ReachGlobal Africa International Leader
In my role as ReachGlobal Africa International Leader I have been privileged to meet some amazing indigenous leaders and to see God do extraordinary things in the face of very difficult opposition to the Gospel. Many of these leaders are unknown to the world, but are heroes of the faith to me. In the following article from the ALARM August newsletter, Celestin Musekura, President & CEO of African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM), shares a powerful story of some of these modern day heroes of the faith.
In July I spent three days in Khartoum, and one afternoon I sat in the home of a fellow pastor who’d been tortured and persecuted for training and empowering the Christian community to preach the message of forgiveness and reconciliation. “How are you doing?” I asked him. “I am healing well,” he said, while lifting his shirt and showing me fresh scars on his back and chest. “My chest still gives me pain in the night, but I am at peace and thank God for the privilege of serving him.”
“How is your family?” I asked, trying to hide my tears but unable to disguise the emotion in my voice. “My wife and boy are scared, but we are committed to staying here.”
That evening I met a dozen pastors and church leaders, some of whom have endured humiliation and persecution and yet are still asking for more training so they can be effective in their ministries. As one of them said, “The more we are persecuted and tortured, the more our torturers hear the Gospel. If this is the only way for them to hear and see the Gospel in us, then let us get our bodies strong and our minds equipped with biblical truths.” When I asked how ALARM partners and the American Church can help, one of the leaders said with a big smile, “Feed our bodies, feed our minds, and encourage our hearts. We will handle the beatings.”
How do we respond to stories like this? Do we feel bad, shed a tear, and then go on with our lives or do we commit ourselves to pray and seek ways that we can come alongside these brothers and sisters as they stand on the front line for the Gospel? Complacency is not an option for us! These are our brothers and sisters. We must honor them, cry out to the Lord on their behalf, and ask Jesus how we can come alongside them.