One of things I love about my job as the College & Youth Director is having the chance to see a passion for the persecuted church grow in a student’s heart. This semester I have had Machaela intern for me and as part of her program we went through the Ripple Effect series. While she was already familiar with Open Doors and the persecuted church, her understanding and passion went deeper as we studied each week. So I asked her to share with you in her own words the impact of the study.
“When we think of the words “ripple effect” we tend to think of a rock hitting the water and causing ripples. The Ripple Effect Series is a study that focuses on the persecuted church and how we as fellow believers can create a “ripple effect” by supporting our brothers and sisters around the world who are facing persecution without having to step foot out of the country! Ripple Effect is a six-week series that focuses on the acronym P.R.A.Y.E.R. Perceive, recognize, acknowledge, yield, encourage, and respond are six ways this study challenges you and your group as well as raise awareness on the type of persecution our brothers and sisters in Christ face on a daily basis.
“Before starting this study I was not sure at first how it would apply to me. Living in the United States we tend to take our religious freedoms for granted. We do not have to worry about driving to work or school and a bomb going off as soon as we arrive at our destination. We do not have to worry about not being able to get a job because of our religious beliefs. We also do not have to worry about being kidnapped and tortured for not renouncing our faith. These are the realities that some of our brothers and sisters in Christ face day to day. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that we need to be placing ourselves in harm’s way, but it is important to know and be aware of what is going on in the world of persecuted Christians.
“Going through the study I was challenged in my faith. I was challenged in the sense of what does living out my faith mean to me and what does that look like in my everyday life? What does it look like to apply the acronym P.R.A.Y.E.R to my everyday life? The study talks a lot about encouraging the persecuted church, which I agree is important, but I found myself being encouraged in my own walk with the Lord through reading the stories of my brothers and sisters around the world. If you are looking to be challenged in your walk and to raise awareness of the persecuted church, I highly recommend Ripple Effect to you, your friends, and maybe your campus!”