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Thursday, February 28, 2008

True Followers

This has been an interesting week. We have been studying the persecuted church. We had 2 days of sessions on what God is doing in countries where following Jesus is hazardous to your health. The things that believers go through in some of those places is unbelievable.

In the US, we worship in freedom so it is hard for us to picture anything different. However, persecution is the norm for a large part of the world. I get a little irritated when I hear people in US churches talking about how hard it is to be a Christian, or how much persecution they experience at their job or school. In the states, it is illegal to do to people what is being done to believers around the world. In some countries, when a family member decides to follow Jesus his/her father (or another relative) is obligated to kill them. This usually occurs within the first 72 hours after their conversion. Others are tortured until they deny Jesus. Others have bones broken, houses burned, or property stolen. The locals will no longer sell them food in the markets.

My God is the God who brings life out of death and He is showing himself faithful among those under persecution. Church planting movements are springing up in some of the darkest places. Their church looks different than what we are used to and it has to. Many of them meet under the cover of darkness. Most of them meet in houses. They baptize new believers in bathtubs. In the midst of danger, they boldly tell people about Jesus Christ. That is very humbling to me.

This Sunday as we sit in our comfy chairs/pews let us remember our bruised and scarred brothers and sisters who are literally in dark, rat-infested, confinement cells singing heart-songs to Jesus.

1 comment:

MooreClan said...

I am beyond words, how terrible! Really makes our problems seem small! Love the updates!

music llamas listen to :)