I’m not sure how much you know about the plight of Christians around the world. If you’re the typical American, it’s probably not much. After all, we’ve lived pretty sheltered lives here in the States. And it’s easy to get caught up in the here and now. Unless we are looking for something else, we only see what is happening around us. I don’t fault you for that. I’m often the same way. And I spent two years of my life working at a missions organization.
There are so many things I could have written today. My journals are littered with scattered thoughts of a hundred blog posts. I could have picked any one of them. But yesterday I learned that Christians in Nigeria are being murdered for their faith. Today I read that Egypt’s new president is pushing Shari’a law. And now, I can’t focus on anything other than my brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering in the midst of these circumstances… and other circumstances that have yet to reach my ears.
These people aren’t just an idea to me. Not a general, “Someone around the world is suffering.” They have names and faces. I’ve met them. Carried on conversations with them long into the night. And though they live in different countries and speak different languages and lead different lives, they are no different than you and me. Some of these people suffering are my friends. And even if they weren’t, they are fellow Christians. My brothers and sisters in the family of God.
It is my job, my honor, my pleasure to stand with them. To hurt because they hurt and to fear because they fear. But also to hope when they find it hard to hope and to pray with their same desperate cries as if I were suffering alongside them. Because I am suffering alongside them. And if you had the privilege of calling these precious people your friends, you’d be suffering too.
And I don’t usually do this, but since it is the singular cry of my heart this morning, I’m going to ask you to take a moment and pray. Pray for Egypt. Pray for Nigeria. Pray for every country in which someone is being persecuted today. Stand with your brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering for the sake of the Gospel. Cry their tears, taste their fears, and join your voices with theirs in a glorious song of hope and deliverance.
“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” ~Hebrews 13:3