My Days Preaching on the Frontline

August 8, 2023

By Ayden, Myanmar

In January of 2021, two of my fellow soldiers shared Almighty God’s gospel with me. Then through gatherings and reading God’s words, I learned that God has become flesh in the last days to save the corrupt human race, and I also learned about the significance of God’s incarnations. I’d never imagined that God would personally become flesh to appear and work among humanity. This is a profound mystery, and it’s also God’s genuine love and greatest salvation for mankind. I was so moved. I never thought I could hear God’s voice and see His appearance and work. I felt that I was incredibly fortunate, and it made me want to attend gatherings even more. By reading God’s words and fellowshiping with brothers and sisters, I saw that preaching the gospel is everyone’s responsibility and it’s what God requires of us. Preaching the gospel is bearing witness to God, bringing people before God, allowing them to gain the truth and God’s salvation, while also adding to one’s list of good deeds. If I didn’t do that, I’d neglect my duty as a created being and I’d be unfit to eat and drink God’s words. Once I understood all that, I was really eager to share the gospel. I also wanted to work with God and share the kingdom gospel with even more people. After that, I’d practice sharing the gospel whenever I had free time. Then in October, I was transferred to the brigade that just so happened to have a brother named Nyon, who also believed in Almighty God. I worked with him to share the gospel with my fellow soldiers. Once, I invited about 20 other soldiers to come listen to our sermon, and Brother Nyon and I bore witness to them about Almighty God’s work of the last days. Through seeking and investigating, these 20-odd soldiers all ended up accepting the gospel. I was thrilled and gained more confidence in sharing the gospel.

It was during Myanmar’s civil war that I was transferred to the front line. I saw some photos of civilians being beaten and injured, and some of those rescued from the enemy’s camps also told us that after being captured they had to cook for the enemy soldiers, and those soldiers also made them fight. They’d shoot and kill the ones who refused. Some civilians’ houses were also burned down because of the fighting, and they had to live in hiding in the jungle. And every time the soldiers fought or attacked a settlement, there were wounded taken back and hospitalized. Seeing all that gave me a lot of sympathy for them. I was thinking, they probably didn’t believe in God, and without faith they didn’t know whose hands people’s fates are in, or who they can rely on to gain protection. If I could share the gospel with them and bring them before God, they would be able to pray to God and read His words to understand the truth, gaining God’s protection. These thoughts gave me a bit of a burden in my heart. I wanted to go into the settlement to preach the gospel and bring them before God. But I wasn’t familiar with the terrain of the frontline, and I didn’t know where the enemy soldiers were hiding. Going out to preach the gospel under those circumstances, if I encountered enemy troops, there was the possibility of being captured or killed. I was really afraid. I prayed to God to seek what I should do. Then I thought of God’s words: “You know that all things in the environment that surrounds you are there by My permission, all planned by Me. See clearly and satisfy My heart in the environment I have given to you. Do not fear, the Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you; He stands behind you and He is your shield(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 26). I realized, I was afraid to go out and preach the gospel and be captured or killed by enemy forces because I didn’t have true understanding of God’s almightiness and His rule over all, and I lacked faith. I also learned, all these situations I faced every day, major and minor, were all ruled and arranged by God. Whether or not I’d be captured by the enemy was also in God’s hands. No matter how dangerous the situation, if God didn’t permit it, they wouldn’t be able to get me. And even if one day the enemy really did take me away, whether I lived or died would be entirely up to God. I should submit to the situation God set up. Getting transferred to the front line also contained God’s good will. The civilians there were living in such a dangerous environment without anyone to share the gospel with them. They hadn’t heard God’s voice yet. Maybe there were people there that God wanted to save. I should consider God’s will, to preach the gospel and bear witness to God, so that they can be brought before God. At this realization, I didn’t feel quite so afraid. I felt ready to lean on God and go preach the gospel in that environment.

