Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Right

Ummm, first let me take a moment to reflect on the obvious and take a breath at the reality that it's.... NOVEMBER.

Are we seriously two months away from greeting in a new year?! Where has 2010 gone? But it's not over... so I'm not ready to recap or wish away the two months in front of us. Some big things are happening in November and December, and the McGoo's better have our game faces on and ready to tackle what's ahead.

Starting this blog post will be, I believe the 5th start to a blog since I've last posted... and obviously I've never finished or completed any of those, so I'm hoping today will be the day. 

So today, my hubby and I exercised our RIGHT and privilege to VOTE. As I heard people around my office, on the radio, all over Facebook begin to discuss if they were going to vote or not, I couldn't help but begin to think about how privileged we are that we have the RIGHT TO VOTE. There are many nations and people throughout the world that are still without the right today. In the same way, were many that fought for my right to vote, so I was honored to be able to exercise that right today. I hope you all did the same.

And with that thought... today I was also reminded how blessed I am (we are) to have the freedom to exercise and practice our faith. I have no fear or uncertainty about praying in public, going to church, and/or talking about my love for Jesus Christ. Even now, as I write this, I do not fear something bad happening to me, or fear of the government finding out that I'm a Christian and throwing me in jail. I am (we are) BLESSED for our religious freedom. 

However, many nations are not in the same position as we are, and for that I want to work better at not taking the way we are blessed within the United States for granted... and make a point to pray for the persecuted church.

Sunday, November 14th marks the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Is your church participating?

In an effort to raise awareness and pray more fervently for the persecuted church across the world, my church is putting together display boards for some of the Top 50 persecuted nations. I am helping to raise awareness about The Persecuted Church of Somalia, which is ranked 4th on the World Wide List of persecuted nations. Christians throughout Somalia are being persecuted for their faith and only with the power of prayer can a difference be made.

Here is the display board I put together to display at church and raise awareness... I felt like I was back in middle school or high school when I was putting it together.

And here are the two stories of persecution in Somalia I shared on the left side of my display board (www.persecution.com):

Somalia: Somali Christian Killed

On May 4, members of the Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab killed an underground church leader in Xarardheere, Mudug region, Somalia, according to Compass Direct News.

The extremists, who were battling a rival rebel group for control of the area, were searching house to house for enemy fighters when they arrived at the home of 57-year-old Yusuf Ali Nur, a school teacher and underground church leader. They suspected that Yusuf was a Christian, so they shot him multiple times
at close range, killing him. Yusuf is survived by his wife and three children, ages 7, 9 and 11.

Al-Shabaab, which is linked with al-Qaeda, has reportedly vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity. In recent months, several Somali Christians have been killed by the group in execution-style murders, including one murder as recently as late March.

The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray that Yusuf’s loved ones will trust in God’s unfailing love. Pray that Yusuf’s legacy will embolden other believers to walk a path of steadfast faith, even amid great adversity. Pray that God will encourage and strengthen members of the Somali church.

Posted: May 20, 2010

Somalia: Convert Abused by Family

A 17-year-old girl in the Gedo Region of Somalia was severely beaten by her family recently after they discovered she had converted to Christianity, according to Compass Direct News. Nurta Mohamed Farah, 17, was later taken to a doctor, who prescribed medication for a “mental illness.” When she refused to abandon her Christian faith, her family forced her to take the medication.

Nurta’s family has read Islamic scripture to her twice a week since May 10, when they learned of her conversion. Somalis traditionally believe that the Quran cures the sick — especially the mentally ill.

Nurta has been shackled to a tree during the day and held in a small, dark room at night, according to Compass. “There is little the community can do about her condition, which is very bad,” a Christian source told Compass. “I have advised our community leader to keep monitoring her condition but not to meddle for their own safety. … We need prayers and human advocacy for such inhuman acts, and for freedom of religion for the Somali people.”

The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray that Nurta will be encouraged and emboldened as she suffers for her faith. Pray that her steadfast commitment to Christ will soften the hearts of her parents so that they, too, will come to know him. Pray that God will grant wisdom and guidance to the Christian community in Somalia as they share the gospel with their neighbors.

Posted: June 24, 2010

So PRAY for the Persecuted Church of Somalia today, and be THANKFUL for YOUR RIGHT to vote and YOUR RIGHT to pursue your faith without hindrance or fear of attack. I know I am.

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