Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 21, 2015

While We Live Our Lives

When we go to bed at night, many of our missions ministry’s global partners are just starting their day. I know that I should turn off my phone at night but I just can’t do it. I generally receive several messages a night from our partners around the world, many of whom need a timely reply. So, I keep my phone on my nightstand and have grown accustomed to hearing the messages ping into my inbox. This is all just a part of my routine — and that’s ok.

Most of the messages I receive are either ministry reports or questions about strategy or budget. However, occasionally I receive one of those dreaded emails telling me about the death of one of our partners. I received news earlier this week from one of our key partners in Bangladesh telling me that one of his church planters was killed by extremists. He was abducted on his way home from a meeting and was stabbed to death. My friend included a photo of the body. Sobering.

Shirajul, the man who was attacked and killed by a group of violent men, had been a Christ-follower since 2000. He leaves behind a wife, a 4 year-old son, and a 2 year-old son. He had led most of the families in his village to Christ and was effectively sharing the gospel in neighboring villages. On his way home from meeting with a house church in a neighboring village, he was attacked, beaten, and stabbed in the head. Like our other partners who serve in nations that are hostile to the gospel, Shirajul knew the risks and had counted the cost.

The reality is that while we live our lives in relative safety, many Christ-followers in the world today will never know what it means to live a single day without the threat of violence for no other reason than they are Christ-followers. The task of reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ will not be accomplished without the blood of the martyrs. More Christians have been martyred in the last one-hundred years than in the previous nineteen-centuries combined. But, as in Bangladesh, no act of terror will halt the advance of the gospel.

Blood of the Martyrs
The blood of the martyrs is indeed the seed of the church. The work will go on — in Bangladesh and wherever people who love and serve Christ are martyred. Acts 7:56 records the last words of Stephen, the first Christian martyr: “Look, he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’” This is the only time the Bible speaks of Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Perhaps He stood to welcome the first martyr into heaven. I’d like to think that Jesus also stood to welcome Shirajul home and to thank him for his faithful service.


Responses

  1. My heart is so saddened~

  2. Thank you for putting things into perspective for me. We often don’t understand or appreciate how fortunate we are to live in a country where we are free to be Christians and do not live in fear for professing our faith. We tend to get hung up on political rampages and exaggerate “how bad” things are getting but the truth be known….we are sooo very lucky and fortunate. It is an eye opener when you read news like this. Praying for this family and thank you for humbling my heart and reminding me that someone else out there has it much worse than I do. This was a great read for me today. Love you!


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