Then I began to preach the gospel to the local people, yet I encountered new difficulties. The people there spoke the Dai language. I just knew a little simple, everyday language, like “Have you eaten?” and “Where are you going?” I wasn’t capable of sharing the gospel with them. I felt really anxious. I wanted to preach, but I didn’t know the language and it felt really difficult. I prayed to God, “God, I want to share the gospel but I don’t know the language. Please guide me and open up a path for me.” Once in an online gathering, a sister shared a passage of God’s words that was really helpful for me. Almighty God says: “God perfects those who truly love Him, and all those who pursue the truth, in a variety of different environments. He enables people to experience His words through different environments or trials, and to thereby gain an understanding of the truth, true knowledge of Him, and to ultimately gain the truth. … Those who don’t walk the bright path of pursuing the truth will forever live under Satan’s power, in perpetual sin and darkness, and with no hope. Can you understand the meaning of these words? (I must pursue the truth and perform my duty with all my heart and mind.) When a duty befalls you, and it is entrusted to you, do not think of how to avoid facing difficulties; if something’s difficult to handle, don’t put it to one side and ignore it. You must face it head-on. You must remember at all times that God is with people, and they need only pray and seek from Him if they have any difficulties, and that with God, nothing is hard. You must have this faith. Since you believe that God is the Ruler of all things, why do you still feel afraid when something befalls you, and that you have nothing to rely on? This proves that you do not rely on God. If you do not take Him as your support and as your God, then He is not your God. In real life, regardless of what situations you encounter, you must come before God often to pray and seek the truth. Even if you understand the truth and gain something with regard to just one matter each day, it will not have been time wasted!(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). When I read that passage, it became firmly entrenched in my heart that God is with me. In the face of difficulties, I just have to genuinely pray and lean on God, and He will guide me. Nothing is impossible for God, so I should have faith. Preaching the gospel is my duty. I couldn’t retreat just because I didn’t know the language. I still had to do my best. Since I’d chosen to spread the gospel to satisfy God, no matter how hard it was, I had to lean on Him and fulfill my duty. Having thought over these things, I felt ready to strive for it, and every time before I went out to preach I’d pray to God, asking Him to guide me. I started trying to communicate with the villagers, playing Dai evangelical and testimonial recordings for them. While playing them I’d also listen carefully, and when a recording was done, I’d fellowship with the people and add a little with the Dai that I’d already learned. After working that way for two or three days, nine people accepted the gospel. I was incredibly grateful to God, and I had more faith to spread the gospel.

One day, the enemy troops posted a video on WeChat. I saw that after capturing our soldiers they’d tortured them. Some of them had their hands cut off, some had their feet cut off, and they’d cut their throats, like slaughtering a pig. They’d even cut their hearts out with knives. Seeing that, I was really afraid. I was thinking, “I go to the settlement every evening to share the gospel—will I be captured by the enemy? If they did get me, what if they abused me like those other soldiers, or even tortured me to death?” Thinking of this, I was afraid to go out and preach again. I realized at the time that I wasn’t in the right state, so I prayed and gave my heart over to God, asking Him to guide me. Later, I read a passage of God’s words that gave me some confidence and strength. God’s words say: “God does the work of perfection on people, and they cannot see it, cannot feel it; under such circumstances, your faith is required. People’s faith is required when something cannot be seen by the naked eye, and your faith is required when you cannot let go of your own notions. When you do not have clarity about God’s work, what is required of you is to have faith and to take a firm stance and stand witness. When Job reached this point, God appeared to him and spoke to him. That is, it is only from within your faith that you will be able to see God, and when you have faith God will perfect you. Without faith, He cannot do this. God will bestow upon you whatever you hope to gain. If you do not have faith, then you cannot be perfected and you will be unable to see God’s actions, much less His omnipotence. When you have faith that you will see His actions in your practical experience, then God will appear to you, and He will enlighten and guide you from within. Without that faith, God will be unable to do that. If you have lost hope in God, how will you be able to experience His work? Therefore, only when you have faith and you do not harbor doubts toward God, only when you have true faith in Him no matter what He does, will He enlighten and illuminate you through your experiences, and only then will you be able to see His actions. These things are all achieved through faith. Faith comes only through refinement, and in the absence of refinement, faith cannot develop. What does this word, ‘faith,’ refer to? Faith is the genuine belief and the sincere heart that humans should possess when they cannot see or touch something, when God’s work does not align with human notions, when it is beyond human reach. This is the faith that I speak of(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement). I learned that when we face trials and tribulations, if we lack faith and we don’t actively cooperate, God has no way to work in us and we can’t possibly be perfected by Him. The more we’re unable to see something, the more we need to have faith in God, and the only way to develop faith is to undergo trials. Sharing the gospel while fighting on the front line, facing the danger of being captured by enemy troops was a trial, a test for me. I was lacking the truth, and I didn’t have a true understanding of God’s almightiness and sovereignty. I didn’t genuinely believe that God rules over all, so I didn’t have faith. Facing a dangerous environment while preaching the gospel, I became afraid of being captured and tortured to death, so I didn’t dare go out and preach. I couldn’t truly give my heart to God. In fact, God was setting up this kind of situation so that He could give me more of the truth, so that I could seek the truth, put it into practice, and recognize God’s almightiness, His rule over mankind’s fate, and the fact that my life and death are in His hands. Now that I was facing that kind of dangerous environment, I had to truly experience it and live through it, and that was the only way I could see God’s deeds and develop true faith. Once I understood God’s will my heart brightened a lot, and I didn’t feel so afraid.

