When I began this journey of being a voice for the persecuted, I thought that the persecuted church needs us… and they do. But I didn’t realize how much we need them.
The more I learn about our brothers and sisters who live in the fire of persecution, the more convicted I am by their faith and their love … even for those who are persecuting them. We can learn from them about what it means to take up our cross and follow Jesus. For example…
We learn how to forgive as Jesus does through a young Iraqi girl named Myriam who, while living with her family in a refugee camp, forgives the members of ISIS who destroyed her home and uprooted her family.
And we learn how to deny ourselves, in the face of inevitable pain, to follow Jesus through our sister Leah, who exemplifies “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” She refused to bow down to Boko Haram and deny Jesus as her Lord, knowing it would mean surrendering the life she knew.
Persecution is their reality, and they choose to follow Jesus anyway. That friends, is sacrifice. And that selflessness is what Jesus desires of all of us. To have a love so deep for our Savior and fellow brother and sister, that we are willing to lay down our priorities, money, dreams, interests…even our lives for them.
The first century Christians of the Bible got this. And today’s persecuted get it too. They consider it an honor to suffer for Christ. Something we in the comfort of our Western religious freedom struggle to comprehend.
I challenge you to stand with our persecuted brothers and sisters. Get uncomfortable. Learn about their needs and circumstances…know their names.
Keep up with them by going to Lumenlife.org for the latest global Christian persecution news.
Our persecuted brothers and sisters need us. And we need them.
Grace and peace,