Working in the waiting
Since the Algerian authorities closed several churches in October 2019, Algerian Christians have been longing to meet together again. In this reflection, Algerian SAT-7 producer Salah Kessai shares his challenge to the Church – to pray for change, whilst actively working to bring God’s kingdom here and now:
In Algeria, Christians eagerly wait for Christmas to come. We wait for joyous worship services, time to gather with family and friends, presents to open, and the celebration of the hope we have in Christ.
But since our churches were closed by the authorities in 2019, we won’t be able to celebrate Christmas together for the third year running. The churches are doing their best to take care of their sheep in an impossible situation and are waiting for heavenly intervention. In the midst of these hardships, we continue to meet together on Zoom, and film and broadcast church services on SAT-7.
As we look at the injustices suffered by our Algerian brothers and sisters, we must ask ourselves – do we have the courage to hope? Do we have the stubborn willingness to keep showing up and watching, even in the midst of the darkness, for a new dawn? Do we have the paradoxical capacity to wait on God to shift the things beyond our control, whilst also working to bring change ourselves?
We believe in a mighty God – nothing is impossible with Him. I join with many Algerian pastors in proclaiming that the best is yet to come. Today as a church, as a tiny minority in Algeria, we should be ready, waiting, watching for our Lord who promised to be with us.
Our prayer this Advent season is that we will live as if the One who shines a light into our despair is really on His way. And that until He comes, we will wait and work with openness, courage and hope.
- Pray that Algerian churches will be permanently re-opened.
- Pray for Salah and his wife Samia, as they produce SAT-7 TV programmes that equip and encourage the Algerian Church through these difficult times.
"But if we hope for what we do not yet have,
we wait for it patiently.”