Later, I read another passage of God’s words that was even more motivating. Almighty God says: “God has a plan for every one of His followers. Each one of them has an environment, furnished for man by God, in which to perform their duty, and they have the grace and favor of God that is man’s to enjoy. They also have special circumstances, which God lays out for man, and there is much suffering they must undergo—it is nothing like the smooth sailing that man imagines. Beyond this, if you acknowledge that you are a created being, you must prepare yourself to suffer and pay a price for the sake of fulfilling your responsibility to spread the gospel and for the sake of doing your duty properly. The price might be suffering some physical ailment or hardship, or suffering the persecutions of the great red dragon or the misunderstandings of worldly people, as well as the tribulations one undergoes when spreading the gospel: being sold out, being beaten and scolded, being condemned—even being mobbed and put in mortal danger. It is possible, in the course of spreading the gospel, that you will die before God’s work is completed, and that you will not live to see the day of God’s glory. You must be prepared for this. This is not meant to frighten you; it is a fact. … How did those disciples of the Lord Jesus die? Among the disciples, there were those who were stoned, dragged behind a horse, crucified upside down, dismembered by five horses—every sort of death befell them. What was the reason for their deaths? Were they lawfully executed for their crimes? No. They were condemned, beaten, scolded, and put to death because they spread the Lord’s gospel and were rejected by the people of the world—that is how they were martyred. … Actually, this was how their bodies died and passed away; this was their means of departure from the human world, yet that did not mean their outcome was the same. No matter what the means of their death and departure was nor how it happened, it was not how God defined the final outcomes of those lives, of those created beings. This is something you must see clearly. On the contrary, they used precisely those means to condemn this world and to testify to God’s deeds. These created beings used their most precious lives—they used the last moment of their lives to testify to God’s deeds, to testify to God’s great power, and to declare to Satan and the world that God’s deeds are right, that the Lord Jesus is God, that He is the Lord, and God’s incarnate flesh. Even down to the final moment of their lives, they never denied the name of the Lord Jesus. Was this not a form of judgment upon this world? They used their lives to proclaim to the world, to confirm to human beings that the Lord Jesus is the Lord, that the Lord Jesus is Christ, that He is God’s incarnate flesh, that the work of redemption He did for all humanity allows humanity to live on—this fact is forever unchanging. Those who were martyred for spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus, to what extent did they perform their duty? Was it to the ultimate extent? How was the ultimate extent manifested? (They offered their lives.) That’s right, they paid the price with their lives. Family, wealth, and the material things of this life are all external things; the only thing that is related to the self is life. To every living person, life is the thing most worthy of being treasured, the most precious thing and, as it happens, these people were able to offer their most precious possession—life—as confirmation of and testimony to God’s love for mankind. Until the day they died, they did not deny God’s name, nor did they deny God’s work, and they used their last moments of life to testify to the existence of this fact—is this not the highest form of testimony? This is the best way of doing one’s duty; this is what it is to fulfill one’s responsibility. When Satan threatened and terrorized them, and, in the end, even when it made them pay the price of their lives, they did not abandon their responsibility. This is what it is to fulfill one’s duty to the utmost extent. What do I mean by this? Do I mean to have you use the same method to testify of God and to spread His gospel? You do not necessarily need to do so, but you must understand that this is your responsibility, that if God needs you to, you should accept it as something you are honor-bound to do(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Spreading the Gospel Is the Duty to Which All Believers Are Honor-Bound). I realized, all of us being able to follow God is by His rule and arrangement, and He also sets up conditions in which each of us can do our duty. In the course of preaching the gospel, we’re bound to face all sorts of situations and dangers. Some are humiliated, some are beaten and yelled at, some are handed over to Satan’s authority and brutalized, and some even lose their lives. But no matter what the situation is, I am a created being, and I should fulfill my duty at all times. Preaching the gospel is my life’s mission, my responsibility. No matter how bitter or difficult it is, even if I have to pay with my life, I must do my duty and fulfill my responsibility. I thought of the disciples who followed the Lord Jesus in the Age of Grace. They also faced lots of dangers to spread the Lord’s gospel. Some were beaten and yelled at, some were imprisoned, and some were crucified, tortured to the point of death while completely alive. But they didn’t complain or abandon their responsibility and duty. Ultimately, they obeyed till death, bearing witness to God’s deeds and God’s great power with their very lives, humiliating the devil Satan. They didn’t die because they did something bad, but it was to testify to God’s name, and that the Lord Jesus was the Lord of creation. They paid with their own lives to share God’s gospel and bear witness to Him. That’s the most meaningful thing. They fulfilled their responsibility. God approves of that kind of created being, and though their flesh died, their souls are in God’s hands and under God’s arrangement. I also did some self-reflection. When death was involved, I was timid and didn’t want to go out to share the gospel. I was still thinking of my own personal safety—what I truly loved was my own life. I thought I could take control over my fate, that as long as I didn’t go out and preach, I wouldn’t face danger or death. But now I understood, I wouldn’t be safe just because I didn’t go share the gospel. I was posted to stand guard, which is inherently dangerous, and I could be ambushed. Also, when we went to get water or buy something from the locals, that was dangerous too. We could be attacked by enemy soldiers at any moment. My life wasn’t something that I could control on my own. Whether we were captured by the enemy was entirely in God’s hands. If He didn’t allow it, I wouldn’t be captured even if I did go out to preach. If God did allow something to happen, I could still be ambushed or captured by the enemy even if I didn’t go preach. I am a created being who should submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. No matter what happens, I should keep on preaching the gospel and doing my duty. If I find every excuse not to share the gospel and bear witness to God, not doing my duty, I’d still be alive in the flesh, but for God, I’d lose my function as a created being, and my life would be meaningless. In the end God would cast me out, and I wouldn’t be saved. On the front line, going to preach in the settlements was dangerous, but for the sake of spreading God’s gospel and expanding its reach, I couldn’t cling to life, but should properly face the prospect of death, and if necessary, pay with my life in order to keep on preaching, thus fulfilling my responsibility. That is testimony, and it is the best way to do my duty. I also understood that I am a created being and a follower of God. No matter what dangerous situation I face, spreading the gospel is my life’s mission and a duty I must fulfill. I can never stop sharing the gospel, at any time at all. After that, I got two other brothers, Nicholas and Arthur, to go preach with me.

