Sunday, June 27, 2010

Found Faithful

Article from the Voice of the Martyrs

A 17-year-old girl in the Gedo Region of Somalia was severely beaten by her family recently after they discovered she had converted to Christianity, according to Compass Direct News. Nurta Mohamed Farah, 17, was later taken to a doctor, who prescribed medication for a “mental illness.” When she refused to abandon her Christian faith, her family forced her to take the medication.

Nurta’s family has read Islamic scripture to her twice a week since May 10, when they learned of her conversion. Somalis traditionally believe that the Quran cures the sick — especially the mentally ill.

Nurta has been shackled to a tree during the day and held in a small, dark room at night, according to Compass. “There is little the community can do about her condition, which is very bad,” a Christian source told Compass. “I have advised our community leader to keep monitoring her condition but not to meddle for their own safety. … We need prayers and human advocacy for such inhuman acts, and for freedom of religion for the Somali people.”

The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray that Nurta will be encouraged and emboldened as she suffers for her faith. Pray that her steadfast commitment to Christ will soften the hearts of her parents so that they, too, will come to know him. Pray that God will grant wisdom and guidance to the Christian community in Somalia as they share the gospel with their neighbors.
Posted: June 24, 2010

I am reminded of brothers and sisters whose biggest cross is not a broken water main, or a boss that is dealing with others unrighteously but truly persecuted for believing in Jesus. It is most easy for me to live in the daily hubbub of life and forget these heroes of our faith. Hebrews 10 comes to mind. "But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed but of those who believe and are saved."

I am blessed and humbled to have friends who have been truly persecuted for their faith. They have a view of the gospel that is so much larger than mine. When I spend time with them my frail faith is challenged and revealed. They did not set out to be persecuted. They are because God put them in a place that has a violent hate towards the one True God of the Bible. They are outnumbered. They do not have Amnesty International or a righteous government to turn to. They turn to God instead of turning away. They trust that He alone is good. A trust in God that I cannot really understand. A dependance upon His goodness that supercedes temporal requests and the outlook that Jesus is a typology of a Loving Santa Claus.

I am repentant at my own narrow vision. At least I want to be repentant. I don't want to be persecuted. I am thankful for God's good gifts in my life. I am thankful for religious freedom. I am thankful for community and a loving christian family.

I am not saying that we should all be persecuted, that it is more glorious than loving my family well and serving in whatever manner God puts in front of me. Nurta's struggle strikes me, this is just a young girl, not much older than my own. My friends, they love their families, they serve wherever they can, in that we are the same. Of course, we differ in that my personal prayer petitions are about finding the source of a water leak or legistics about plans we are making. They pray about where to find housing, or a job, or keeping their children from being hurt in some way. We all pray that God would find us faithful.

True heroes are not found on a soccer or football field, many are found in obscure little places near and far, whose stories we will likely never see or hear about. I think when I get to heaven I want to see, I want to hear, how God's love was the underpinning to others lives.

I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.

I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee..

I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.

I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long..

When I was a young girl we sang this Hymn almost every Sunday in my little midwest Church. This story from the beginning of time is His story, that weaves allo of us and everything together. We wait, I wait, I am thankful for HIS story. His Love, His arms that are never short and are always secure.

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