When Lori and I were dating, on occasion we would sing to each other a part of song that was popular then…“Do you dream of me?” It was a romantic gesture and felt good knowing that we were being ‘dreamed’ about. Now, I am being dreamed about again, but the feeling isn’t good.
In America not a whole lot of stock is placed in the content of dreams and crazy dreams are usually just a attributed to that strange combination pizza that was eaten the night before. Here in Patpatar though, it is different. Here people believe dreams have meaning. They believe that dreams are sent to them as important messages and must be interpreted and passed on to others. Many times dreams are sent as warnings, coming sickness or death, or some other impending judgment.
To the average Patpatar person, what someone dreams about is just as verifiable as if they had witnessed it in real life and news of dreams can spread very quickly. So, you can imagine how we felt when news began to circulate that I had been seen in someone’s dream not as a missionary, but as Satan and that all those who had attended the Bible teaching were seen burning in hell.
Within 2 days, people as far as an hours walk away in either direction were talking about the dream. Many of the ‘religious’ leaders began to warn others not to attend the Bible teaching. Those who had been opposed to us and the truth of God’s Word began to add fuel to the fire.
To be honest, this along with some other rumors that have circulated about us and the Patpatar believers in the last month have left me quite discouraged at times. The people that I have given the prime of my life to in order to see them have the gift of eternal life and a relationship with Christ say I am leading them to hell. Instead of being seen as the servant of the one true God, I am seen as His archenemy.
But there has been some good resulting from it. The reality of spiritual struggle is evident. The Patpatar believers are seeing through the lies of these dreams and rumors. Ironically, there has even been a surge of interest from some to hear God’s Word being taught and find out what it is all about.
Through this I have also been reminded that though we are facing a form of persecution here, it is very mild compared to many throughout the world who are facing persecution, imprisonment, and death because of their faith in Christ. This Sunday is the International Day of Prayer of the Persecuted Church. Let’s remember our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for Christ’s sake.