In church today we has a message delivered by a missionary living in Africa. Our church supports over eighty missionaries in various spots around the world. They are often asked back to discuss their ministries and each month we have a mission’s offering. The stories are always powerful and they are thankful for the support. Living in this country, I know my viewpoint is skewed. I have trouble wrapping my mind around life in the world of the persecuted church. We can’t connect with the reality that there are believers facing death every day to live a life of faith.
One of the television shows I loved to watch was True Life on MTV. MTV hasn’t been responsible for great programming recently and forget about music, but True Life had some amazing episodes. For those not familiar, it was a documentary following around multiple subjects based on a sentence description. Topics ranged from addiction to social issues, with characters tragic and funny. One show was based around three kids living as teenagers in Israel. I remember one girl talking about the fear of violence every day on her walk to school. I couldn’t get my head around the image of being scared of walking in your neighborhood. I grew up in a relatively small town and spent years walking home from school with the girl who I would marry years after our time in high school.
I remember buying one of the publications of Voices of the Martyrs. I devoured the book, filled with historical and current accounts of people dying for their faith. Jesus consistently draws images from death. We are told to pick up our crosses and follow him. We are told to lay down our lives. We are meant to live dead, spending each day in the knowledge that we are not home yet.
After each one of the messages on Sundays focused on missions, each person would ask if we felt the call of God to serve in a foreign country. I never felt the pull to uproot my family and move across the world. I feel like God has called me to serve here, now, in this community. That is the point behind this business and the Overcome book. You can serve where you live and, as you do, never forget those lose their lives for Christ. We are family, one body living for one cause. The stories of our brothers and sisters should serve to inspire us in our daily walks to know we will all worship one day, every tribe and tongue, surrounding the throne in Heaven.