Pastor Braiden and his wife, Phebe, have been serving the Lord for more than 10 years in the same place. Ministry was difficult at first, but God was faithful. Within a short amount of time, two families joined the pastor and his wife for worship services. After a few more years, the congregation grew to 48 believers.
The blossoming church worshiped in the home of a believer. As they sang from their hearts toward heaven, neighbors—disturbed by the noise they were making—interrupted to chide and scold Pastor Braiden. Discouraged by the angry interlopers, he longed for a place where they could worship in peace.
Many Had Tried Before and Failed
Pastor Braiden and Phebe often prayed with their burgeoning congregation for a building where they could gather to worship the Lord. There was not a single worship place in their village. Many others had tried to build one in the past, but none had succeeded. Often, construction for worship buildings may be blocked by local officials who refuse to grant the necessary permits. Other times, unreasonable requests from community members stalled land purchases and construction. For whatever the reasons, a church building had never materialized in this village. It was a prayer of faith for Pastor Braiden and Phebe, and they believed God could do such a thing.
A church building represented so many possibilities for the believers. It would allow them to worship in peace and be a blessing to their neighbors. It would give them room to grow. It would provide them a space to do ministry such as literacy classes, youth gatherings and VBS. But more important, a place of worship would declare this is a God who stays; He is permanent; He is faithful; He provides.
The Lord Makes a Way
Then, one day, things began to move forward. One of the believers donated land on which to construct a church building. Now there were permits to acquire, materials to purchase and a construction crew to hire. As the group of believers prayed and trusted God, each piece fell into place. The construction started and then finished. Pastor Braiden and Phebe stood in awe of the Lord who made a way where there had only been obstacles before. A great celebration took place at the dedication of the new church building. Many distinguished guests attended the ceremony. After the dedication, the congregation and guests enjoyed a feast, their joy evident on their beaming faces.
“We have faced many problems and difficulties without a church building of our own,” shares a member of the congregation. “We, as believers, used to pray, and God answered our prayers. I thank God for providing us this beautiful church building.”