Persecution, Trials

The Hiding Place

img_2304

Do you have someone in your life who inspires you? Maybe you are inspired by someone you have never met. I am blessed with many incredible Christians who encourage me and spark my faith. But I also have some people I admire from afar, some who have long ago left the earth. One of these special people is Corrie ten Boom.

Years ago I read The Hiding Place. My mom read the book when I was a teenager so I decided to read it as well. I couldn’t put it down. Corrie’s family hid Jews and Dutch Resistance workers in their home during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The ten Boom’s had a long tradition of supporting, and regularly praying for the Jews. Exactly one hundred years before her family was arrested by the Gestapo, they began praying for the Jews.

The hiding place was created in Corrie’s bedroom. A brick wall was built creating a hidden room with a secret entrance through a linen closet. The refugees lived in the house but would quickly escape to the hiding place when alerted of a raid by the Gestapo through a bell system. It is estimated that the ten Boom’s helped at least 800 people during WWII. Impressive what ordinary people can do by trusting an extraordinary God.

Eventually the ten Boom’s were betrayed and arrested. Corrie’s sister Betsie, brother Willem, and nephew Kit all died in the concentration camps. Casper ten Boom, Corrie’s father, died after ten days of imprisonment. There are many miraculous stories that Corrie shares in The Hiding Place. If you have never read the book I don’t want to give away too much detail. I highly recommend reading this inspirational story.

After terrible suffering in prison and the concentration camps, watching her sister get sick and die in the camps, losing her father, brother, and nephew, Corrie still loved God. Her faith had been tested by fire and proved worth more than gold. After the war, God used Corrie greatly to spread the Gospel around the world.

God loves to use regular folks like Corrie ten Boom. She loved Jesus and lived a surrendered life to Him. Corrie was a real person, with real struggles. Bitterness had captured Corrie’s heart towards the guards at the concentration camp who had been so cruel to her sister and all the prisoners. God set her free through the power of forgiveness. He can set all of us free of whatever is holding us back if we allow Him to work in our lives.

This amazing woman of faith still inspires people today. Corrie helped me just a few months back. In March, during my husband’s hospitalization, I was struggling. Each evening I would collapse after spending hours in the hospital with Tom. We had no real answers and were told daily the severity of his condition. By the time I would lay down at night, I couldn’t fall asleep.

I would watch anything that was uplifting or encouraging to try and ease my mind. One night I was scrolling through Youtube when a Corrie ten Boom video showed up. That was odd because I hadn’t been searching her out, but God knew that’s what I needed. As soon as I heard her voice it immediately comforted me. I can’t tell you what her message was. I don’t even remember. Corrie encouraged me, and I could fall asleep.

“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” Betsie ten Boom said this to Corrie while in the concentration camp and Corrie quoted it the rest of her life.

The Lord is our hiding place. He will hide us when we need protection. He will surround us with His massive wings. He will hold us, comfort us, cover us, and care for us when we are struggling. God is the perfect loving Father. If you are hurting, don’t run from Him, run to Him.

You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 32:7, NIV

Corrie ten Boom overcame insurmountable suffering and pain because she relied on Jesus Christ. He used her mightily, and he wants to use you too, for the Kingdom.

If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, today would be a great day to change that. Jesus loves you and died for you. He is waiting for you to invite Him into your heart and life.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer send your requests to meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Persecution

How to Pray for Afghanistan

img_3262

My heart sank as I watched the tarmac filled with Afghan people wanting to leave. Some were desperate enough to cling to the massive C-17 in hopes of rescue. Like many of you, I wanted to do something but felt so helpless being so far away. One of the best things we can do is pray.

According to Open Doors, Afghanistan is the second most persecuted country for Christians. Open Doors is a non-denominational Christian ministry that supports the persecuted church around the world. They keep vital statistics on persecution.

Open Doors USA is dedicated to the radical idea that every Christian belongs to one Church and one Family

Another incredible ministry to the persecuted church is The Voice of the Martyrs. I love both of these amazing ministries because they are passionate about prayer, and helping the suffering church all over the world.

Every province in Afghanistan has Christians, according to The Voice of the Martyrs. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ. How can we help? We can pray.

The Voice of the Martyrs has put together a list of ways we can pray.

How to Pray for Afghanistan Today

  1. PRAY FOR GOD’S PROTECTION. The situation on the ground is fluid right now. Pray for God’s protection over His people.
  2. PRAY FOR WISDOM. Ask God to bless our brothers and sisters with discernment as they decide whether to stay or go and even with whom they should talk.
  3. PRAY FOR FELLOWSHIP. Believers in Afghanistan often must keep their faith a secret — even from family members. Pray that God will help each Afghan believer to connect and fellowship with at least one other believer in person, by phone or through some other technology. Pray that God will remind them that they are not alone, but are part of the global body of Christ.
  4. PRAY FOR SAFE PASSAGE. Pray that God will provide safe passage to those who feel led by God to leave Afghanistan and provide for their immediate needs in their new location.
  5. PRAY THAT MUSLIMS WILL MEET CHRIST. The Taliban claim to be “true Muslims,” strictly adhering to Sharia (Islamic law). As Muslims in Afghanistan see this cruel face of Islam, pray that they will be drawn to Jesus Christ, the shepherd Savior who doesn’t oppress but instead chose to lay down His life for His sheep.
  6. PRAY FOR CHRISTIANS TRYING TO HELP. For decades, VOM has provided help and encouragement to Christians in Afghanistan. Pray for the wisdom of front-line workers, and pray that God will open new pathways for them to continue their work under Taliban control. 

THANK YOU for standing with our Afghan brothers and sisters during this volatile time.

