I wanted to share this touching story and picture from Open Doors, a ministry that EPM supports and recommends. (The name and photo in the story are different to protect this believer’s identity.)
Dear Friend of the Persecuted,
I have to admit it was not the best question…
Just weeks ago I met secretly with a courageous believer who had been forced to hang from his ankles or wrists every day, subjected to repeated beatings and was crammed in a three-foot square box for three weeks.
Racked by memories of the agony he'd been through, Aran had been looking at me with a pained expression until I asked the question, "What were you thinking or feeling during that time?"
His face completely changed. A huge smile broke across it, and he gave me two thumbs up. What was he thinking…?
Aran simply said, "That I was counted worthy to suffer for Jesus Christ."
In that moment I realized how valuable it is for persecuted believers on the front lines to experience what it means to "share in the suffering of Christ" (2 Cor 1: 5).
As I traveled to encourage the persecuted church in the Muslim world, I returned grateful to have visited my brothers and sisters in person… hearing their stories of torture and humiliation… wowed by their faith—with fresh inspiration to encourage you with the news that every gift is needed… that every gift goes powerfully to work!