VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Home » Posts tagged 'mission'

Tag Archives: mission

Categories

Archives

A Day In The Life Of An Advocate For The Persecuted Church

send_me_VOP

(Voice of the Persecuted) A typical day in the life of those that have chosen to answer the call from God, with “Send me. “

My day starts with coffee and the internet.  Viewing reports and researching news, often leaves me in tears as the slaughter of innocents increases daily.  While I read about the latest killings and attacks on our brethren, I hold my breath and quickly check to see if one of our ‘frontline’ contacts is a victim.

Reading daily messages from refugees across the world, I learn about their ongoing suffering, pain, fear, and confusion.  I listen to them heartbreakingly describe the cries of hunger coming from their children and their feelings that nobody cares.  Hours are spent encouraging, praying with and for them.

Headed to my second job, I start out my day with their pain in my heart.  Humbled, I beg others to help, but often met with statements such as:  “you can’t save the world,” or “Jesus didn’t command us to care for everyone.”  Their words cutting like a knife, I realize the scope of the issue is lost on them. But the Holy Spirit tells me, “Don’t be discouraged, I am with you—forge ahead!”

Recently a fellow advocate said, “If I told you all the stories, you wouldn’t sleep at night.”  I can tell you, his words are true.  So many sleepless nights interceding in prayer.  Images of death so brutal no movie could portray it.  This is what goes through our minds everyday during sleep and waking moments as we pray, Oh Lord, how much longer? If I could take their pain for even a moment, I’d gladly accept to give them a time of relief and some peace. For these are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our unsung heroes in these modern times.

Walking in their shoes, requires a heart for the persecuted and total submission to the Holy Spirit.  Submission because unless you allow God to work in your life, bringing you into prayer and through intercession, you might as well not begin the journey, it’s more than any man can bear alone.

When God called Isaiah he said:  “Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?  Isaiah answered, “Here I am, send me!”  (Isaiah 6:8)

So if you answer this call, be prepared for your eyes to be opened, your heart un-calloused, with ears to hear. Emptied of ‘self’, to be guided by the Holy Spirit and the cries of those suffering. You must be willing to suffer with them as if in bonds—being persecuted with them, as members of one Body in Christ.

This work and attention given to our persecuted family, is done by us voluntarily.  In this way, we can use funds to aid those in great need. My office is my car, a bench, a rock, or the field.  I sit on a couch or a chair at my computer, with my phone nearby to answer the call of one desperate or in despair.  Fortunately, I have a job that affords me phone conferences, prayer time and seeking God’s guidance.  We don’t sit in a fancy office with 6 figure salaries, nor have an extravagant budget to travel the world. I’m in God’s office and He doesn’t need a high rise building to impress and accomplish His will.  The Father is my boss, Jesus intercedes for me, and the Holy Spirit guides my steps.

The true act of mission, or letting God work through you for the advancement of His kingdom, can be a mystery for those who’ve never had the experience, even for some who have. It’s more than simply going to a place to provide short term services to those in need. For followers of Christ, it’s a part of daily life to reach out to those we are called to serve wherever they may be. To be the hands and feet of Christ, though the journey seems impossible. We trust and focus solely on Him, humbled as willing servants.  In a world never more desperate for His hand to move, how can we not cry out, “Use me!”  Our obedience is simply an outward expression of the great love we hold for Christ in our hearts. For the even greater love, amazing grace, and mercy He continues to give us. With God, there are no boundaries. If acting in His will, we can accomplish all He sets before us.

prayer-158x238If you’re unable to devote time to become an advocate for the persecuted, take time to pray for those who do.  Commit to pray for those suffering, and those who intercede on their behalf.  Read to understand what is happening to the Body of Christ, the suffering and tribulation they’re enduring across the world.  The next time you read a report about Christian persecution, take a moment to share and encourage others to pray for them.  It’s time to unite as one Body, loving, caring and lifting up each member as we are called to do.

It may not be easy or glamorous, but God will bless you with understanding, strengthen and encourage your faith and amazing love through your brothers and sisters in the persecuted Church.

C. Refsland, VOP Advocate/News Analyst and the VOP Team

Voice of the Persecuted

Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!