One day, we went to a settlement and ten people came to hear us preach. We fellowshiped with them on how to be protected through the disasters: “Disasters are becoming greater and greater now, just like here, where we are constantly at war, and the water is tainted with blood. There is also the pandemic…. Through all of these disasters, who can actually save us? Only the Savior, the one true God who created the heavens and earth and all things can save us.” Then we played some recordings of sermons for them that talked about why humans are born, become old, get sick, and die, how to gain God’s protection in the disasters, how Satan corrupts people, and how God works to save mankind. There were also some passages of Almighty God’s words: “These are the facts: Before the earth existed, the archangel was the greatest of heaven’s angels. It had jurisdiction over all the angels in heaven; this was the authority God had granted it. With the exception of God, it was the greatest of heaven’s angels. Later, after God had created humanity, down on earth the archangel carried out an even greater treachery against God. I say it betrayed God because it wanted to manage humanity and to surpass God’s authority. It was the archangel that tempted Eve into sin, and it did so because it wished to establish its kingdom upon earth and to get humans to turn their backs on God and obey the archangel instead. The archangel saw that so many things could obey it—the angels could, as could the people upon the earth. The birds and beasts, trees, forests, mountains, rivers, and all things upon the earth were under the care of humans—that is, Adam and Eve—while Adam and Eve obeyed the archangel. The archangel therefore desired to surpass God’s authority and to betray God. After that, it led many angels in rebellion against God, which later became various sorts of unclean spirits. Has not humanity’s development to this day been caused by the archangel’s corruption? Humans are only the way they are today because the archangel betrayed God and corrupted humanity(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Should Know How the Whole of Humanity Has Developed to the Present Day). “First of all, people must understand where the pain of birth, old age, illness and death throughout their lives comes from and why man suffers these things. Did they exist when man was first created? Where did these pains come from? These pains came about after man was tempted by Satan and after man fell following Satan’s corruption. The pain of man’s flesh, the troubles, and emptiness, and all of the wretched things in the world of man—they all appeared after Satan corrupted man. After man was corrupted by Satan, Satan began to torment man, and so man fell ever further, his sickness became ever more profound, his pain ever greater, and he had an increasing sense that the world is empty and miserable, that it is impossible to survive in this world, and that living in this world is increasingly hopeless. So this pain was all brought upon man by Satan and the fall that resulted from Satan’s corruption of man(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Significance of God’s Tasting of Worldly Suffering). “All manner of disasters will befall, one after another; all nations and places will experience calamities: Plague, famine, flood, drought, and earthquakes are everywhere. These disasters are not just happening in one or two places, nor will they be over within a day or two; rather, instead they will expand across a greater and greater area, and become more and more severe. During this time, all manner of insect plagues will arise one after another, and the phenomenon of cannibalism will occur everywhere. This is My judgment upon all nations and peoples(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 65). They listened to these words and thought they were great. Some people said, “We’ve never heard such words before. They’re wonderful, very moving.” Some said, “Thank you so much for coming and sharing this gospel, allowing us to hear God’s voice.” And others said, “I hope you come again.” Those ten people accepted the gospel that day after listening. I told them that we’d come back that evening, and encouraged them to bring their friends and relatives, too. They brought over a dozen more people that evening. After those people listened to the sermon recordings and to God’s words, they all accepted the gospel and promised they’d come listen when they had time in the evenings. I felt so happy. From then on, we kept preaching during the day whenever we had time, and we would water them at night. After watering we would sneak back to our posts. After nearly a month of that, they were all very stable in their gatherings, and really engaged. They would also bring others to listen to sermons. More and more people accepted the gospel. Seeing this outcome made me really happy, and really moved me. My ability to preach the gospel at the front line and bring those civilians before God was all thanks to God’s guidance and I really felt at peace.

