Persecution

Join a Global Prayer Movement

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Sunday, November 7, 2021 is the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians.

According to Open Doors, 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

More from Open Doors:

  • 309 Million: In the top 50 World Watch List countries alone, 309 million Christians in the world experience high levels of persecution and discrimination for their choice to follow Christ.
  • 1 in 8: Christians worldwide experience high levels of persecution
  • 4,761: Christians killed for faith-related reasons in the top 50 WWL countries.
  • 4,488: Christians detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned in the top 50 WWL countries.
  • 4,277: churches or Christian buildings attacked in the top 50 WWL countries.
  • 2.7 times: the amount the number of Christians killed has risen in sub-Saharan Africa, year over year.
  • 20:Consecutive years North Korea has ranked No. 1 as the world’s most dangerous place for Christians.
 
Every single day our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering around the world for following Jesus. Many will lose their lives. These are the heroes of the faith. We won’t see them on social media. They probably won’t write books. Yet they are warriors for God. These precious unsung Christians are my personal heroes. Their courage, faith, and love for Jesus is inspirational.
 
To suffer and even die for the name of Jesus Christ is an honor. Jesus himself suffered greatly in his short time on earth. We too will suffer for the cause of Christ. 
 
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats: do not be frightened. 1 Peter 3:14, NIV 
 
For those of us who live without this intense persecution we have an obligation to pray. To share the Gospel because we can, freely. To talk about Jesus, show His love to others, and be His hands and feet in this hurting world. 
 
Join me, and thousands of Christians around the globe, as we pray for the persecuted church this Sunday November 7th. It’s also encouraged to pray for the persecuted church the entire month of November. 
 
One of the most powerful things we can do is pray. 
 
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16b, NIV 
 
You can pray by country. You can pray for specific missionaries that you know of, or maybe missionaries that your church supports. Pray that our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ stay encouraged. Pray for their protection. Pray that the Gospel will be spread in these hostile countries. Pray that God is glorified. There are countless ways to pray for the persecuted church. Both The Voice of the Martyrs, and Open Doors have great resources of how to pray, and other ways you can help.
 
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galations 6:2, NIV 
 
 
Let’s lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ every day.
 
Love you all,
Meghan 
 
 

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV 

 
 
The Voice of the Martyrs global prayer guide.

https://www.persecution.com/globalprayerguide/?_source_code=WHPB20C

Open Doors

Ministry

The People We Meet Daily

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I waited in the tiny car rental office. It was time to return my first car rental after my accident, and get another one. As the woman behind the desk entered my information in the computer my mind drifted to all that was happening in my life. A totaled vehicle after a head on collision. My husband was in the hospital with acute kidney failure, and dangerously low hemoglobin (not related to my accident). Nonstop tests, and several blood transfusions, with so many unanswered questions. 

The kind clerk offered to give me a ride to the collision office on the other side of the car lot. I was grateful for her generosity since the car lot was quite large. In our short drive I shared with her a little of what I was going through. She was kind and empathetic and then began to tell me that her young husband had a recent cancer diagnosis. He was very scared.

In an instant I was reminded that I was not alone in my suffering. This sweet young woman was dealing with her own crisis, yet was completely gracious to me. I asked for her husband’s name, and told her that I would pray for them and their family. I made sure to write down both of their names when I got home so I would not forget to pray. 

I just came across the small card with their names and prayer requests. It was a reminder to say another prayer for them. I will never see her again but I will never forget our brief interaction. I don’t believe in coincidence. We were meant to cross paths, even if it was just for a moment. 

Every day there are opportunities to be a blessing to someone. It could be a neighbor, or a coworker, or a family member, or even a complete stranger. There are so many blessings in the everyday ordinary exchanges between humans. There are countless chances to do something seemingly insignificant, but with God involved it becomes extraordinary. 

So many times we are looking for the extra special. Those big moments to offer help in a grand gesture. Some of us will get those big moments to do big things for the Lord. But the small interactions can be sacred as well. It can be easy to overlook the simple moments that God gives us to make a difference. They are there each day, we just need to be available and aware.

That sweet woman at the car dealership blessed me greatly. By sharing her story she reminded me that people right in front of me are hurting too. Then it gave me the opportunity to show Jesus in a very simple way just by offering to pray. It helped take my eyes off of my own troubles and give me perspective. 

God wants to use us to further His Kingdom. We get the amazing privilege to be a small part of what He is doing. And it may be a million little things that make a difference for the Lord. It’s humbling and God gets all the glory. 

