Persecution

Pray for the Persecuted Church

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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.

Faith, grief, Trials, Uncategorized

I Hate Goodbyes

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The last day of 2019 was Mom’s last day on Earth. Even though we knew it was coming, it still really hurts. No matter what, you’re just not ready to say goodbye. I wasn’t, that’s for sure. Selfishly, I wanted more time. Come on Lord, give her a few more years. Then I don’t have to deal with that pain quite yet. Yet, here I am grieving. Not ready for it. Who is ever prepared to grieve?

I have peace. That’s the funny part. I have complete peace of where my mom is, heaven. Mom loved Jesus and knew Him as her Savior and Lord. She is not suffering anymore. That makes me so happy! Mom spent most of her life sick. She is now free of all pain and suffering. She wasn’t big on complaining, so most people would never know just how much illness and disease she dealt with. And, she always looked incredible, not like a sick person.

If I had my way, we would skip off to eternity together, holding hands. Young and old. No one would leave this earth until we all went home to Jesus, together. That’s not how it works. We were made for heaven. This is just the temporary part. We can easily lose sight of that and think that this life is it. When our loved ones die, it is a reminder that there’s more. We miss them, long to be where they are.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 

It’s bittersweet. Mom is gone, and I will always miss her terribly. But, she is rejoicing with Jesus, with a new disease free body. No pain. No sorrow. No sin. No evil. And Jesus is there, waiting for all of us who said yes to Him.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? John 14:2

So Mom, I love you and miss you, but I’m happy for you. The life you lived was filled with many struggles, but many triumphs as well. The glass was half full to you. There was always a fight in you. Resilience was your middle name. God knew you needed that quality, and it served you well. I hope I picked up a tiny bit of that fighting spirit.

When Mom was down to her final moments I asked her husband to hold the phone to her ear. I felt so strongly I needed to say goodbye. I can’t explain it, just a strong feeling that I needed to do this. I love you. I pray for peace. Goodbye Mom. She didn’t respond. No movement. Her eyes were shut. I believe she heard me. Minutes later she passed away.

We are now preparing for Mom’s memorial. Though difficult, it’s a blessing too. So many loved my mom. She touched many lives in her 76 years. Well done Mom. You did it. Now dance with Jesus.

I won’t say goodbye. See you soon Mom! I love you.

 

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The beginning for Mom and me. She was pregnant with me in this picture.

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This picture was taken at least 25 years ago and how I see her. Healthy and beautiful.

Dorothea Louise 

October 19, 1943 ~ December 31, 2019

Love you Mom ❤