Moved by the Martyrs

I love Tuesdays, it’s 2nd man’s day off.  We love having him home.  It’s our “Saturday” around here.  It actually took me a few years to get used to this idea.  Growing up, Saturday was when we all spent the morning doing chores and Dad did housework or yard work.  Everyone was off on Saturdays.  Then, when we got married, and moved to Oklahoma, all of a sudden it was Tuesday.  I didn’t like this at first, because I was teaching school and had to work on his day off.  Now that I’m home with the kids, it’s great.  We can go to the bigger cities and go to fun places and practically have it to ourselves on a Tuesday!  Not sure what the plan will be today, but so far everyone’s sleeping in…ahhh….I love Tuesdays.
I finished reading a book I mentioned before Tortured For His Faith by Haralan Popov.  It has really stirred my heart.  There is a similar book out I’d like to read now called Tortured For Christ by Richard Wurmbrand, which is probably even more popular.  We’ve received newsletters from his organization called Voice of the Martyrs.  I was looking around on their website www.persecution.com  last night realizing that their headquarters is only about 45 minutes from where we live.  I’m determined to take my kids over there if not get 2nd man to take the teens. 
I suppose I was moved on two accounts.  First, the description (by both authors) of the secret underground church in closed countries.  Closed countries are those that don’t allow the gospel to be preached or churches started.  I was recently at a pastors’ wives retreat in which at dinner we were broken up into pairs and given a time and place to go.  Essentially, we all ended up in the same room at different times and through different doorways.  The idea was to show how others have to sneak around to even meet as a body of believers so as not to tip off any suspicion.  We then had to sing, “Jesus Loves Me” without making any sound, just movement of our lips.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.  The thought of not being able to proclaim him, even in a song was heartbreaking.  The account of not having access to a Bible was also heartbreaking and honestly, hard to imagine.  I mean, we can buy them at a dollar store.  Most of us have several sitting around our houses because of replacing worn our more worn ones.
The second thing that moved me was the highlighting of Hebrews 13:3 “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity as being yourselves also in the body.”  I shamefully, must admit, that I’ve never really given much thought to those around the world in bonds for Christ.  I mean, I’ve kind of heard about it and felt bad at the time.  However, I’ve never pursued what’s going on or really realized what they are suffering.  It’s an out sight out of mind situation.  I’ve hardly even prayed for them. 
God was gracious enough to allow me to be born and live here in the States.  I don’t know that he’s calling me to missionary work outside the States. However, I do feel more aware of fellow Christians and their suffering around the world.  I want, desperately, to do something about this.  I will definitely start with prayer and am moved to do more as well.  Wherever He leads I will go.
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