“On the day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria… Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” (Acts 8:1,4)
In a village not far from my home the chief offered sacrifices to idols. He ordered every family in the community to give him a “tax” equivalent to a day’s wages so he could purchase large quantities of an alcoholic beverage to worship one of his figurines.
The Christians in the evangelical church joined together and refused to participate in the idolatrous ceremony. They told the village leader they wouldn’t give any money for it. The chief ordered the local soldiers to steal all the chickens from the members of the church. The hens had provided food and wages for the people.
The church members had only been influenced by Christianity for seven years since the Jesus film was shown to them. Yet they responded spiritually as if they’d been following Christ for decades.
The other missionaries and I discussed the possibility of helping them by replacing all the stolen chickens. But the African church leaders insisted it would cause jealously and increase the hostility. The chief would have kept stealing every replaced bird. Much later we were able to give food and medicines to the persecuted Christians.
In the meantime the church grew to be the strongest one in the area.
This is a repost from several weeks ago, but I hope it will be a positive reminder of the higher good that often comes through persecution.
Genuine believers will go through persecution, but grow stronger as a result.”
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (II Timothy 3:12)
Thanks for taking time to visit this week,