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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Open Doors team loves to hear from our readers and supporters. Particularly, we love when people send us specific stories about the practical things they do in their everyday personal and church lives to support persecuted Christians around the world.
This letter we received from Jeffrey Olson, pastor of Whispering Pines Church, is no exception. Jeffrey graciously allowed me to share his comments with you, in case any readers haven’t heard about our free Ripple Effect resources yet.
Ripple Effect is a free interactive study that helps individuals and groups discover how they can take actions that create a “ripple effect” of support for the persecuted Church.
I’ve wanted for some time to let you know what a blessing the Ripple Effect has been to our church. My wife Tracy and I have been leading a Persecuted Church Prayer Meeting for 5 years. In that time, it has grown from a handful to as many as 25 believers. We’ve been using Open Doors newsletters, Presence magazine, videos and books for years. Our pastor has always encouraged our ministry and frequently mentions the persecuted Church from the pulpit. He graciously has allowed me to preach about what our brothers and sisters are going thru right now. The last time was on International Day of Prayer over a week ago.[See a post from last year’s International Day of Prayer events here.]
When we showed the Ripple Effect, we had a mix of new people to the ministry and some who had years of teaching and training already. Where the Ripple Effect helped all of us, whether new or experienced, was its biblically based message. You are systematically taken thru understanding persecution to what a scriptural response to the message looks like. Those who participated were not left wondering what to do.
Faith requires action and the Ripple Effect provides many opportunities to give to the persecuted Church. The bookmarkers, the videos, the banners–they were great visual reminders and helped us know more about what their lives are like. The booklets were easy to follow and asked good questions, which encouraged discussion–so helpful for everyone to get involved. My hope would be that every believer in America would go thru this series. Helping our brothers and sisters in the midst of their suffering is the most important subject, the most pressing reality and the greatest need in the Body of Christ.
God’s richest blessing on you and your service,
Pastor Jeffrey and Tracy Olson
As you can imagine, the Open Doors team was thrilled to hear how Jeff and Tracy have used Ripple Effect to help raise awareness about the challenges our Christian brothers and sisters face in the most hostile regions of the world. We consider Jeff and Tracy, and all of you who pray and support persecuted Christians, as partners in the work Open Doors has been doing for over 60 years.
Please know we’d love to hear how God is moving you or your church to care about the persecuted Church as well. You can drop me a note here anytime.