From Peanuts to Prayer

Philip is committed to his life in Christ and he desires to see as many people as possible come to faith in Jesus. He leads a vibrant and growing ministry in Vietnam and over the years, he and his team have established more than 2,700 churches. The joy of the Lord is evident on his face and in his voice. But life hasn’t been easy for this steadfast man of God. He has endured much suffering over his years of following Christ. The body of Christ has grown up in persecution,” he says of the church in Vietnam, it grows strong when persecuted.” Philip’s leadership and wisdom are born out of his own suffering and a deep and abiding commitment to his Savior. He has been in prison three times for a total of eight years for the crimes of preaching the Gospel and printing copies of God’s Word. The first time he was arrested and sentenced to years in prison, he was unprepared for the amount of suffering he would endure, but he persevered through every desperate day by holding tight to the promises of God. The second time Philip was arrested, he was more prepared. He knew exactly what life behind bars looked like and how he would be tested. This time around, Philip used the small amount of money in his pocket to buy peanuts from another prisoner. Each day, for every meal of just plain rice, Philip ate just two of them. The Lord supported him physically with the tiny bit of sustenance, as well as giving him the spiritual strength to stand firm for Christ and not be swayed. When you are hungry,” says Philip, the guards use food to tempt you to deny Christ, and it is a terrible struggle.”

These verses in 2 Corinthians 5:14 – 15 explain the source of Philip’s selflessness and what drives him to keep pressing through uncertainty and great struggle: For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that One died for all, therefore all died, and He died for all so that they who live might live no longer to themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Philip has never shied away from serving the Lord. Each day is a new opportunity to tell more people that Christ died to save them from their sins.

This time around, Philip used the small amount of money in his pocket to buy peanuts from another prisoner.

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