I will never forget my friend from Pakistan.
I met him at Bible school in Germany. One evening, while hanging out in the lecture hall he told me a story about what life was like for him in Pakistan.
He told me that one time militant Muslim extremists (it is important to note that faithful, practicing Muslims are not militant extremists and that Islam practiced faithfully is a faith of peace) put him in the back of a car, took him to a building, force fed him and hung him upside down. The next thing he remembers is his mother sitting over his bedside crying. Still he believed in a God that, in his words, is ‘much bigger.’ There was sacrifice and faith staring me in the face.
I walked out of the lecture hall that night introduced to true sacrifice in the name of faith. It was a sacrifice I had not known in my many years in North American Christian circles. To believe was a matter of life and death.
It was a moment, a person, who has been significantly formative to my faith. It scared the crap out of me. But sacrifice in the name of faithfulness has a tendency to do that.
A few weeks after he shared that story with me, we found out that his family had to disown him for fear of persecution themselves. It was a trying time for many of us who supported him.
We come up against resistance because of faith in many places and spaces in North America. After all, we are moving increasingly into a time where the story of Jesus is not known. Yet I am not so sure that the majority of us have a clue what persecution is…
We have much to learn from the global church!!!!!
Have you ever been persecuted for faith? Do we really have a clue about persecution?
I am thankful for my friend from Pakistan. I am happy to write that he is doing great and living in Germany.