Monday, November 8, 2010

The Persecuted Church: The Middle East

Many of the speakers at the VOM conference I attended had to use much precaution to ensure they were not further endangering the lives of those in "underground" churches, as well as their own.

This story is short, and so far sweet. It is a little lighter than yesterday's post, but I hope you will be inspired by it just the same.

The name of the man in this story is unspecified, as is the middle eastern country where he lives:

A team of Christians (including Darcie who shared this story) were visiting this middle eastern country to encourage the persecuted church.

The team was in a cafe, and through a turn of events began a conversation with a man there. At first he was acting a bit unusual and uncomfortable, and one of the team members felt moved to ask if he was a believer.

There, in that cafe, in a blessed moment of courage, this man verbally- for the first time- proclaimed to be a follower of Christ Jesus.

With many people in the cafe hearing his proclamation, the man ran home. The team assumed that he ran to hide, as now his life was at immediate risk.

The next day the team searched for this man to see if they could find out what came of him. To their surprise, they met with him, unharmed.

When they asked him what he did when he ran home, he told them he made a salad.

They stood confused. Knowing he had just revealed a secret that could easily be punished with life in prison or death, he did not run and hide, he did not run home and weep and pray and plead. He ran home and made a salad.

But it is what he did next that makes this story and inspiration.

Now feeling quite courageous, the man made a salad, went next door, and invited his neighbor to join him.

Then with clarity and grace, he shared his faith.

That night the man prayed that he could live one more day. He prayed that he could make one more salad. He prayed that he could live one more day so he could share the Good News with one more friend.

And that is what he did. And as far as we know, he continues to pray that prayer each night.

So, to you I leave you with this challenge:

Go make a salad.


Melissa Irwin said...

the risk and the courage is unfathomable to me. what a beautiful story. God's work is too amazing for words.

JD said...

Just like the food he made and shared as he shared his faith, God sustains us and nourishes us as we share our faith, even in situations like these.
Our God is there every step of our journey, there is nowhere He won't go ahead of us and prepare the way.