Colossians 4:3a: And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message

I’ve been quiet, at least on here, for the past few weeks. This is partly because I’ve been busy and partly because for one of those weeks I was traveling – half vacation and half work. I read this verse this morning and as I walked to work under light snowfall, thought about all the doors God has opened over the past few weeks.

Every six months or so our office sends a team to a different European foreign ministry. This is done in anticipation of a rotating European Union presidency (which may or may not be defunct in the near future… no one seems to know). This time it was Budapest and my colleague and I set off for a morning of meetings to explain the work of our organisation and some of our key concerns around the world. It’s always hard to tell with these kinds of meetings, as you’re meeting with diplomats whose job it is to be…well…diplomatic. But they gave us a great deal of time, had some good questions and seemed genuinely interested in our work – particularly, because of Hungary’s own recent history, in communist countries like Vietnam and China.

After Budapest I went to Austria, where I visited relatives and had a short, very cold, break. It was my vacation, but God manages to open work doors even when we are on holiday! My grandfather’s cousin’s husband, who used to be a member of the Austrian parliament, decided to take me as his guest to a “Friends of Korea” night put on by some of his parliamentary friends. It was most definitely a once in a lifetime experience as Koreans and Austrians gave long, untranslated (for me) speeches while we ate traditional Austrian “heuriger” food. The proverbial door opened, however, when I was introduced to the South Korean Ambassador to Austria. He was very interested in the work of my organisation, particularly when he learned we had brought a group of North Korean defectors to the European Parliament last year to give testimony on the horrific human rights situation in that country. He gave me his contact details and asked us to consider bringing defectors to Austria to also help raise awareness there, and added that he would do all he could to help us if we did so. So that was an incredibly random door opening in an incredibly bizarre setting – but I think God knows I find things like that funny and likes to make me laugh.

The last door was this past week and I’m not sure it’s wise to say exactly who it was, but suffice it to say it was with a member of the cabinet of a major world leader. The person we met with was very interested in our work, told us the leader himself was a Christian, and while he was not able to make independent public statements, he did regularly have meetings with ambassadors from countries all over the world. The cabinet member asked us to regularly send him briefings and cases so that he could make sure that the issues were included in these face to face, high level meetings! That was an open door right to the top.

While I know that Paul was talking about the message of the Gospel in his letter to the Colossians, I think it’s good and right to pray for God to open doors to us in all senses. He may open a door for us to help a person in need, or a door to expand and deepen our understanding through education, he may open a door to us to simply, as Paul says, to share the Good News. Over these past few weeks though, I’ve walked through literal doors that took me into places I never expected to be. More importantly, those literal doors opened the way to relational doors that hopefully will stay open in order for us to be a voice for the Persecuted Church at some of the highest levels of political power.

Praise God for these opened doors and pray that we are good stewards of these opportunities He gives us.

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