Indeed, all who live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
2 Timothy 3:12
Forgive me for getting this blog post out so late, lots to do and not enough time to do it in. At any rate, I will fill you on my meeting in Faribault,MN. Not being familiar with the territory, I got lost TWICE on the way there! Then, once there, I got lost again trying to find the church! Sometimes it doesn't pay to get up in the morning! Finally after a very nice couple directed me to the church, I got to the meeting with just minutes to spare! WHEW!
The meeting was held at River Valley Church, which I found to be a beautiful church upon my entry into the building, Pastor Mark and his family, who were there, were very kind and helpful to navigate us to where we were to attend the meeting. And upon entry into the meeting room, I was met with a delightful surprise, students from the School for the Deaf in Faribault were in attendance! I was so excited because I could finally use my sign language that I have known for years!
After introducing myself around, the meeting got started. Paul Larson, a speaker with The Voice of the Martyrs, told us the story of its founder, Richard Wurmbrand, who was kept in a Romanian prison for his Christian faith for 14 years. After serving yet another sentence for his Christian faith, he was ransomed out of Romania and moved with his family to the U.S. and started The Voice of the Martyrs in 1967. After learning about its founder, we watched two videos of people in Pakistan and India that were attacked and they each told about the help The Voice of the Martyrs gave them. We saw others who were also helped by them and their stories. It brought me to tears because what we so openly practice everyday, those in the restricted and hostile nations, practice at risk of their lives.
Knowing what I know now, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the strength, courage great faith these people show in the face of such horrible persecution. If I had the power and authority, I would bring them all home myself. The experience of going to that meeting, was a humbling one. We are so fortunate to be in a country that allows for religious freedom. At least, for the most part. "In Michigan and Arizona, instances of Christian persecution have taken place." Paul told us.
Christian persecution reminds me of a commercial I saw when I was in high school, the announcer came on and saying,"There's only two times in your life when it doesn't matter who your neighbor is...."
and the commercial featured first a nursery, than a graveyard.
Are we as a world no further than that? For all our sakes, I hope not. God made us different for a reason.....TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER! If we were all the same, there would be no need for us to learn from each other, but it is through differences, that we LEARN. So let me pose this question: What can we learn from each other?
Blessings, Liz Ciccone