Have you read the Spring 2015 issue of Girlz 4 Christ yet? If not, click here to get your free subscription! As this issue commemorates our fourth birthday as a magazine, we wanted to make sure we had a super-special cover feature. And we certainly found it!
In the pages of this issue you’ll meet Somchi and delve into her story of how she was persecuted in her country, simply due to the fact that she is a Christian.
Now It’s Your Turn:
After hearing Somchi’s story, it might be easy to think, “I’m thankful I don’t live in Laos or in a persecuted country like Somchi does.” It’s good to be grateful that we live in the United States, but more than that, stories like Somchi’s should cause us to look at our own lives and ask the hard questions: “What am I doing to reach out in a nation that is free? Have I counted the cost of following Christ no matter what happens, even if it causes offense, rejection or worse? How am I standing strong in my own faith?” If we hear a story and are encouraged, that’s good; if we are changed, that’s even better.
You may not have to worry about someone burning your Bible, but you are still faced with the same choice every day: Will you remain unshaken in your faith and follow Jesus regardless of the consequences? In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” This doesn’t apply only to those who live in Laos or North Korea or the Middle East. As believers, each one of us is called to take up our cross every day to follow Jesus. You can ask God what areas of your life He wants you to grow in by taking a stand for your faith.
What can I do to help persecuted Christians?
There are many stories like Somchi’s happening every day. You may have seen recent stories in the news about Iraqi Christians having to flee for their lives. The Voice of the Martyrs works in more than 60 hostile and restricted nations, serving persecuted Christians. Hebrews 13:3 tells us to remember those in prison and those who are suffering. Persecuted Christians are more than just a cause, they are your family — the global body of Christ. Here’s what you can do to get involved:
1. PRAY: Prayer might not seem like a big deal, but it might surprise you to find out that the first thing our persecuted family asks for is prayer. Often, there is only so much we can do in a physical sense, but prayer can change everything. It might also surprise you to know that persecuted believers don’t primarily ask for prayer for their safety; they ask for prayer to help them stand strong in their faith and for the lost to come to know Christ. You can visit www.icommitopray.com to see urgent prayer needs that are updated weekly and post your own prayers for persecuted believers.
2. TAKE A STAND: Another great way that you can get involved is to “Be A Voice.” Our persecuted family asks that we don’t forget about them. You can take a stand with your persecuted family by sharing their stories of what persecuted Christians go through in other countries. You can go to www.be-a-voice.netto sign up. You can also write letters to Christians who are imprisoned for their faith at www.prisoneralert.com. You can encourage them in their faith as well as write to government officials and request their release.
3. SERVE: Finally, our persecuted family have very practical needs that you can help with, such as medical expenses or the need for a safe house to hide in. You can also fill an Action Pack, which gives persecuted Christians basic things they need such as coats, shoes, blankets and hygiene products. You can go to www.persecution.com/actionpacksto find out how to send an Action Pack. The Voice of the Martyrs also strives to make sure any believer who is persecuted has a Bible. You can serve by giving a Bible to a Christian in a persecuted country at www.biblesunbound.com.
Thank you to Brooke Parks, the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator at Voice of the Martyrs, for sharing these tips on how we can help persecuted Christians. The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit interdenominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting persecuted Christians worldwide, both practically and spiritually.