Imagine for a moment, of being kicked out of a home. Imagine then being refused a job because of a belief. Imagine turning your back on a culture, your family, your community all because of a belief. Much like those that choose martyrdom before them, the persecuted we minister with on a daily basis are living the life that you read about in the scriptures and heard about in Sunday school.
In most nations, we never hear about this life. We never know the extent of the persecutions, the executions, the beatings, the starvation, the alienation that these people choose. You see, they have chosen Christ, and put their faith in the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Peter and of Paul and they cling to the same faith that you and I cling to. The only difference is that their faith has been challenged and they have passed through many fires and tribulations.
They come to us with nothing: literally nothing. They come alone or sometimes they get to bring their children with them. Alone, but not forgotten by God. We try to provide them with a place to stay. Give them food, a cup of water, clothes and try to meet their very basic needs. We help them to find a community, a church, which they can grow in. We help them establish businesses and put their talents to work to be able to provide for themselves, their family, and for those that will come after them that need help.
As we read in Acts, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together…” The persecuted know best why this is important because they have lived it.
Every dollar, every prayer, every way you can help them is appreciated. Remember the words of the Apostle James, “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself…
This is Love lived out. As the beloved Apostle John wrote: “whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” May that never be said of Christians living today.