I can remember stories of our missionaries (some whom I have known personally) who have run afoul of the authorities. Sometimes, it appears as if they might lose their visas and be deported. It’s not that unusual, after praying for these worker, to hear that things have settled down, the authorities have put some restrictions on them, and they think they can work with the situation. A reasonable conclusion? The Lord leaves them in place for, surely, the Lord has a people in that place, and he intends to bring them to himself.
When I read Revelation 7:9 (also, 5:9-10), I think about these sorts of situations: “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (7:9). From that tribe, from that people group, right there where these missionaries are working, God has people, and he will get them by the preaching of the gospel, and no governor or police official or any other authority or power will be able to stop God from gathering his people in. What an encouragement!
Who are these like stars appearing,
these before God’s throne who stand?
Each a golden crown is wearing;
who are all this glorious band?
Alleluia! Hark, they sing,
praising loud their heav’nly King.
These, like priests, have watched and waited,
Off’ring up to Christ their will;
soul and body consecrated,
day and night to serve him still:
now in God’s most holy place
blest they stand before his face. -- Heinrich Theobald Schenk (1719)