Are you going through some personal challenges (e.g. social issues) right now? Just remember, you are not alone and please remember others in other parts of the world facing similar or even tougher challenges. Today (Thursday, November 15th of 2007) I (Sal)decided to add more to this topic on "Praying for the Persecuted Church" (November-Month for this type of dedication worldwide. Recently in my local church (Morris, Minnesota), I taught on this topic to our "Sunday School" children. I was going to becareful of this graphic-sensitive issue and was suprised to hear the knowledge of these children. They ended up sharing the graphic description of how Christians are getting killed around the world. I felt like I was "preaching to the choir" (they didn't have to hear this message as they already knew it). What about you? Did you know? I didn't know much about this topic until I met a friend (Poniman from Indonesia-see down below in the very bottom of this site) in college during my sophomore year (1996-1997). I feel it's important to learn this increasing global issue because we ("Americans") are not too far from this being done (e.g. look what happend in Germany before WWII) in our very own backyards.
What is it like being persecuted for being a Christian?
When we become Christians (e.g. Salvation Prayer), we don't fully understand what we got ourself into-we will suffer and get persecuted as followers of Jesus! We "Americans" living in the U.S. can't really understand until we face (e.g. we face some here-e.g. teasing or even physical too-see Pro-Life Demonstration) it by living in other countries as missionaries.
The only type of persecution I face is just verbal abuse, like....
Most of these words don't sound hurting, but the tone of voice and context of the way people-especially close ones say it. However, as I've grown in my walk with Christ, God has abled me to endure any negative words people say to me.
Growing-up back in St. Paul, my self-esteem was very low. I got hurt by many words people used to hurt me through racism, physical appearance, or even criticism. Over time as I grown Christ-esteem, I don't let words effect me because of my constant daily devotional of reading His Word. His Word is over whatever people say to me, which determines my identity in Christ!
Physical abuse is another story on persecution as a follower of Jesus. My knowledge of Christians being persecuted didn't start until I became a Christian (see personal testimony) at UMM in 1995. In fact, one of the people that showed met the "Way" was an Indonesian. He would share some resources-sometimes graphic-of the persecution going on in his homeland.
Another was a periodic guest from Kenya, who spoke at my local church and UMM's IVCF one year. He showed his scars in his stomach and leg when he was tortured alive with a machette, thank God his life was spared!
Since then, I've been in constant awareness through media and collection article on this "Christian Life" to help me not forget my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith. In fact, God reminds me to continue to pray for the "persecuted church" through various ways:
-articles on websites or any media (like down below)
-music (local church's punk rock band-Children 18:3
One time I had this dream, where I saw a group of Koreans getting tortured in some den or dark room. It was soo..vivid, which I started to go on my knees and pray
Currently, it's November 3rd 2003, which I decided to write this because of this being the month of persecution awareness. This is to encourage believers that read this-to thank God for your current circumstance (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) no matter how severe it is. There is always someone out there who is going through a worse or even more severe situation.
*Below in an excerpt of an article I've kept over the years in my disk on "persecution":
"STANDING IN THE GAP" (part of an article-down below)
"Only one power can redeem the course of events, and that is the power of God's people being involved as His instruments on this earth. Believers need to 'stand in the gap' for the persecuted, as well as for the persecutors."
"For every Peter and Paul of the first century, there are millions of Christians facing persecution today," said Madison. "And the best way to stand up for these brothers and sisters in faith is to learn about their plight.
"Without question, sensitizing ourselves to the reality of persecution is the first step toward doing something about it."
"WAYS TO GET INVOLVED"
Madison said that there are many things that American Christians can do to get involved in helping the Suffering Church.
"The first priority is to educate yourself on this urgent issue and then spread the news to others," he said. "It is vital that we know the facts so that we can pray intelligently for those who suffer because of their faith, as well as for those who cause the suffering."
Madison also suggested people could organize efforts in their church or small group. "We can also encourage prisoners and workers on the frontline and become an advocate."
He suggested that concerned Christians can write letters to the editor of their local newspaper or email their congressman and point out the plight of persecuted Christians around the world. The website gives specific instructions for undertaking these advocacy efforts.
Madison also suggested that believers use the site to learn how they can "go to the frontline of faith yourself and be a Bible courier or minister first hand on a short-term mission trip."
The site, which can be found at www.opendoorsusa.org also posts a daily devotional inspired by those who have suffered for their faith, plus breaking news stories and prayer requests.
Madison went on to say that Christians in the United States can help by giving financially to strengthen the Body of Christ and they can make a secure online donation through the new website.
*Note: Thu, 03 Feb 00 04:31AM MST From: Assistcomm@cs.com To: "Assist1"
Why Does God Allow Suffering?
A friend of mine just asked this deep life popular question the other day that I've heard many times, so I decided to expand more on this topic. Before I came to a personal relationship with God, I didn't know how to handle me stress, pain, or suffering I went through in a day to day basis. I've now learned how to lay all my burdens (worries, struggles, sins, etc..) on the cross mentioned in Matthew 10. I have completely no control over the situations, challenges, or circumstances in life. Also, some/many of them could've been prevented if I made the right or better choice. Now, I have to suffer the consequences of my own actions. What has helped me is reading other people's stories (e.g. current news Hurricane Katrina) of how they overcome their trials in life. Instead of focussing too much on your own situation, look at others or look up to the One that is in control-Jesus!
What would you do?
"This is a powerful video and I really hope you take the watch and consider what is presented. As a christian, have you ever wondered what you would do if you were had to answer the ultimate question?"
"Are you ready to die for your Faith?"
"Are you really a christian. ref. Matthew 7:13-27"
Hear the Warning
"Take a Journey in History.Travel through Egypt, Roman Empire,The Inquisition,British Empire and Nazism.See how these people persecuted the Jews and what God did to them!"
Persecution Now 1
"A Weekly series on persecution around the world"
-Intercessory: Spiritual Warfare (the "battle belongs to the Lord")
All my fellow brethrens in Christ, who has, is, and will be persecuted for their faith. In particular for Burhams, who were missionaries to my parents' homeland-Philippines. On Saturday, July 30th of 2005, I had the privilege to hear Gracia... (wife of deceased missionary that was killed in 2002) speak in person at Bethlehem's Baptist Chruch (north campus)- (spearheaded by Voice of the Martyrs)in Mounds View, MN.
I just wanted to say thank you (salmat po-Filipino) for the work you and your husband did in the Philippines. I was praying for you two when my sister, mom, and I were visiting relatives in October 2001 (post 9/11). I was following your story when I went back to the U.S. and it was very uplifting to hear you share in person at the Enduring Faith Conference (V.O.M.) in Minnesota on 7/30/05. My sister and I appreciated your shares as second generation Filipino Americans. Keep enduring in your faith as you help bring ours' and others' faith to another level!
Salamat po in Christ,
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