One evening, I went to the settlement to water some new believers. On the way back, I encountered a company commander patrolling with night vision equipment. He spotted me, and, thinking I was an enemy coming to ambush them, gathered several soldiers to capture me. Just as they were about to fire, I quickly called out. Brother Shawn recognized me, otherwise they would’ve opened fire. The next day, Brother Shawn said to me, “You were nearly shot last night. It’s a good thing I recognized your voice.” I was really moved when I heard that, and I said a prayer, thanking God for His protection. I thought of something in God’s words: “Man’s heart and spirit are held in the hand of God, everything of his life is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, whether living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear in accordance with God’s thoughts. Such is the way in which God presides over all things(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God Is the Source of Man’s Life). I saw that God rules over and controls everything. People’s hearts and spirits are in His hands. Whether it’s something living or dead, all things shift and change according to God’s thoughts. Whether we live or die is also ruled and arranged by God. Whether or not my fellow soldiers fired on me the night before had also been in God’s hands. Encountering Brother Shawn was also under God’s sovereignty. He just happened to recognize my voice, which is why they didn’t shoot. All of this was ordained by God. I was really grateful to God, and so moved. I could sense God’s love and protection for me, and I also saw how wondrous His deeds are. After that, those two brothers and I kept going to the settlement to spread the gospel. We had shared the gospel with fifty-seven people, all of whom had joined the church. I was really grateful for God’s guidance.

