Last Sunday a young couple shared their testimony at our church. They were members of an underground church in Saudi Arabia for five years. Their story moved our congregation to tears and a standing ovation for their courage. Click in the audio box below to listen to their 20-minute testimony with our pastor, Randy Norris. While you listen, I suggest you read Randy’s article that he wrote about this amazing couple’s faith. – Dwayne

Testimony by couple in underground church:

http://praisemorepowerful.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/undergroundchurch.mp3

Guest Post by Randy Norris

I have been reminded lately that there are people in other parts of the world who risk their lives each day to walk with Christ and to worship Him with other believers. In a recent conversation with a precious couple who were members of an underground church in Saudi Arabia, I heard them share things about what they went through to gather with their church each Friday.

  • They shared how they had to smuggle in their Bibles made to look like engine repair books so that they could have a copy of God’s Word.
  • The house they met in for church had to be soundproofed so that others on the street could not hear them as they would sing, pray, and read the Bible.
  • They would have to park blocks away from their housechurch, so as to not draw attention to themselves or the place where they were meeting.
  • There would always be a watchman who would let them know if someone was coming who might do them harm.
  • They would only be able to sing very quietly with an acoustic guitar or soft piano so that no one could hear them praise the Lord.  When they wanted to clap, they would do so without putting their hands together so that there would be no sound.
  • They would wake up every Friday wondering if it was the day that someone was going to come and take them away.

This couple, along with many others, risked their livelihood and their lives to assemble together each week.  They would risk their lives each day to tell someone the Good News about Jesus Christ.

Needless to say, I was very moved as they told me of their experiences and I realized how much I take for granted here in Hoover, Alabama. I asked them what the biggest difference was between the Church here and the Church there.  They said, here in America, Sunday doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal.  They drive to our church at Bumpus Middle School past Americans who are cutting their grass, walking their dogs, or washing their cars.  They wonder why there seems to be more people at home than there are in the churches.

I did make one interesting observation.  They said that in Saudi Arabia, you could always tell who was a new believer because they would be the ones who would clap loudly, not knowing any better.  In America, it doesn’t take long for most Christians to learn not to clap at all.  Or sing.  Or give.  Or even assemble together.  What a shame that we have taken for granted the privilege of going to church.

The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25, “Forsake not the assembling of ourselves together.”  In other words, we should gather together with other believers to worship the Lord.  Perhaps in no other country is this verse easier to follow than right here in the United States of America.  Our founding fathers ensured us the freedom to worship God over 230 years ago. Each Sunday or Wednesday, or any other day of the week for that matter, we can gather with other believers to worship God and we can do it without fear that someone might come and take us away or fire us from our job or even martyr us for our faith.  Those days may come, but right now in 2007, it is a blessing and privilege that we have to assemble ourselves together in America.

Randy Norris is pastor of The Church at Ross Station in Hoover, Alabama. You may contact Randy via email, randy at rossstation dot org, or by visitiing www.RossStation.org.