What Lauren Said

10 05 2007

“But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: he one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”
(1 John 2:5,6)

The purpose and love of my life is Jesus Christ. I don’t have to argue rlauren-mccain.jpgeligion, philosophy, or historical evidence because I KNOW Him. He is just as real, if not more so, as my ‘earthly’ father.

–Lauren McCain, 20, on her MySpace website
(Lauren was one of 32 Virginia Tech students killed last month)


Hostage To Hate

23 01 2007

“For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps…”
(1 Peter 2:19-21)

People ask me what the hardest part was of being a hostage. The hardest part was that I saw what I was really like.

In the jungle I came face to face with the Gracia I didn’t want to see, a me that I didn’t want to believe existed. I saw a hateful Gracia. (There were days when I hated those Muslims for what they were doing to us, for what they were putting us through.) I saw a covetous Gracia. I saw a despairing Gracia. I saw a faithless Gracia. We may look together on the outside, and we mayburnhams.jpg have props that hold us up and keep life going well for us…but God sees our insides. He remembers that we are dust, and He’s on our side when we are weak and needy. God didn’t wait for me to get my act together in the jungle. Even when I complained to Him for allowing me to be there for so long, He started working in my heart.

Jesus said to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who despitefully use you. Maybe Muslims haven’t seen a lot of love from Christianity down through the ages, but it can start with us here today. We can hope against hope that God will use some of us to make a difference in the lives of some of these deceived, lost people.

–Gracia Burnham
(Gracia and her husband Martin were missionaries to the Philippines when they were taken hostage by a Muslim terrorist group in 2001. During a rescue attempt, her husband was killed in a firefight between Muslim extremists and Philippine troops)

Plea For A Brother

21 01 2007

“Remember the prisoners as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated since you yourselves also are in the body.”
(Hebrews 13:3)

Brother in Chains: Mua Say So
Location: Vietnammua-say-so.jpg
Arrested: April 2003
Days Imprisoned: 1387

In 2002, police and militia burst into Mua Say So’s home and beat and tortured his four married brothers in front of their families. His younger brother, Mua Bua Senh, died after he was beaten twice mercilessly. Seeking justice for his brother’s murder, So tried to petition the government. He photographed his brother lying in the coffin along with a sign that said, “Beaten to death because of following the gospel.” Because of this action, he was later arrested and charged with the murder. During his hearing in April 2003, Mua Say So was sentenced to three years in prison for murdering his brother and for falsely accusing the police. He lost his house, and his wife fled with their children to a safe area.

While in prison, he has been forced to break rocks for construction projects. He also has had to plant vegetables. The prisoners are given only two meals a day, consisting of two bowls of rice with vegetables and salt. Families that are able take food to the prisoners to supplement their diet and maintain their health.

Mua Say So is not allowed to pray over his food. The police told him if he would deny God, he would be released. He continues to stand firm in his faith, following Jesus.

–taken from Steve Camp blogsite, CampOnThis, Thursday, January 18, 2007

Heating Up (Part 2)

28 12 2006

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations for ever and ever. Amen.”
(Ephesians 3:20,21)

In India, an estimated 15,000 new believers are being baptized every week, 80 percent of whom are responding to Christ because of supernatural out-of-the-box encounters. In China, 25,000 are coming to Christ every day. Thirty-six percent of the population of the Commonwealth of Independent States (formerly the Soviet Union) are believers in Christ. In the great African continent, 20,000 are now coming to Christ every day. The evangelical church in Latin America is growing three times faster than the population. And more Muslims have come to Christ in the past decade than in the previous one thousand years.* Clearly, world evangelism is heating up.

And yet…

The church worldwide is facing increased persecution. In the 1980s, 270,000 died every year as Christian martyrs. It is currently estimated that as many as 500,000 people are martyred every year.** We can say that spiritual zeal is heating up.

Fred Hartley III
Prayer On Fire, p136

*David Bryant, The Hope At Hand, pp219-229
**“Martyrdom, The Most Potent Factor In World Evangelism“, Pulse Magazine, July 7, 1989, p5

Go Pick A Fight

20 10 2006

“Yea, and all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
(2 Timothy 3:12)

“If you don’t have wounds for Christ, how do you know you are alive in Christ? Wounds bring joy, because then you know you are making a difference.”

“Was Paul persecuted because he was a Christian? No, he was persecuted because he was a witnessing Christian. He went to the synagogues and preached there, and then he got into trouble. So find the source of resistance to the Gospel in your local area and when you apply the Gospel, watch the fight begin. Confront the defining evil in your area or your society – that will bring persecution. For us, the evil is obvious; for you, it may be more subtle.”

–Persecuted Chinese Believers in conversation with visiting American Pastors