Love you all,

Meghan

Click on the above link that says “Home” to access Open Doors.

https://www.persecution.com

Click on the above link to access The Voice of the Martyrs.

Persecution

Day of the Christian Martyr

img_4632

June 29th is the anniversary of the Apostle Paul’s martyrdom according to church tradition. To remember the many who have lost their lives for the cause of Christ, Voice of the Martyrs honors a martyr each year by telling their incredible story.

Most of these martyrs will never get talked about on any news media. They aren’t Christian celebrities. Many are missionaries who have laid down their lives because of their love of Jesus.

This year Voice of the Martyrs is honoring Rocio Pino. In 2011 Rocio was gunned down by Marxist Guerrillas on the doorstep of her house. She left behind a husband and two daughters. Rocio’s family lived in Columbia’s Guerrilla controlled Red Zone. Rocio faithfully shared the love of Christ with the Guerrillas.

“All who come here will hear about Christ.” Rocio Pino

Learn more about Rocio’s story and many other honored martyrs at Voice of the Martyrs. Click on the link to register and Voice of the Martyrs will send you all kinds of resources including prayer slides, discussion guides, and short videos all related to Day of the Christian Martyr. https://www.persecution.com/martyr/?_source_code=EM21F8

Around the world, more than 340 million Christians live in places where they experience high levels of persecution, just for following Jesus. That’s 1 in 8 believers, worldwide. (Open Doors USA)

An average of 13 Christians killed every day. That’s nearly 400 Christians dying every month. Just because they follow Jesus. (Open Doors USA)

May we always remember the persecuted church, our brothers and sisters in Christ, in our daily prayers.

Today we honor the martyrs. We are grateful and inspired by their faith, dedication, and love for Jesus and others. God bless their legacy and the families they left behind. God will keep blessing the advancement of the Kingdom until the return of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Love you all,

Meghan

Link to Open Doors USA. They support persecuted believers in more than 60 countries.

Link to Voice of the Martyrs. They serve persecuted Christians around the world.

https://www.persecution.com

Persecution

Pray for the Persecuted Church

img_4152

Who is your family? Your husband, or wife, kids, and grandkids probably come to mind right away. Then there are parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters. You may have a really large family or a very small one. If you are a Christian you are part of an enormous family. You have brothers and sisters all over the world. Isn’t that amazing!

When a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, they become a child of God.

For you are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galations 3:26, NASB

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. John 1:12, NASB

As Christians we are brothers and sisters in the same family, with the same Father. Our family is huge. There are over 2.38 billion Christians in the world.1 Christianity is the world’s largest religion. With that large number of Christians also comes a large amount of persecution.

Around the world, more than 340 million Christians live in places where they experience high levels of persecution, just for following Jesus. That’s 1 in 8 believers, worldwide.2

Every day, 13 Christians worldwide are killed because of their faith.

Every day, 12 churches or Christian buildings are attacked.3

In just the last year*, there have been:

  • Over 340 million Christians living in places where they experience high levels of persecution and discrimination
  • 4,761 Christians killed for their faith
  • 4,488 churches and other Christian buildings attacked
  • 4,277 believers detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned

* 2021 World Watch List reporting period4

  • 322 Christians are killed for their faith every month (Open Doors).
  • 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed every month (Open Doors).
  • 772 forms of violence (beatings, kidnappings, rape, arrest, etc.) are committed against Christians every month (Open Doors).5

Around the world every single day millions of our brothers and sisters in Christ experience terrible persecution for following Jesus. Reading these statistics can make one feel helpless. What can we do to help our brothers and sisters in Christ? There are many things we can do to help, but the most powerful thing we can do is pray.

The book of Acts has a miraculous story of the church praying and a prisoner being set free. Peter was imprisoned for his faith by King Herod. James had already been killed and it looked like Peter was next.

So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made to God intensely by the church. Acts 12:5, NASB

Peter was asleep in his cell between two soldiers. He was bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the door. (Acts 12:6) Peter wasn’t going anywhere. But God had a plan.

And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near Peter, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. Acts 12:7, NASB

God heard the passionate prayers of the church for Peter, and He answered their pleas. Peter walked out of that prison. It was a miracle. Read then entire incredible story in Acts 12:1-19.

We must pray for the persecuted church. Our brothers and sisters need us. As I sit comfortably in my living room, in America, I am blessed. I am free to worship, and pray, and read my Bible, and practice my religion without fear of imprisonment. Though its getting uglier here for Christians, we still have it quite easy. I expect persecution to come with intensity to America too, eventually. But today, I am free. So I will do what I can to support my family around the world who are losing everything because of Jesus.

I love my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.

I love you all too.

Meghan

Father God,

Thank you for your amazing love and care for your children. I lift up all my brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe who are suffering because of their faith in Jesus. Bring comfort and protection to each of them and their families. Strengthen their faith and may many come to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus as their Savior because of their suffering. You waste nothing. Use every ounce of suffering for their good and the good of the Body of Christ. Bring relief and lift their burdens. Open doors around the world for the good news of Jesus to be spread. Protect these precious siblings in the family who are willing to give up everything for Jesus. Great are their Heavenly rewards.

Amen

Here are two Christian organizations that help the persecuted church. They have prayer guides, newsletters, and practical ways to get involved.

The Voice of the Martyrs https://www.persecution.com

Open Doors

  1. https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/religion-by-country
  2. https://www.opendoorsusa.org/2021-world-watch-list-report/
  3. https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/january/christian-persecution-2021-countries-open-doors-watch-list.html
  4. https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/
  5. http://theestherproject.com/statistics/

Photo by Aslak Sonderland at Pexels.