Persecution 101

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:10

When was the last time that you were being persecuted that you thought about this passage from Matthew and smiled because you realized you are richly blessed and await the kingdom of Heaven?  If you are like me, it probably has not been recently…persecution brings complaints and the cry of “why me?” shouted skywards.  Persecution can come in many different forms.  For those of living in North America persecution can simply come from friends; some cause happiness wherever they go and others whenever they go.  Another sample might be attached to the word ‘hospitality’; making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were at their own home.  

Persecution; how can we be glad when we are persecuted, spoken about badly, taken advantage of and have evil lies told about us when we are just trying to do good?  Those are generally the forms of persecution we face; hopefully in our lives we will not have to face the persecution others face around this world and have to fear for our very lives.  The small house in the attached photo doesn’t appear to be very formidable.  It’s a vodou temple about two miles north and west of St Marc and just after I took this photo an old vodou priestess came running out swinging a broom at me.  She was angry at me because she believed my camera lifted power from her temple.  I don’t know how many evil spirits she cast on me that day or how long they stay with a person but two years later I had a bus load of people on a mission team from the Kansas City area stop at this same temple and asked that they all took a photo in hopes that her evil power would be gone forever.

The children attending Christian schools in Haiti are waging a war with vodou, in Haiti, in their neighborhoods and some cases; within their own families.  They need your daily prayers as they face their persecution and also need your support so their bodies will be nourished with food for strength as they daily do battle with satan.  If these children face persecution each day for doing right, shouldn't we think we will as well?  Those who suffer to bring a blessing to others have a witness that cannot be silenced.  

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

May God be with you…Jay