Saul hated Christians. He did all he could to hurt the cause of Christ when he launched his intense persecution of the early followers of Jesus. But when they fled Jerusalem to escape persecution, they proclaimed the gospel everywhere they went (Acts 8:4). This caused the church to grow more rapidly—just the opposite of what Saul intended.

Joseph Stalin didn’t plan to assist the church in Russia during his purge of political and religious dissidents. But he did help it when he sent some pastors and Christian leaders to the labor camps of Siberia. From Magadan, where they got off the ships, the prisoners were sent in work gangs to forests and mines and remote areas to clear land, dig out vital ore, and cut roads through remote areas. It was grueling work that many did not survive.

But those believers were not silent. They banded together, and as they were sent from place to place they witnessed and taught, leaving behind clusters of believers. In many communities of Eastern Siberia, strong churches still stand and groups of Christians witness to the faith and courage of those dedicated servants.

If God has sent you to a new job, neighborhood, or environment, ask yourself, “To whom can I witness here?”