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Prayer for the persecuted Church

Hated for following Jesus: even by family

By Greg Musselman, Minister at Large, The Voice of the Martyrs Canada

 

“Lina” (not her real name) grew up in a strict Muslim home in Northern Nigeria. But that didn’t stop the then 13 year-old from wanting to find out more about Christianity; she says she was very curious about Jesus. “The life of the Christians around me influenced me and I saw that their lives were good. Also they were talking about Jesus being the Saviour of the world. From that time I wanted to know Jesus.”

But there was a problem. Lina’s father was an iman, a teacher of Islam in the Mosque. He was known in the community as very intimidating and being extremely firm when it came to matters of the Islamic religion. People were afraid of him including Lina, but she was determined to learn more about Jesus even though she had been taught by her father to hate Christians. So Lina decided to go to church on her own, but when her father found out, he confronted his teenage daughter and she says he was very angry. “When he found out I went to the church, he beat me severely to the point that my body was in pain and swollen. I wanted to become a Christian, but I wasn’t sure because it might cost me my life.”

In spite of the risks Lina was determined to learn more about Jesus. At that point her father considered moving his family including Lina to another village because of the disgrace his daughter had brought to him. But then he came up with another plan, one that devasted the 13 year old,.“Without my knowledge my father and other family members organized a marriage for me with a husband I didn’t even know. They didn’t tell me about the marriage they were planning and that it was for me.” Lina then decided to run away. “I went to the home of my one of my aunts, but she wouldn’t let me stay with her because she was afraid of my father, so I had to go back home.”

Lina would be forced to marry a man who already had a wife, but she would wait for another opportunity to ran away. A year later an opportunity came and she left for good. It was in 2016 Lina made a decision to become a follower of Jesus. “My mom’s aunt connected me to a pastor. He asked me why I wanted to become a Christian and if I knew the danger and what I was about to enter. I told him that no matter how much it will cost me I won’t go back. So he prayed with me and encouraged me.”

The pastor moved Lina from house to house to keep her safe. She would eventually be taken out of the area and after a year in an orphanage house she was brought to a safe house for new believers in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, which is supported by The Voice of the Martyrs Canada. Lina says she is excited about her new life in Jesus. ”Before I came here, I could not read or write in Hausa, but now I can. I’m also learning English. But what really excites me is that I’m learning patience with others and learning about love – so many things about obeying God and how to hear God. I’m being built up in my faith.”

Lina’s passion is to become a pastor and go back to her village someday and preach the message of God’s love through His Son, Jesus to those who don’t know Him. While she hopes that when she returns she will be received because of the way her life has been transformed, if not, she says she is prepared. “The Bible teaches that whoever wants to follow Jesus must be ready to be persecuted, to be ready to be hated by so many people. The Bible encourages us to stand firm up to the end of our lives here on earth.”
www.vomcanada.com

 

IDOP 2018

by Mel Wiebe

It’s been my honour and privilege to work with, and serve, the persecuted church for fifteen years now and whenever I ask, “Why are your churches growing and so successful?” the answer is always, “fasting and praying.” When I ask, “What is your biggest need?” the answer is, “Please pray for us!”
So, once a year we have International Day of Prayer for the persecuted and we ask you to please remember the 300 million Christians in 100 countries who are persecuted for the cause of Christ. Many are beaten and tortured and in prison. Also, there are many widows and orphans because of persecution. This year IDOP Day is November 11, but we ask that Christians in Canada remember our suffering brothers and sisters and children everyday. Can you hear their cry? “Please don’t forget us and pray for us.”
North Korea tops the list of countries that persecute, and all muslim and communist countries also Persecute Christians as well.
Mel Wiebe is the Director of International Christian Response Canada. www.christianresponse.ca

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