome! More than a month has passed since I last wrote and there just has not been TIME to sit down and write. I am sorry for the long absence, but I hear from many others who are experiencing the same whirlwind right now.
On this quiet Sabbath I finally have time to write about the New Wineskins Conference I experienced last month in North Carolina. Two friends from my life 20 years ago in the Anglican Church had reached out to me to invite me to attend. Neither knew the other had written me...so I perceived it as two witnesses from the Lord and knew I needed to pay attention! First, it was amazing to me to think about going to this Global Missions Conference. My 12 years of traveling the globe as a Messenger of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has come to a quiet, gentle end as my husband John has reached the place where such travel would be too difficult. Second, the journey into the Hebrew Roots of our Christian faith took me away from the Anglican Church and into 15 years of study and worship in mostly Messianic congregations. So, I spent an intense time of prayer on my face, inquiring of the LORD to know if it truly was HIM asking me to go to this Anglican conference of global missions. I had a powerful experience in the Holy Spirit as He answered my prayer and said, "Yes. I am asking you to go. You do not know your future, but I do. And I will make connections and preparations there for your future. Go in obedience to Me."
The word was clear. I made my flight arrangements, booked my lodging, and packed my suitcase. From Sept. 26-29 I found myself on a beautiful North Carolina mountaintop, surrounded by God's people from all over the world! My mind and heart were catapulted back into the glorious years of meeting and loving people and spreading the Good News in Africa and Russia, South America and Eastern Europe, and the islands of the sea! It was glorious to worship with all nations, tribes and tongues, and it was a powerful, electric re-charge of my spiritual battery to listen to the amazing stories of these men and women who are sharing Jesus in the most dangerous places on earth.
Still, I lay awake that first night in North Carolina wondering why I was there. It is not a time in my life right now when I can go serve in the mission field. They told us there are 1.6 billion people in the world right now who have never heard of Jesus/Yeshua, and my heart was greatly stirred to GO!
The next morning I awoke very early to go up to the beautiful little chapel at the top of the mountain where I would help lead worship at the 7:00 am service. "At least this is something I can contribute here, Lord," I thought. "I can lead the people into Your Presence in worship." But when the Priest arrived to lead the service, he gently told me, "You don't need to do anything this morning, I'm just going to 'wing it.'" So I took a seat on the back row of pews and in the stillness of the morning, I worshiped God. After the service was over and the people had left, I went up to the keyboard and in the stillness I worshiped an Audience of One. My voice soared as the Spirit fell.
I left the chapel and was walking down the steep path under the clear, blue sky, a gentle breeze brushing my face, and I heard the Voice of the Spirit say, "What did you go out to see? A reed blowing in the wind? What did you go out to see?" I stopped and then answered Him.
"Yes, Father, that's been MY question. Why did I come here? Why did You send me?"
The Voice replied, "Do you remember what I told you when you were down on your face in the Spirit?"
"Yes, Lord, You told me you wanted to make connections and preparations for my future."
"Right! And who are you to connect with? Who did you go out to see?" Suddenly it was completely clear. Crystal clear! I exclaimed in tears, "You Abba! YOU wanted to re-connect with me! You had to bring me this far away from home to disconnect me from all my distractions - that's why John was not supposed to come. And that's why You sent me to a place where I hardly knew a soul! I would be distracted if I had brought husband or friends. You wanted to finally get me alone so YOU could re-connect with me in intimacy. I have been so dry and thirsty for Your touch, Your Voice, and for our love-relationship!"
I understood. These have been tests; a test to see if I would obey and come, a test to see if I'd get up at 5:00 a.m. despite my weariness from long travel, and go up to the chapel, a test to see if I'd worship God even when no one else was there.
I went back to my room and wrote in my journal: "Abba, I passed! I feel like these were important tests of obedience so that You would trust me in the future when things get REALLY hard and I must know Your Voice and obey. I must be connected with YOU. It is the month of Elul, and You are out in the field, Yeshua, my Bridegroom-King, making preparations to come for your Bride!
The whole purpose of that trip was so simple and yet so powerful. However, there WAS much more that God showed me there in North Carolina. I heard the testimonies of many of God's Messengers who are in places like Yemen, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, risking their lives for the sake of Jesus. And I had an incredible revelation of how God, in His infinite Wisdom, is even now accomplishing the great end-times work of Romans 11, re-gathering and restoring ALL ISRAEL! I will write all this in a second blog so that this one does not get too long! In the meantime, I hope this one has been a blessing and reminder to all of you out there, that the MOST important preparation of these days right now is to re-connect closely with Yeshua/Jesus, and make time in your day to stop and listen. He is making preparations for your future too!
Kelly Ferrari Mills