Having read a book of “Hearts of Fire”. which mostly stories of women who stood firm in their faith in spite of persecution. Brought me to thinking of the possibilities and scenarios where I need to defend my faith. And I began asking myself. Will I be faithful enough not to deny Him?
Being in the place where your faith is neither welcome nor celebrated brings worries and fear sometimes, most especially as a parent. My husband and I keep saying, it would be a different story if we were not with a child. But we obeyed, trusting that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Then one night my husband got a call coming from our local partner.
He is asking my husband to come with him at a hospital to pray for a brother in Christ that is wounded with a gun shot. They went to the hospital together to pray. My husband not knowing what happened asked out of curiosity. They then said that his neighbor shot him because of his faith. They immediately brought him to the hospital but to no avail. They said that there’s no resident doctor that can operate a gunshot.
My husband was shocked but was more surprised when he saw the gentleness in the face of the man who was shot towards the family of the man who shot him. He said he has never seen that kind of love where you will be willing to forgive the person who have caused you pain even at the brink of death.
The Bible said in Matthew chapter 5, verses 44-45 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Sometimes when we felt betrayed we think that we are also entitled to get back or to repay. We gave in to that self-justification that is ok to be mad and soak in the emotion of grudge and despair because we are wronged, we are in pain. We forget that we die daily as we choose Christ. We rant when somebody accuse us of something we didn’t do. These are just nothing compared to what our brothers in Christ suffers because of their faith. Some of them couldn’t even sing aloud and praise God in the fear of being put to jail or even put to death.
Some cries in silent, weeping and travailing for the salvation of their countrymen. Some even faces persecution everyday just because they choose to stand in their faith. Crying silently in spite of the pain they experience physically, denying their right to fight back because they choose to drink the cup of suffering which Christ did for the salvation of many.
May we all be encouraged when we face various trials. Thinking that it is not only us but there are also people out there who’s experiencing worst than what we are experiencing. May we be encouraged that we were never alone. And that the “The testing of our faith produces perseverance’.. says James chapter 1, verses 3-4, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”(NIV)
Our brother is still alive today, continuing in faith even with the bullet still buried in his flesh.
Monica Las Duce is a missionary currently residing in “A” country with her husband and her daughter. She lost her second baby in 2021 but God have been so faithful to them and blessed them with another. While helping her husband in the ministry, she is also working as a primary school teacher to sustain their needs and the ministry. They have been serving for almost three years now.