After a while, the gospel preaching had been pretty much completed in that area, and at this, I thought about where to go next. It turned out, that same day our unit was transferred to another settlement that had two villages in it. I was really happy to be able to keep preaching the gospel in a new area. It was also really dangerous in that settlement—enemy troops could come attack at any time. We discovered a landmine right after we arrived. I felt a little scared, afraid the enemy troops would pretend to be civilians and appear out of nowhere. If there weren’t many of us or we went out alone, unarmed, and we encountered them, they’d seize the chance to kill or capture us. But after my experience in the previous location, I’d seen God’s wondrous deeds, and I knew that preaching the gospel was my responsibility. No matter what happened, I needed to go along with it. At that thought, I didn’t feel so constrained anymore, and I kept on going out to share the gospel whenever I had time. When we went to the settlement, we brought guns, not daring to be careless. We started off sharing the gospel with the deputy village head along with his wife and mother, playing sermon recordings for them. Those recordings talked about how God created the heavens and earth and all things in the beginning, how mankind started becoming depraved, as well as the disasters and wars of the last days and how these are signs of the Lord’s coming. The Lord Jesus has already returned to the flesh to save mankind. He is Christ of the last days, Almighty God. He’s expressing the truth, doing the judgment work of the last days to purify and save humanity so we can escape evil and escape the disasters. We can gain God’s salvation and enter the kingdom of heaven only if we come before Almighty God. They listened to this testimony and all said it was wonderful. The deputy village head said, “Let me grab a notebook to write down what you just said so I can read more later.” I said, “Don’t worry about it, we’ll come back tomorrow. Can you invite some other people to listen too?” He responded, “What you’re saying is great, and it’s correct. I’m the deputy village head, so I should call the villagers to listen to it together.” The next day, he brought some other people to hear our sermon. Ultimately, 94 people from those two villages accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. I was really grateful to God for arranging for me to go there so I could share the gospel and fulfill my duty, which was God’s elevation. I felt so much gratitude to God!

Going through all that gave me personal experience that God rules over people’s fates, and that our lives and deaths are in His hands. It also gave me a more practical understanding of God’s almightiness and sovereignty. Before, when I hadn’t yet arrived at the front line, I knew being a soldier was dangerous, and I prayed and put my life and death in God’s hands. But until I really got there, I didn’t see how meager my faith in God was. Then every time I encountered a dangerous situation and I got scared and lacked faith, it was God’s words that sustained and guided me, giving me faith and strength. That’s the only reason I didn’t retreat and abandon my duty. I was really grateful to God for letting me have that kind of experience. Wherever I end up in the future, no matter how dangerous the place, spreading God’s gospel is my life’s mission. I need to have faith in God, give my heart over to Him, and do my duty as a created being. Thank Almighty God!

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