Sitting in a Prague airport on my return flight home after 16 days of ministry gave me time to reflect on some very tiring but thrilling experiences. Last night in a regular church meeting I experienced an old fashioned “Holy Ghost” prayer/revival meeting, without the trappings of fanaticism, manipulation, or even overt human leadership … more later.
The experiences of these past months have made me even more conscious of our temporariness here on earth. The reality of being a pilgrim, building temporary altars, and living as if in a tent while we look for the “continuing city”, the new Jerusalem … being united with the Bridegroom and the innumerable hosts of heaven, past and present, and with family and friends … The options here on earth are getting less desirable and the uncertainty seems to be universally contagious. Everything seems to be in a state of flux!
The surety, stability, and standard of God’s Kingdom provides our only Hope and Security from man’s feeble attempts to control, confuse, and confiscate rights, properties, and freedoms. It is no wonder we preach the unshakable Kingdom of God, the Word of God, the eternal Christ, and the changeless God in the power of the sovereign Spirit! Our message is as relevant and needed today as ever before.
God has allowed us to minister at the Arab Ministries Center in Brussels on several occasions. This most difficult work is being led by a trained Arabic pastor. The day after Christmas, we preached there following a scrumptious meal provided by the Church as an outreach to the Muslim community. Much prayer is needed in this area of ministry.
I have had the opportunity to preach the Gospel to the large refugee population in Brussels. Many are hungry to receive the Word of God and respond to Christ’s gracious call to salvation, healing, and deliverance. What a joy to hear the message being interpreted in several languages throughout the meeting hall.
Then there was the joy and honor to “fill in” on a Sunday at a Flemish church. The Lord visited the congregation by sharing His specific Word and confirming it at the altar of repentance and renewal.
Continental Theological Seminary
I had the privilege of preaching to hungry and receptive students at CTS (formerly Continental Bible College). Coming from many countries, these future leaders are being prepared to “storm the gates” and “take their cities” for God and His Kingdom.
The plan to reach over 525,000 homes in Brussels with the Gospel was accomplished! Let us pray for a greater response to the witness of the Word, and for the leadership to know what city in Belgium to evangelize next.
Beginning in January, I taught for a couple of weeks in the Sunday School on prayer and spiritual warfare. With Brussels being one of the leading centers of the occult in Europe, and the influx of foreigners with their religions and their gods, there is a need for the Church to rise in the Lord’s name for the battle and the victory!
Again, we had the privilege and opportunity to minister to the resident students and leaders of the Pentecostal Bible School. We witnessed the unique presence of the Lord in the chapel. We had a rare opportunity to fellowship the rest of the day with the President and later with a Pentecostal leader of the nation.
Pentecostal Bible School
What a joy to be a part of the opening of the first residential Pentecostal Bible School in October, 1991. During the opening ceremonies the Lord led us to pray for a City Council woman who came to give greetings from the mayor (we had met him during our last visit to Bulgaria). Throughout this momentous week, we taught 5 1/2 hours daily and participated in nightly meetings.
Special Evangelistic Meetings
In the evenings we witnessed the power of God to save, heal, and baptize in the Holy Spirit. We rented the former Communist hall (they are all “former” nowadays) transformed to a sanctuary for the glory of God to be revealed. Many youth responded to the Gospel. What an expression of God’s love to the congregation in washings, baptisms, and healings! I witnessed the power of God to deliver a woman who had committed herself to suicide that night but was brought to the hall by a friend. She returned to the church again and again to testify of God’s love and power.
German Field Fellowship
Being with fellow missionaries for four days is a joyous occasion. Being the speaker for the yearly Field Fellowship was staggering. What can you tell fellow-laborers, fellow-pilgrims, fellow-strugglers, and fellow-victors in the battle? What fears … what trembling … what weakness! However, we witnessed the Spirit’s work in all of our hearts through the revealed Word. To Him be all the glory! It was a rare occasion—Carmen and I were able to be together in ministry. We also witnessed a dedicated band of laborers in the Lord’s harvest. I was humbled to be with some of the Lord’s giants in the faith!
Berean Missionary Fellowship
After Christmas we were privileged to minister to a church of American servicemen. In spite of the “drawdown” in the military, the church has been on the increase! We were thrilled to witness its growth and be a small part of its maturation process. Our missionaries are laboring with vision, burden, and the blessing of God.
On two occasions I had the privilege to be again in the great land of Czechoslovakia—both in the Czech and Slovak Republics. Though the united government’s capital is in Prague, there are 3 republics (Czech, Bohemia, and Slovakia). The political tension between the republics comes in waves of intensity with factions on both sides seeking independence.
However, it is a joy to see the two national churches (Czech and Slovak—Bohemia does not have a national church) united in common purpose, and a leadership working in harmony to reach their world through united effort, vision, and resources. Beginning in the fall of next year, the Lord willing, both movements will unite in providing residential Bible School training. We will be assisting them in the process.
A precious brother and I went to the Czech region for ministry. We had great times of fellowship. The Lord was gracious in His manifested presence in the meetings.
