The following story was submitted by one of our global workers. For security purposes and to keep the integrity of the writing, abbreviations have been included.

 

A Costly Decision

Betrayal—something our brothers and sisters in this region know all too well. To follow JC is to embrace the reality of being betrayed by everyone you know and love…even your own spouse and kids. Our community of friends here invites us over for meals, and we spend time together in the city and take part in hobbies and activities together. But the moment one of them decides to follow JC, everything in that community changes.

By G-d’s grace, we have seen a few of our friends embrace that newfound reality with joy. They are able to do this because they know the system they have grown up believing does not make them right before G-d, but rather that it only leaves them wondering and dependent upon their own good works.

Praise Despite Persecution

Our friends here have faced suffering from their decisions to follow JC—some physically and verbally abused for weeks on end by their own family, others threatened and questioned by the government. Others still are under strict surveillance with limited access to any g-spel resources.

But praise be to G-d for sending His Son, the once and for all sacrifice! We know that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us! Our L-rd took our shame and sin upon Himself so that we might be free forever. He suffered in our place.

An Eternal Perspective

One of my friends said to me just the other day, “The sufferings I face here and now are only temporary compared to the suffering I was going to face in eternity. Knowing what JC did for me, I will look to Him and endure.” One of our other friends, after enduring abuse because the decision to follow JC had been made known, boldly declared, “You can do whatever you want to me, but I will not abandon my L-rd.”

Our brothers and sisters here continue to surrender to what the Father has in store for them, looking to our L-rd because they know He was the ultimate example of submission and surrender.

In Pr-yerful Partnership

Please pr-y the g-spel seed continues to take root in this region and that we would continue to be encouraged and hear stories about the ways the Father is working in the hearts of people here as He draws them to Himself. Our hope is for leaders to rise up and for the body to grow strong in these parts. Thank you for your constant support and pr-yers.