An Open Doors colleague, Phil, recently traveled to Central African Republic. The widespread suffering he shares calls us to continually be in prayer for these brothers and sisters, and yet he shares about a joy they have because they have the Lord with them in this time. He shares more of his incredible experience and photos:
We have just returned from Central Africa Republic. Although I have been on several trips to Africa in the past, I have never seen such suffering and hopelessness in the faces of the people. This is a place where over a thousand brothers and sisters in faith were killed last year, and over 100 churches were attacked. Thousands are still in refugee camps with very little hope for the future because their homes were destroyed, and it is still unsafe for them to return.
However in spite of the suffering, every place we went we also heard stories from brothers and sisters who testified that they felt the presence of God with them and shared their victory in Christ. They thanked us for leaving our families and jobs and traveling halfway around the world to see them and to stand with them during this terrible time.
I have to admit that at the beginning, I felt overwhelmed and heartbroken over the suffering of the people, especially in the refugee camps, but after I prayed, that all changed. The LORD reminded me that through His Word that while the suffering of Christ flows through into our lives so through Christ our comfort overflows. And although the situation in CAR is tragic, we need to see past the suffering and see it for what it actually is…. an opportunity for the church and the Body of Christ to share the good news and the love of God with those who are without hope and now open to hear the message.
Central African Republic is ranked No. 17 on Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians. Phil’s experience in CAR displays the gospel in a beautiful way- these believers are fully dependent on their Creator. Please join us in being one with these believers and keep them in prayer.