In the Slovak region, another precious brother and elder in the faith and I ministered for 11 days—3 day-long teaching seminars (schools or learning centers) and preaching every night in different cities and twice on Sundays. The Lord was present to save, heal, and baptize in His Spirit. This brother was such a blessing to the church in his teaching, his godly life in the homes, and his gracious spirit. I was blessed.
We stayed in different homes nightly—what a challenge and blessing. It took me a few days to learn to give up my “rights” to privacy and independence to be a servant to my brethren who were sacrificing to serve us—quite a humbling experience. My brother and friend was a constant example of gracious Christlikeness. Oh, the grace and patience of our God … and friends!
We witnessed a Slovak Church that is actively reaching out to its communities—churches mothering up to 5 “preaching points” until a sufficient number of people and leadership are able to function as an autonomous congregation. The great need is the training of its present and future leadership. They are experiencing church growth without seminars, books, or experts!
It was a privilege to preach in one of the prisons. In spite of the fact that the prison was designed for “hardened” criminals, we witnessed a relaxed dormitory style environment. The Lord honored His Word!
Both of us were exhausted but rejoiced in witnessing the faithfulness of God to His people! Continue praying for God to raise up laborers, grant wisdom to the current leadership, and open doors of utterance and influence to the nation’s future. Pray also that they would not be corrupted by the influence of the West, i.e., affluence demands, false doctrine, independence, and inculturations. The Pentecostal and Evangelical churches are experiencing some heavy political and spiritual opposition from the Roman Catholic Church that wants to again dominate the country through its political ties to the leaders of government.
Eurasia Teen Challenge Retreat
I remained another 5 days in Czechoslovakia to minister to the Teen Challenge Directors of Europe in their yearly conference. The dedication and commitment of these servants of the Lord were evident as they shared their victories, struggles, and visions for their countries. What a team of excited and focused men reaching the unreached and unloved with God’s gracious love and power to save and deliver.
The last night of the conference was shared with the local church. What a meeting … even when the lights went out for a time! It has been quite some time since I experienced the presence of the Lord in such a way; many of us throughout the congregation fell on our faces before the Lord in reverence, some with tears and others with exultant laughter (for some it lasted the whole service!). The expressed love to the Lord and to one another, spontaneous and led worship, spontaneous prayer … all before I preached! The altar was full of hungry hearts seeking the Lord, healing, and fullness of the Spirit. God answered! We had to interrupt the meeting to leave the rented university hall, due to the lateness of the hour! God be praised!
We can hardly believe we are forced to think furlough! Nathan, our “favorite third son”, will be graduating in June of 1993 and will undoubtedly be heading off to college somewhere! Our family will, the Lord willing, return that summer. We are not sure about the length of time to be spent in the States. There is so much to see accomplished for the Kingdom of God here in Europe.
Our office is moving to the old ICI International building along with five other ministries. It will be crowded! Plans are to sell the “Maison de Prière” (House of Prayer) and office space where we are presently. With remodeling, etc., it will be February before we can settle in permanently.
Although we did not have all of our family here (Reuben and Paul are attending college in California), we had a house full of friends to celebrate the King’s birth. The time was enriched with Scripture, prayer, singing, testimony, and plenty of delicious food.
God continues to bless our family. Thank you for your prayers, gifts, and support for us. We have received so many letters of encouragement. In spite of the fact that we are thankful and joyful in the ministry, we still miss family and friends. We are ever so grateful for those whom God has given here as friends and fellow-laborers in the work of God. We are blessed!
My mother had double pneumonia during the holidays and was close to “departure”. Her condition has improved somewhat. We have prayed for God to take her “home” when her life of intercession and worship on earth ceases. We may be home sooner than we think. Please keep her and my sister, who is caring for her, in prayer.
Do continue to pray for the ministry, the nations, and for us. We could not give you all the specific prayer requests. We know the Holy Spirit is faithful to lead you in prayer for us as a family, the missionary team working in Europe, and the needs of the churches and people that we are endeavoring to train for ministry.
We must train the leadership. The “window of opportunity” is open NOW. Everyone that I have asked in the eastern bloc nations believes that it is not open indefinitely! We must determine our priorities, exert every effort, and ask the Lord of the Harvest to send forth laborers to accomplish His purposes at this critical hour in the prophetic time clock. The “hour” (seconds to the “last hour”) is late and the “day is far spent”.
May God continue to enrich your lives as you grow in His grace … May this new year be filled with a Spirit-inspired faith that challenges the Supernatural … May God’s love abound in your hearts to conquer all fears … May your lives be so in harmony with His, that you may know, hear, and follow His voice.
Thank you again! We can only repeat the same expressions of gratitude for God’s faithfulness and for your extended love, prayers, support, and grace to us all. Do know that you are continually in our hearts and prayers. We are bound in the bonds of Calvary, sealed with the same Spirit, and destined to the same Glory and Throne! Hallelujah! It makes me not only want to shout but preach … We love you!
Servants of the Most High God,
Reuben & Carmen Sequeira
Nathan & Stephen