Our new Senior Regional Manager, Corey Bailey, gives her first impressions of joining the team, and working for the persecuted church at ICC.
As ICC’s newest staff member, I have had a crash course on the issue of persecution against Christians. The funny thing is, I already thought I knew a lot. Perhaps I did, but it was nowhere near the amount I know now.
I grew up in the Church and even as a child was reading books about martyrs, missionaries and the like. I admired these people that I read about and would pray and ask God to give me faith like theirs. I would also throw in a quick: ‘please God don’t let me have to suffer for my faith’ prayer, followed with a ‘but if I have to please give me the strength to stay true to you’ prayer. Ah, the heart of the pre-teen.
After college, I joined a missionary organization and for the next 10 years travelled around the world working with the poor and destitute. I rubbed shoulders with unsung heroes of the faith and witnessed poverty first-hand, and walked paths that would change me forever. I taught in a Christian university about the love of God, and led times of prayer and intercession for the persecuted who had no one to speak up for them.
Since working at ICC, however, I have had both the pleasure and heartache of learning more than I ever wanted to know about our persecuted brothers and sisters. I found myself stunned to read stories of persecution, like the Malatya Martyrs in Turkey, that I had never even heard of. I was a Christian who cared about such things! How did I not know? Had I been living under a rock? That is why I am grateful to be here at ICC, and grateful that you take the time to read our blogs, our news posts, and get involved with our projects, relieving the suffering of the persecuted.
Because I am aware, I am equipped to do something about it.
As the body of Christ, I believe it is our mandate to care about such things. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who don’t know the good news and to our brothers and sisters who are suffering. That has been a mandate of mine since for a few years, when, during a time of prayer, I felt the Lord speak to me about those who are unable to speak up for themselves. I had a picture in my mind of a little abused girl who was standing alone in a corner crying. Jesus had his arms wrapped around her, but it was as if He was a ghost because she didn’t know he was there. He turned to scream over his shoulder, “Can I get some help over here?” It reminded me of an EMT being the first on the scene after a big accident, yelling over his shoulder for back up. But Jesus was there alone and no one was answering his call to be His arms around the girl, to rescue her. I knew He was asking me if I was willing to help.
The Spirit of the Lord is on me…to proclaim freedom for the captives. Isaiah 61:1 NIV