Compassion Rises And Chooses To Make A Difference!

The numbers are staggering, mind-boggling even. More than 60 countries and their millions of Christians facing unimaginable conditions and oppression. It’s surreal sometimes. Unimaginable.

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But the facts are plain.

In Syria and Iraq Christians are enduring severe persecution and displacement.

In Nigeria, the Boko Haram militant Islamist group is terrorizing many due to their faith.

In the Central African Republic Christians are targeted because of their faith.

In India and Nepal Christians are enduring ethnic and religious attacks.

In North Korea, China, and Vietnam Christians must hide to worship.

On and on it continues all around the world… Christians are enduring persecution.

“Christian persecution is any hostility, experience from the world, as a result of one’s identification with Christ. From verbal harassment to hostile feelings, attitudes and actions, believers in areas with severe religious restrictions pay a heavy price for their faith. Beatings, physical torture, confinement, isolation, rape, severe punishment, imprisonment, slavery, discrimination in education and in employment, and even death are just a few examples they experience on the daily basis.” – Open Doors USA

I lay in bed several weeks ago with a burden so great I could hardly sleep. Lord, what’s my part? How can I practically help those who are persecuted all over this world?

“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering,” (Hebrews 13:3, NIV).

The numbers are insurmountable. So big it’s easy to be overwhelmed and turn away. But what would happen if we stopped looking at huge numbers and started looking at the faces behind the numbers? Perhaps in this simple act of ‘seeing’ we’d find that rather than apathy, compassion rises and chooses to make a difference.

That’s what happened to us.

We took out the Sparkle Box. It wasn’t the end of the month yet, but that didn’t matter. People are in need right now. Waiting until the month was over was pointless if it meant someone on the other side of the world was dying of hunger and starvation. Waiting until the end of the month made no sense when so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are in need of food, clothing, shelter, and medical supplies.


We talked about what was happening in the Middle East and beyond. We talked about how God could multiply our little and use it for his glory. Then we opened our Sparkle box, counted our seed, and looked at all the amazing ways in which we could partner with God and World Help to reach others.

We saw that $20 would cover a month’s supply of food and medicine for one refugee child. We learned that with $20 we could potentially impact 50 people for Christ with digital bibles, and $1 could cover the costs of printing an illustrated bible for children in the Middle East.

We sat around our humble Sparkle Box, prayed for the persecuted church, and the kids began to choose how they wanted to give. Rallying around the computer, they clicked the giving buttons. I’m always amazed at how real it becomes for them when they see the transactions go through. There’s always a smile on their faces.

Though giving is a private matter, I share this story in the hopes that it would inspire you to look closer at how you and your family could rally behind the causes that are on God’s heart.

We opened the Sparkle Box two weeks ago. This week I received an update email from Vernon Brewer (President of World Help) who’s in the Middle East now. That’s when it all became real to me.

I asked God to show me how I could practically play a part in standing with our brothers and sisters enduring persecution. I watched as Vernon stood amongst a group of refugees and I saw blue bags upon blue bags filled with supplies. I saw my $20 bills transformed into supplies being distributed.

That’s when I saw Mazin’s beautiful face and heard his sad story. During his visit to the Middle East, Vernon Brewer met Mazin and his family. At 5 years of age, Mazin has been witness to terrors no child should ever face. He, along with many others, were forced to leave their homes in search of refuge.

While I sit at home working on a reading/phonics lesson with my daughter, Mazin has stopped speaking altogether. Perhaps it’s the trauma he’s experienced. Perhaps it’s his way of coping with the terrors he’s seen.

I can’t get Mazin out of my head. Out of a sea of numbers this precious face emerges, ingraining itself on my mind and in my heart. “Millions” of displaced people stopped being just a number and instead they became faces. Beautiful, precious, hurting faces. As I watched that video I knew we’re not all fragmented pieces. Instead, we’re one body. When my brothers and sisters hurt, I too, hurt.

Want to know how you can practically help meet the needs of the persecuted church?

1.) November 2, 2014 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Join us?

2.) Pour out love and hope through your generous gift.

Because when we see the faces behind the numbers, compassion rises and chooses to make a difference!

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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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