Hi guys! I know I'm writing a little late today, but I really needed to straighten up at home and even more essential, I needed to spend a little time with God. But I'm back now! I hope you all had a safe and blessed weekend and started this week refreshed and ready to do God's will. For those of you who may be stopping by for the first time, this week we will be meditating on the struggles of our Christian family around the world. On Sunday we will join saints around the world in praying for the persecuted church. Hebrews 13:3 says, "Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering."
I know this week will be a great journey for me. For a long time, I avoided any mention of suffering or persecution. I am a pretty sensitive person, and hearing about one person in distress usually upsets me for quite a while. I had to realize that being upset was nothing to be ashamed at, but ignoring the suffering was. I pray that you all take time out to observe what is going on with our family around the world and ask God how He would like you to be involved in it (prayer, donations, missions, etc). As I was seeking God just now, I had a sudden desire to write letters to our persecuted brothers and sisters. I didn't know how I would do it, but I thought in time God would open that door. Not thirty minutes later, I sat down to write the post for the day and decided that it would be a good idea to post some of the stories from persecution.com so you all would have a better idea who we were praying for. I went to the website and noticed the Get Involved section on the side. The section had ten links but I was led to click on the one entitled Be a Voice, and wouldn't you know that one of the three ways to be a voice was write to the prisoners. Hallelujah! Look at how God works. So believe me, if you are sincere about working for Christ (as I hope we all are), just ask Him what He wants you to do and He will answer. James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
The prisoners I am going to share with you today are from Vietnam.
Featured Prisoner - Y Wo Nie
Arrested: August 2004
Days Imprisoned: 2273
Pastor Y Wo Nie was arrested August 18, 2004, for leading a demonstration demanding more religious freedom and the release of property confiscated by the Vietnamese government. He received a nine-year sentence. His family has not been able to visit him.
Write a letter of encouragement. Let Pastor Nie know you are praying for him and the believers in Vietnam. Let your friends know about persecution in Vietnam; encourage them to pray and write. Also, write Vietnamese officials requesting Nie’s release. Your letters make a difference.
Featured Prisoner - Nguyen Van Dai
Arrested: March 2007
Days Imprisoned: 1343
In May 2008, Nguyen Van Dai, a Vietnamese Protestant church leader and lawyer, was sentenced to five years in prison and followed by four years of house arrest. Nguyen was accused of a wide range of crimes, including “conspiring with terrorists, in their efforts to promote human rights efforts, including religious rights and democracy.” He was also accused of compiling “evidence of Vietnam’s suppression of the Protestant religion and providing it to the U.S.-based Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam and the U.S. embassy.”
Featured Prisoner - Father Nguyen Van Ly
Arrested: March 2007
Days Imprisoned: 1320
On February 19, 2007, Father Nguyen Van Ly was arrested in Hue, Vietnam for distributing material “harmful to the state.” In March, he was sentenced to eight years in prison. He has issued statements criticizing the government’s confiscation of church property, lack of seminary training and the influence of the state in church teachings.
This information was provided by the Voice of the Martyrs Be-A-Voice network. Please join me in praying for our brothers and sisters in difficult situations all over the world.
"Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others."
I Corinthians 10:24