UPDATE: TAKE A LOOK AT THE VIDEO LINKED AT THE END OF THIS POST.
I went to the Voice of the Martyrs Conference last Saturday. Man, we sure take our freedom for granted. You have to try real hard or be a real jerk to get arrested or persecuted for your faith in this country. If only Christians realized how truly valuable and precious our faith is, and how freely we are able to share it. I remember a line from a Joni Mitchell song of long ago: “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone….”
Here are a few notes from the conference:
- More people have been martyred for Christ in the last 100 years than all previous centuries combined.
- A visitor from another country was curious about why a church in a land that persecuted Christians had a rooster in place of the cross on their roof. The reason: When the time comes that they are persecuted for their faith they do not want to deny Christ like Peter did. The rooster was a reminder to stay faithful lest they hear it crow three times.
- A Palestinian Christian shared how occasionally, as his church prayed, men would throw Molotov cocktails into the sanctuary. Congregants would get up, walk to the front of the church and grab buckets of water that they kept there to extinguish the fires, put out the flames and continue to pray. When asked why they continued, here was the reply: “This place is the safest place we can be.”
- One congregation worships with their hands around their throats and one hand in the air, as a reminder that they could die at any time.
- A missionary plane in Colombia was shot at by FARQ guerrillas every time it passed over the jungles. They bought a pink plane. Now they are safe because the guerrillas know it’s the Gospel plane.
- Here’s a way to pray for the persecuted church: Pray the tags on your clothes. Example: Made in China. Made in India. Pray for the brethren there.
A very touching video showed the reaction of people from an underground church opening a box sent from the Voice of the Martyrs organization. Inside were bibles wrapped in cellophane. They held them to their chests, caressing them, kissing them. They sat down and with grateful joyous faces, thanked God. (I can’t access that video, nevertheless, take a look at this video!)
It’s time to rerun these pictures pictures of a young woman in China or North Korea ready to be killed for her faith by the State. I keep these two photos in my Bible as a reminder not to take my faith for granted.
You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.