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Posts Tagged ‘Voice of The Martyrs’

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:17

I started a new class today. I’m in between classes right now as I pursue my level two certification with CCEF. I have decided to start these courses with Voice of the Martyrs. I have been reading VOTM publications and what is going on in persecuted countries for years. Just reading about people who suffer for their faith encourages me and my own battle with persecution. My first class is an introduction to Persecution and it basically gives an overview of where persecution is going on in the world today. My hope is to grow more in my faith and in the understanding of how Christ suffered for us.

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love

Love Cost Everything

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Shimelis came to Christ in Ethiopia in 1984. But during that time, Christians were persecuted as the government tried to ‘destroy’ Christianity. He had to hide to worship and read his Bible and ended up joining an underground church. In 1990, he was caught worshipping and sent to prison where he was beaten. He was held in a 6′ x 6′ room with 15 other people. Lice, worms and flies entered their bodies as they had to lay on each other to sleep. They bore many scars from being persecuted and some of them even died (story at World Vision ACT:S).

I read this and I can be honest in saying that I have taken owning a Bible for granted. I have forgotten to bring it to church many times and I’ve even gone days without reading it. This frustrates me about myself. I want to be more understanding of what people like Shimelis go through. I want that same type of faith that he has and stand up for the gospel when facing persecution.

As the body of Christ, we need to unite and stand up for those that are being persecuted for their faith. We need to be a voice for our fellow Christians in the world who don’t have one and fight for injustice. Those that don’t know Christ are watching us Christians and how we live out our faith. Our boldness in Christ is what draws people to Him – not our flashy comfortable lifestyles. God will use someone like Shimelis to advance the gospel because of his willingness to stand up for Christ and live out the gospel.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.     James 1:2-4 (NIV)

Even in tough times God provides comfort. Sometimes he provides it in small ways – like a verse or the presence of a friend. According to scripture, He provides all we need to get through life. I love how God uses little things to speak to me and to slow down my day.  It’s how He reminds me that He is here for me and that He wants to comfort me. God also wants us to be joyous in our trials because he uses them to mold us into the person He wants us to be. We need to trust Him and endure what we are going through so we become mature and complete.

I had to take pictures in my class this week for a particular poem I enjoy. I chose one by C.S. Lewis because he writes about going through trials and how He became a better man from going through them. I love the last line in the poem.

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains You give me are more precious than all other gains. “As the Ruins Fall” – C.S. Lewis

For more information about persecuted Christians and how you can be a voice, check out Voice of the Martyrs.

Blood:Water mission

Blood:water is sweetening the pot on the beverage fast with a contest to get more people on board. I’m actually doing well going without my coffee every morning. God has really been speaking to me during this time of lent. Continue to follow my campaign and please pray about giving to this cause.

TOMS 

I love TOMS Shoes. They had a “One Day Without Shoes” day on April 5. I love causes like this. Check out this video about it.

Streetlight 

During my Pathways class this week, Pat McCalla was our guest speaker. Pat works for Streetlight – an organization that takes in victims from the sex slavery here in Phoenix and helps rehabilitate them. Here is a link to a news story talking about what is going on Streetlight. Fox10 news.

April 7 was World Health Day. Here are some facts on global health.

• Malnutrition contributes to more than half of all child deaths. (Source: World Health Organization)

• Every year, 8.1 million children die of poor health. That is …
22,191 per day,
924 per hour,
15 per minute,
1 child dies every 4 seconds.

• 195 million children are stunted due to hunger (1 in 3 children in developing countries).(Source: UNICEF, “Tracking Progress on Child and Maternal Nutrition,” November 2009)

• In the time it takes you to brush your teeth in the morning (average of 45 seconds), another child dies of malaria in Africa.(Source: World Health Organization)

• Each year, 272 million school days are lost for children due to diarrhea. (Source: UNICEF)

• 193 million children are malnourished with impaired cognitive growth by the time they reach primary school age. That’s more than three times the state population of California. (Source: UNESCO, “Education: roads closed,” 2008)

• An estimated one in three school-aged children in the developing world are infested with intestinal worms. (Source: UNICEF)

• 14.8 million iPads have been sold to date. That’s also the number of children who die of AIDS each year in sub-Saharan Africa. (Fact source: UNAIDS, 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic)

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