You may also mail your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

give-love-with-open-hands

 

Our Faith is Active and Alive…..in Persecution We Are Purified.

refugees returning-Betso

THE RETURNING COMMUNITY IN BETSO WITH THE BISHOP Of MAIDUGURI DURING A CONSOLATION TOUR AFTER THE BOKO HARAM MASSACRE

(Voice of the Persecuted) Nigeria: BOKO HARAM: They may destroy our structures but not our faith. Our Faith is active and alive…..in persecution we are purified.

This was the statement on the lips of the bishop, Most Rev.Oliver Dashe and the internally displaced persons who had just returned to their communities.

The Chief shepherd of the diocese took what he calls a consolation tour to some of the communities that have been recaptured by our prayers and the gallant effort of the joint task force of Niger, Chad and Cameroon, with the Nigerian military.

The director social communications who was on the entourage of the bishop reported that the visited communities were; Kala’a, BAHULI, Mishara, Betso, Muchalla, and Mubi; all in Mubi North / South LGA of Adamawa state and Uba LGA in Borno state.

The bishop and priests encouraged the returnees in the Mass of Reconciliation and Reparation to remain steadfast despite the calamities that have befallen them.  They must learn to forgive as Christ himself present in the Most Holy Sacrament had already forgiven the radical elements for their sacrileges, profanation and hate. The priests and bishop were in the confessional for over three hours in some communities visited.

In his homily, Monsg. Dashe, encouraged the people just returning home after months of seeking refuge in other parts of Nigeria to remain steadfast in their faith.  He charged them not to allow themselves to be misled with the idea of VENGEANCE.  It is obvious that at times like this when a lot of damages had been done and from a visual estimate there is apparently no standing church in Mubi and the surrounding communities, people would seek vengeance. The bishop encouraged; vengeance is for the Lord… anyone who resorts to violent revenge is practically in the same bowl with the devil.  Seeking out vengeance would only lead to a chain reaction or a vicious cycle of war.  He encouraged the people to remember the core values of our Christian faith,  to love even our enemies and those who persecute us. For in love we are saved….  He thanked them for the high sense of commitment in the faith. He told them he was never afraid, some day we shall be victorious.

In their difficulty, they have lost their members; a good number of their members are still displaced. Parents are yet to connect with their children and wives. Majority have just returned from the Cameroonian borders. They faced a lot of challenges and difficulties, some of them are yet to locate their loved ones. They had their houses heavily looted; their churches were completely burnt down. The returnees are gradually clearing the tables and searching out new ways to make ends meet. Life is pragmatically no longer the same as some persons pointed out; on our return we are beginning life anew.

The community of Mishara in Uba Local government area was agog upon seeing the bishop and the four priests on his entourage.  Although, the security network in this community was still tight, there were no vehicular movement, everyone was expected to move on foot. The people who returned had no option, because life was very difficult outside. On returning home, they were not to open their shops, no schools or medical facilities. But they had to return; because home is always home and they were eager to go count their losses.  Their homes were terribly looted, their churches and rectories were razed down and their aged parents killed as they refused to recant their faith. In all these, the bishop said they should keep their faith high. The rosary is the major weapon we have in this trying moment.

Bishop Oliver Daesh

BISHOP OLIVER IN INSPECTING A BURNT CHURCH IN BAHULI

The bishop told them, for healing to occur they have to forgive the past and look to the future with great hope and confidence. He knows clearly that they have lost their members and loved ones. Some are still displaced; he prayed that in no time they shall be reunited.  He told them not to border about the destructions done, particularly on ecclesiastical structures, they belong to God and he alone knows how to reconstruct his house.

The prelate knows full well that at this moment of trial people would ask some existential questions; regarding the existence of God, while all these killings and destructions are ongoing, he charged them to remain focus because God would work out wonders in our life as a church. There should be no draw backs in our faith journey.

For the bishop, The Lord in his abundant knowledge might have allowed this great persecution to befall us in order that he might teach us some great lessons. In this post-war times, we should come closer to God.  Our lives should be purified and God must be our point of attraction.  We must take church activities seriously.  Since the Boko Haram violent saga was meant to purify our faith.

As we count our losses, we also count our blessings…thanks to Boko Haram for adding more MARTYRS in the Canon of the Saints of the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri in heaven…..

