The Role of a Father

June 6, 2013 by Open Doors in Stories of Persecution

*For security reasons, photo is not of actual family Ten year old Charles and his father, were home watching a movie when his father’s mobile phone rang. As soon as his father hung up, he stopped the movie and told his only son to be very courageous. His father was a member the Nigerian State Security Service and was summoned to the office, as there were attacks taking place in different parts of the city. Charles begged his father not to leave, but he had to fulfill his obligation. His father did not get far. Just minutes later, he was shot and killed by Boko Haram fundamentalists who had blocked the road only 200 meters from their home. The killers most likely identified Francis as a Christian by the cross that was hanging from the rear-view mirror of his car. Across the continent in Ethiopia, Abebu Mosisa was in her seventh month of pregnancy with her eighth child, when her husband, Reta Senbeta, was shot and killed. Reflecting on the days leading up to the event, she shared how her husband prayed for the safety of his family more often than before.“He sometimes woke me up to pray with him, saying ‘There is an unspecific fear in me for my family. I cannot pin-point it’. We would then pray together. I now realize that God was preparing us for this day.” Khaing Daw* pastors a small church in a Myanmar village every Sunday. On weekdays, he visits and prays for the families under his care. He also holds an important position in his church denomination. Despite all of his work, Khaing Daw receives a monthly support of approximately $ 50. This barely covers his family’s daily needs. With three girls and two boys in the family, Khaing Daw needs no less than a miracle to feed them, let alone provide for their education. He desires to be a faithful breadwinner for his family, but he does not want to neglect God’s house either. Fathers play a pivotal role in the lives of their family. Often they are the main financial provider, as well as the spiritual anchor for their families. As we celebrate our fathers this Father’s Day, we are reminded that there are Christian fathers around the world facing persecution. Some are unemployed because of their faith and, cannot provide, for their families. Some are in prison for their faith, separated from their loved ones. Some have even died for their faith in Christ. Even though we are half a world apart, we are united as the body of Christ, when one member suffers, we all suffer. When one member is lifted up, we all rejoice. These are our brothers and sisters. These are our fathers and mothers. These are our family members. As Father’s Day approaches, would you say a special prayer for the fathers and their families facing persecution around the world? Thank you for being One With Them. *Name changed to protect his identity