I pray today, and every day, you know how much you are loved by the Father and a blessing to those in your life, and those you come across just once. I’ve seen the statement, “You may be the only Bible someone reads”. Those daily small interactions are opportunities to plant seeds for the Kingdom. 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4, NIV 

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Marriage

26 Years and Counting

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Twenty-six years sure flies by fast. So many memories. So many adventures, trials, heartaches, joys, and triumphs. The part of the wedding vows where it says “in sickness and in health” is no joke. We were put to the test this past six months with Tom’s health. An emergency hospitalization involving kidney failure, blood transfusions, and far too many questions forced us to rely on our faith in God and each other.

Did we pass the test? Only God knows for sure. I can say in all honesty that God carried us through the trial. There were many downs, and some ups too, during months of tests, and surgeries and a whole lot of physical pain. We are still here by the grace of God. We still love each other. We still believe that with God all things really are possible.

Marriage is a journey. But you journey together. And if you add Jesus to the mix, you have a recipe for success. Not easy, but solid. Because Jesus Christ is the solid Rock. He is the foundation for our marriage. We are not perfect, we are normal people. It’s all Jesus. He gets the glory.

Happy anniversary to us. It hasn’t been all romance these many months. It’s been taking it one day at a time. One doctor’s appointment at a time. Being grateful for good health care, and excellent doctors. Being grateful for the amazing gift of life. Being grateful for today.

Here’s to twenty-six wonderful years with my sweet husband Tom. You have endured so much. What an incredible example you have been to our sons of perseverance, faith, endurance, and strength. You are my hero.

Love,

Meghan

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Persecution

How to Pray for Afghanistan

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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.

fear

Fear Not!

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I went to clean out the pool skimmer basket and jumped back. This terrifying looking snake was waiting for me. I quickly realized it was not alive. Phew. I was safe but still freaked out knowing a snake had been in our pool. The same pool we swim in freely. Now I was questioning if I should ever swim in the pool again.

There is an epidemic running rampant these days. No, it’s not that one. Fear is out of control. We are told in hundreds, if not thousands of ways, every single day to “be afraid”. Fear the virus, fear the new variants, fear getting the vaccine, fear not getting the vaccine, fear inflation, fear the potential food shortages, fear losing your livelihood if you disagree with someone, fear natural disasters, fear the rise in crime, fear the government, fear your neighbors, fear travel, fear pollution, fear standing up for your convictions.

These fears are based on potential outcomes that are legitimate. I call these, “What if’s”. It’s the worst case scenario that runs through our mind. It does not mean any of it will happen, but it could possibly happen, so we need to operate in fear, right? Wrong.

All of this fear comes from the enemy. The devil is real, and he loves to spread fear by lying. He’s very good at it. Jesus does not mince words when talking about the enemy.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44, NASB

As followers of Jesus we are to be wise and discerning. Don’t let fear motivate your decisions. Make decisions based on Godly wisdom and discernment. How do you do that?

Pray. Ask God for wisdom and clarity on those things which cause you fear. He will show you what is really going on. He will give you peace and comfort. He will also help you know how to respond.

Trust God fully. You can stand firmly on The Rock, even when you cannot see. He sees all. He knows all. He loves you.

Stay in The Word. God’s word is the truth. With the bombardment of lies we must go to the truth.

Worship. Turn up the worship music and turn off the news, social media, and all the other stuff that fills our minds. Praise God simply for who He is.

Fear is a spiritual battle so we must use our spiritual weapons.

When you feel afraid let that be a reminder to take your fear to Jesus. If you have to take your fear to Jesus a thousand times in one day then do it. He is always available and able to help you.

We are in a fearful time in history. There are plenty of very real things to be afraid of. As Christ followers we are not to live in fear. Sounds easy. It’s not always easy, but it is possible to stand our ground in faith without fear. You can guarantee the scary stuff will come. It’s our response to it that makes all the difference.

You belong to God.

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

Jesus intercedes for you.

Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Romans 8:34, NASB

Jesus is always with you.

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:20, NKJV

The Holy Spirit will help you.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. John 14:26, NASB

God will never forsake you.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5, NKJV

The Lord is your helper.

So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6, NKJV

Things are not always as they seem. Remember my creepy snake? It was actually just a baby snake. Discernment is essential when there is so much deception.

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Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

Praise Your holy name. Thank you for your faithfulness and goodness. I lift up every person who is gripped with fear. Give them peace, comfort, and wisdom. Help them to see with their spiritual eyes the truth of Your soverignty. May they experience Your incredible presence in new ways. Lift their heads and their eyes towards You. Give us all wisdom and discernment to know truth from lies. Let us hear Your voice above all the noise of this world. Shine Your light through us to a dark and hurting world.

In Jesus name,

Amen