“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke
Every time I scroll through the photos on Facebook I quickly move on. The photos of ISIS militants preparing to behead Christians are nauseating and horrifying. Seeing the evil threat to those who’ve courageously declared their faith in Christ, knowing the fate they will suffer, brings an overwhelming sense of helplessness. Anger seethes from within, but nothing I say or do can rescue those brave souls from their imminent fate, and so I keep scrolling and whisper a prayer for the families that are left behind, trying to subdue the sorrow.
I recently received a letter from Focus on the Family that offers a ray of hope to Christians in the Middle East. In it, Focus president Jim Daly describes their most recent endeavor to bring help to the persecuted.
Focus’ Associate Office in Egypt has been reaching out to the Christian and Muslim community since 2001. Within a week of this horrible event, they sent out a team to visit with the families of those martyred men in the small, destitute villages where they grew up. As the team went door-to-door ministering to these families, they were amazed at their spirit of peace, thanksgiving and unshakable faith—a mirror-image of the first century church.
The twenty-one men beheaded on February 15, 2015, were poor day-laborers in Libya who, for the most part, were the sole support for their families back home in Egypt. The families they left behind suffered through 45 anxious days after their loved ones were captured. These same families described their experience to the Egypt’s Focus team explaining that, miraculously, within hours of the mens’ executions, their grief turned to rejoicing. Their precious men were now in the presence of Jesus. Their torture had ended.
It’s unfathomable for me to imagine being in their place and responding that way. They, however, are now praying for the members of ISIS—praying they would one day come to see the light of God’s truth and love.
Egypt’s Focus office has seen an increased interest in Christianity from people of the Muslim faith due to persecution. Their office is helping to bring the light of Christ to a very dark corner of the world.
What can I do to help my persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ? I asked myself as I continued reading the letter.
I finally felt a sense of hope when I read about Focus’ new campaign to raise $931,000 over the next few weeks for the specific purpose of building up Middle East outreach. The funds will contribute to the ongoing ministry to refugee families and intervention in crisis situations, as well as provide practical help and answers to their questions about marriage, parenting and family issues.
According to Jim Daly, “Contributions to the fund will also be designated to several specific projects, including the construction of new housing for families of the twenty Egyptian martyrs. They’re also hoping to establish a memorial for those brave men, as well as help start a sustainability project for their families and members of the surrounding community who’ve lost their primary source of income. The fund will also purchase 10,000 “Women’s Dignity Kits,” which can be a lifeline for refugee women who are culturally forbidden from broaching certain subjects related to feminine hygiene.”
This fund will help continue Focus’ ministry to share God’s love by addressing the people’s short-term physical and long-term spiritual needs.
If you’re like me and have been waiting for an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those being persecuted, as well as wanting to reach out to Muslims with the gospel message, here’s your chance.
There are several ways to give:
• Call toll-free 1-800-A-FAMILY and give over the phone
• Mail your check to
Focus on the Family
PO Box 219382
Kansas City, MO 64121-9382
• Or visit their website and give at FocusOnTheFamily.com/International
As stated in Focus’ letter, every gift helps and is appreciated, no matter how small.
Let’s take this opportunity, as those who love Christ and want to be His ambassadors, to give to those who are suffering greatly for their faith. God calls us to minister to widows and orphans. This is a practical way we can make a difference in their lives. Won’t you join me?