Where’s the hope in all these downward trends?
But then I look past the headlines and into the eyes of the people behind them. They are the eyes of people like Bae, who labors in a North Korean field during the day and sneaks away to worship at night. I see the Afghan refugees, who have been forced to follow Jesus in secret their entire lives but now reveal their faith in public light. And I see Faith and Damaris, who have turned their most traumatic experiences into testimonies of triumph.
They are the people who remind me that just past the suffering waits a deeper, brighter, hope. They make sure I remember to keep going toward Jesus.
How do we keep our persecuted family going to Jesus? Through projects like radio broadcasts that spread life-giving words behind the closed borders of North Korea. Through the trauma care centers in Africa that facilitate inner healing after deeply painful experiences. Through the presence of local church leaders who serve in secret, faithfully encouraging brothers and sisters who risk everything to follow Jesus. And, most of all, through your prayers and advocacy that fuel their resilient faith through difficult days.
Connection must remain the common thread in every effort to serve the persecuted church, because faith withers in isolation. We need each other to speak words of life, healing and hope when suffering closes in. We need to bear each other’s burdens without fearing bad news. And we need to run toward closed doors when others are turned away so we can witness what God does in dark places.