By Rev. Gideon Obasogie, Director Social Communications Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri

Voice of the Persecuted

Persecuted Christians in North Nigeria have and are suffering greatly. Remember to keep them in your prayers. Pray that they will remain strong in faith. And in Christ, to endure through trials overcoming the darkness that is trying to consume them.

Voice of the Persecuted’s aid mission, Project 133 is working in Nigeria to aid those who are now faced with rebuilding their lives, including orphans and widows who are at the greatest risk of further abuse. Missions in Nigeria have been overwhelmed by the extreme numbers of the displaced(IDP’s). And with each trip to the affected areas, the numbers documented grow, particularly cases of widows and orphans.

Voice of the Persecuted has stepped in to help with the great needs of the suffering. We are very concerned for their long term status and will work to aid them in becoming self sufficient. But we cannot do this alone and need your help. If the Lord has put it on your heart to do more for the care of our suffering family in Christ, please join us by partnering in the mission to save one family at a time. If you have not been sure of how to help, become a part of this mission to bring joy to those in great trial, as One in the Body.

Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you have greatly blessed others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!

Project 133NigeriaLogoURL

 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR SAEED International Campaign

Christmas-Cards-for-Saeed-cov-banner
VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED has organized an International Christmas Campaign Mission, along with his wife, Nagmeh Abedini to REMEMBER SAEED ON CHRISTMAS.
American pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen has been imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith, since September 2012. Practically without representation, the Iranian government sentenced Pastor Saeed to eight years in prison after convicting him of “undermining” the government by spreading his religious beliefs.
Saeed had previously worked with house churches in Iran. In a previous detainment, the Iranian government had Pastor Saeed sign a document promising he would not proselytize. He claims he has upheld his side of the bargain. Having a heart for orphans, in 2012 he was visiting family and organizing board members for a government approved orphanage that he was starting for Iranian children regardless of their faith.
Pastor Saeed has endured psychological/physical torture, because he will not deny his Christian faith. These beatings have caused him to suffer internal bleeding, while medical care was withheld for months. The treatment he finally did receive has been very minimal.
In a new upsetting development last month, he was transferred from Evin Prison, a facility for political prisoners, to Rajai Shahr Prison, the deadliest prison in Iran. He is now held in a violent criminal ward, where hardened prisoners have unfettered access to him. His health has also been deteriorating. He is experiencing increased pain in his stomach as he is being denied necessary medication and treatment. He is malnourished, losing weight and covered in lice, due of the horrific prison conditions. He has also been threatened at knifepoint and robbed of the few basic hygiene items he had.
Though many have been devastated that Pastor Saeed’s release was not procured by the U.S. Administration during recent agreement talks with Iran. Until he is back home with his family, the American people and many others from around the world have not forgotten him and will not give up in their demands for his release!
It is hard to imagine what Saeed must be going through as he suffers in chains for Christ. It is painful to think about the grief his wife and two young children are experiencing in his absence. They too have been forced to share in the suffering of persecution.
This holiday season is the perfect time for us to flood Rajaei-Shahr Prison with messages and share this Christmas with Saeed! JOIN with us to let him & Iran know he WILL NOT be forgotten! With Christ & our prayers, he is NEVER alone.
We encourage you to write a personal letter of encouragement and Christmas greetings to Pastor Saeed. You can personalize the card or letter by sending a family photo. Younger children may participate by sending a drawing, encouraging him in this time of trial. Most likely the guards will read these cards and letters. Include in your message, the love Jesus has for us and the ultimate gift of sacrifice that Christ gave for all people. Sharing this with them may be the first and only time they will get to read about what Christ has done for them. Pray the Lord touches their hearts!

Your help is crucial in making this mission a success!

PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, PASTORS/CHURCHES, MINISTRY GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, CLUBS, COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL MEDIA SITES, SUCH AS FACEBOOK AND TWITTER. 
Share often, motivate others to care, you CAN make a difference and bring joy in this world! Help us spread this mission around the world to start sending love and light to Iran. And to REMEMBER SAEED ON CHRISTMAS!

Dec. 2015 UPDATE:

Share a Christmas message with Saeed here

%d bloggers like this: