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Encouragement in the Midst of Suffering

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(Voice of the Persecuted) What does it mean to tell a 15 year old Nigerian girl that she is a slave for life. Particularly when she sees or hears that another young woman has been executed.

We were deeply saddened to hear the Boko Haram had executed Hauwa Limon.  She was a 24 year old midwife who worked for the International Red Cross.  Hauwa wanted to help displaced mothers deliver their babies. She was a Muslim yet executed by the Islamic militant group, Boko Haram. Their defense for executing her, she became an apostate when she went to work for the Red Cross. The first local chapter of the Red Cross was established in 1881 at the English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Dansville in New York.

How can our hearts not be saddened over this senseless killing. One can only hope that in her final moments she cried out to the Lord Jesus for salvation as the thief on the cross did. Let us pray comfort for her family. That they too would experience the peace of Christ.  Let us also pray that the Boko Haram will have an experience with Jesus. That they would be brought out of darkness Into the light of Christ.

But what of Leah Sharibu? Being told that she will never be released and a slave nor allowed to achieve her dreams and aspirations. As we try to wrap our mind around this, we are hard pressed to imagine what is going through this young woman’s mind.  One does not want to conceive  the violations that may be inflicted upon this precious daughter of Christ.  Believing it more merciful, many girls in her situation hope for martyrdom than enduring atrocities as a slave for Islamists. At least they would be absent from the body and at home in the arms of Jesus.

But perhaps God is sparing Leah to be a witness to her captors. I would certainly agree with this as we cry out for the salvation of unbelievers. But in the sadness of my heart I found this to be small consolation. Yes. God has used those who have suffered many years in prison such as Richard Wurmbrand and Watchman Nee to reach their captors for Christ. We certainly see that in the writings of our brother, the Apostle Paul.

As I walked to the park, yesterday, lamenting this before the Lord. The Holy Spirit reminded me of these verses out of 2nd Corinthians 4:16-18,

Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

As I meditated on these verses I felt an encouragement in continuing to pray for those, such as Leah, who suffer for months, even years in captivity.  That each day of their temporal sufferings will bring more eternal glory for them in the presence of Christ.  For this temporal realm is not their home.  What awaits our persecuted brothers and sisters is far more glorious than the sufferings of this present world.

This is also our inheritance in our sufferings in this broken world. The eternal glories of Christ will far outweigh whatever we may experience in our temporal sufferings.

This too is the encouragement of Leah Sharibu and the persecuted Church. the glory of Christ, which is eternal.

Let us pray this for our dear sister in Nigeria, the persecuted church in Nigeria and around the world. Let us also pray that in the midst of our own sufferings, we may see the encouragement of Christ in his glory. For sure this is truly the eternal encouragement of Christ.

Tonight on the Persecution Watch prayer conference call, we have the opportunity to hear from a pastor who works in a restricted nation in Asia.  Please join us on the call to unite with and lift up this dear brother.

Time:

9 p.m. Eastern
8 p.m. Central
7 p.m. Mountain
6 p.m. Pacific

Call number and access code are…….

712.775.7035…….281207#

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

Available International Conference Call Numbers
(Note: If you will be using one of the call numbers below, you may experience issues in your country. If you are unable to connect, try using the VoIP dialer available at this link. Click on VoIP dialer, go to this number 712-775-7035 in the drop down menu—enter access code 281207 (do not add the # symbol)—enter your name and click on the ‘Place Call’ button.

Australia                                              +61 (0) 3 8672 0185

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Ukraine                                                +380 (0) 89 323 9978

United Kingdom                                 +44 (0) 330 606 0527

United States                                                (712) 775-7035

Vietnam                                                 +84 (0) 4 7108 0080

(Though not expected, due to circumstances beyond our control, connection may be lost. Simply call again to rejoin the call. Please let us know if you were unsuccessful getting on the call so we can address the issue with technical support.)

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PRAY UNITED FOR THE PERSECUTED

OUR VOICES CRY OUT FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH IN PRAYER

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