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Ethics & Religion
May 28, 2020
Col. #2,024
"Open Doors" Supports Persecuted Christians
By Mike McManus

During the pandemic, millions of Christians are being persecuted.

"Usha" and other Christians in her Indian village have no way to provide for their families. Usha made her living selling vegetables, but due to the pandemic, she receives no income and no government relief. When representatives of Open Doors, a Christian relief organization, met Usha, "she was surviving on grains and seeds alone."

"Nobody comes here. Nobody!" she said. "My people are starving here. My family is yearning for simple bread," Usha shared. Some families have been waiting on relief for weeks.

Through the support of Christian believers, Open Doors delivered emergency food relief to Usha - and to more than 20,000 persecuted believers across Asia alone.

Some families have been waiting for relief for weeks. Readers of this column can help rescue a Christian family from starvation. A gift of $30 to Open Doors will give a family like Usha's an emergency food kit. Send a check to Open Doors USA, PO Box 27001, Santa Ana, CA 92799 or visit their website at https://www.opendoorsusa.org

There are 50 countries on the World Watch List, where it is most dangerous to be a Christian. One of them is China. The CEO of Open Doors is David Curry. He writes, "It's what some Christians in China go through constantly - the reality that the government keeps tabs on them."

When he visited Beijing recently "I found I was constantly under the cold eyes of CCTV cameras: the reality the government keeps tabs on them, making sure they don't get out of line." Open Doors reports on the World Watch List and on such brutal violence as the Easter Sunday bombing in Sri Lanka or the spike in violent attacks in Burkina Faso."

He says the Bible tells us that "the gates of hell will not overcome the Church of God. But the Bible also tells us that the gates of hell will try."

Curry asserts, through the World Watch List, "Christians like you and me are standing up for God - and suffering because of it. We and every Christian living in the 50 countries on the World Watch List are one Church and one Family."

Open Doors supports God's people with what they need - "Bibles, emergency relief, and trauma counseling, advocacy and much more."

The ministry was created by Brother Andrew decades ago, and he is still active. "Brother Adnrew is our chief adventurer and lead risk taker. He's best known for courageously putting his life on the line to smuggle Bibles behind the Iron Curtain at the height of the Cold War."
Early in his ministry, he approached the Romanian border in his car - which was packed with illegal Bibles. The guard took a full hour to inspect the car in front of him - including removing hubcaps and removing seats.

"Dear Lord," Brother Andrew remembers praying, "What am I going to do?"

"Dare I ask for a miracle? Let me take some of the Bibles in the open where they will be seen. Putting the Bible out in the open would truly be depending on God, rather than his own intelligence," he thought.

Then the unbelievable happened. The guard looked at Brother Andrew's passport and abruptly waved him on. "Surely, 30 seconds had not passed."

Brother Andrew's work went on to span many decades and geographic locations. And this incident at the Romanian border became one of many close calls to follow.

He developed a prayer to say as he snuck Bibles and Christian literature across the border: "Lord in my luggage I have Scripture I want to take to you your children. When you were on earth, You made blind eyes see. Now, I pray, make seeing eyes blind! Do not let the guards see those things you do not want them to see."

Stories from Brother Andrew's dangerous global exploits earned him the nickname. "God's Smuggler." It was a title that would also become the title of a best-selling book, God's Smuggler, which went on to sell over 10 million copies and be translated into 35 languages!

David Curry, CEO of Open Doors, writes, "in his lifetime of travel around the world, he became "everyone's brother" because he lived as a brother to all who follow Christ.

In reading about him, his story suggests that God might also use ordinary people like us in extraordinary ways.

I'm ready! How about you?

Visit their website at https://www.opendoorsusa.org
_________________________

Copyright (c) 2020 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.comm. Hit Search for any topic.

 

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