Foreign Lands: Day 3
They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them.
Hebrews 11:37, 38
It was the spring of 2004. The kids were grown and gone and my newly-retired husband and I decided to embark on an adventure: experience an area of the country we had never lived in before settling down to our retirement home.
Soon after we moved, our new next-door neighbor invited us to attend the Sunday school class he taught at a nearby church. We accepted his invitation and began attending both his class and services at the church. After several weeks, we were moving along in the getting-acquainted process, when a letter arrived from an unexpected source.
A Christian organization we had supported for years was going to have a representative in the area. Did we know of a group that might like to hear more about their mission? This particular organization’s focus is on persecuted Christians around the world, both to publicize their hardships and to aid the victims. It is an organization that both my husband and I think highly of and we had no doubt that anything they offered would be worthwhile. So, in a nothing-ventured-nothing-gained moment, I contacted our neighbor and asked if he would have an interest in having a speaker come to his Sunday school class. He agreed immediately.
I remember that morning as if it were yesterday: The representative, a friendly, attractive woman, was introduced to the room full of people--many of whom had never heard of her organization. She began with these words: “Many of you, especially those of you who aren’t familiar with our ministry, are probably thinking that I am here to ask for money. I am not here to ask for something, but to give you something. Persecution is coming to America and your persecuted brothers and sisters around the world want to help you learn how to endure it.
Fourteen years have passed since she spoke those words, and I have thought back on them many times.