Last Full Day In-Country . . . Our Family

These believers, our fellow Christians here in this country that I cannot name--they are our family. They are being persecuted for their faith. Members of our family are going to prison, being beaten, being rejected by family and loved ones, and some have even been put to death, because of their faith. What are we going to do for our family?

The Bible says we are all one body because we worship one Lord. The believers here, they are our flesh and blood, they are our family. We cannot neglect the struggles and plight of our family here. What are we going to do for them?

First and foremost, we must commit to keep them in our prayers. We must pray for their protection, for their safety from persecution and the secret police. We must commit to pray that their lives and families would be blessed, that they would have everything they need to read their nation for Christ. We can also pray for this closed country, that the hearts and minds of the leaders will be opened so that the Gospel can freely be preached, and so that the church here no longer needs to worship the Lord in secret places and "safehouses." We should also pray for strength, that the Christians here would remain strong in their faith, in the midst of great persecution. Truly this is the lesson these believers teach the rest of us, how to be strong in our faith. This is how they are an example to me.

After having been here for this week, after having sat with them at meals, worshipped with them and prayed with them, I can no longer ignore their struggles. Another thing we can do is go. One day you can join me, to come back here and encourage the believers, and also boldly teach the word of God. Even for us foreigners, there are some risks in coming here, but it is nothing compared to the dangers these believers face every day. The rewards far outweigh the risks. You can be blessing, you can be an encouragement, you can go.

Another thing we can do is give. We can invest in God's kingdom here by giving to "workers" who come here and live and minister here. If you are blessed, you can be a blessing to our persecuted brothers and sisters. This is yet another very real way you can liberate this country with the power of the gospel.

It is my desire to come back here in February, and hopefully also in March. If God would open the door, then it will be my privilege to come back here and be blessed by these believers again. I can no longer say "I did not know" or "I had no idea." I have seen their faces, met their kids, worshipped with them and ministered along side them. I cannot ignore the plight of my family here any more.