In Laos, Steve Curtis was privileged to preach at an underground church. While there are “official” churches, which are recognized by the government, they tend toward a more “politically correct” gospel. In this communist nation, that translates to taking great care to not upset the status quo. As both Paul and Peter noted, however, Christ is a “rock of offense” to all who reject Him (Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:8). Elsewhere, in 1 Corinthians 1:23, Paul would go so far as to call the gospel scandalous (“stumbling block” in most translations is derived from the Greek skandalon, from which we also get "scandal"). Well, from the perspective of the Laotian government, there is no room for such a “scandal” as the truth of the gospel. Thus, those who refuse to compromise this truth are ridiculed, ostracized, and persecuted. That is why they gather, unofficially, in underground churches.
Steve was also able to have a strategy session with a key leader in the underground church movement in Laos. They discussed how the pastors of these underground churches are largely untrained, and how the ministry of Timothy Two Project International seemed to be a perfect fit. There will be obstacles to training pastors there, as such meetings are technically only allowed for the state-sanctioned churches. This means that we will need to be 'shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:16). Please pray for the Body of Christ in Laos and for our preparations for pastoral training there.