“I tremble because of the sufferings of those persecuted in different lands. I tremble thinking about the eternal destiny of their torturers. I tremble for Western Christians who don’t help their persecuted brethren. In the depth of my heart, I would like to keep the beauty of my own vineyard and not be involved in such a huge fight. I would like so much to be somewhere in quietness and rest. But it is not possible… The quietness and rest for which I long would be an escape from reality and dangerous for my soul… The West sleeps and must be awakened to see the plight of the captive nations.” Richard Wurmbrand
Last night I struggled to sleep. I was haunted by stories from videos, blogs, and articles I have been reading about our persecuted brothers and sisters. I was not haunted in a terrified emotional sense of fear; I was haunted in a complete, body crushing, emotional pain. I trembled in sadness and was agonized over the reality that so many people live in every day.
After an emotionally draining prayer with God I checked my email. I frequently get prayer updates for Christians around the world. In this email I learned about three Christians:
Khan: Khan just recently got married without any of his family’s support. His Muslim family learned he was marrying a Christian woman- he was promptly kicked out of the house after refusing to convert back to Islam. In his culture it is customary for a bride and groom to live with the groom’s family. Now he found himself with no money and shelter to love in. This is where the story ends. We don’t know the ending- this is his current state.
Pastor Gwamma: He was recently killed by Boko Haram insurgents in September as he returned from a church program in Shaffa, Borno state. Him as well as 18 others were killed in an attack in which insurgents targeted and burned homes down. He leaves behind his wife and their four children.
Eman Morco Saroufim: She is a 39 year old mother of five children. She was kidnapped from her village in Menia, Egypt back in September by an armed Muslim man. She escaped her captors and has publically stated she will never convert to Islam. Her abductor has threatened to kidnap all her children if she does not return to him.
Something that has been causing me great distress this past year has been how, in America, we largely ignore the majority of the Church. We turn a blind eye to the pain that so many people are going through right this very moment. The pain so many Christian’s go through around the world is deeply distressing, and yet ignored. There are much more costly stories than those from above. Stories of families whose children were slain in front of them, stories of spouses being separated for decades from ones that they love-so many stories.
We ignore them.
After all, in America we have so many problems of our own to conquer. We have to pay our bills. We have to worry about buying McDonald’s to give us a chance to get Boardwalk. We have to stress over the fact that we may not be able to buy pop this grocery stop because money is tight. Mostly meaningless problems.
We ignore them.
We may get emotional hearing some of their stories, but often by the time dinner comes around we have forgotten that emotional response and moved on to Sunday Night Football.
We ignore them.
1 Corinthians 12:24-26
But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Surely you know God doesn’t want you to ignore our brothers and sisters. So what should you do? Should you give money? Probably. Should you go there and serve with them? Maybe. Should you be praying? Definitely.
One thing you should not be doing is nothing. Here is what I would like to suggest. Start praying daily for these brothers and sisters overseas. Daily. Pray for them, and pray to God asking discernment, guidance, and wisdom for what He wants you to do.
I would highly suggest signing up for Open Door’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on November 1st, and 2nd. This is a free simulcast and will educate, inspire, and guide you in how to pray for our brothers and sisters. Check it out from the link below: