When I Met Them: Part 2
In case you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.
05/07/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – ICC’s first staff conference was a great “exhalation.” It was cathartic. Suddenly, field staffers were surrounded by an entire family of believers who also understood persecution, who also lived in isolation, and who also encountered incredibly tragic situations.
“It was nice to spend a few days in my Father’s house,” ICC’s Myanmar field staffer recalled.
This year’s conference was no different.
“We go from 2D to 3D,” explained Gina, ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia. She once heard another Regional Manager get disconnected from his field staffer 26 times during one phone call.
These communication barriers are removed at the conference, bringing a vibrant community of various cultures and ethnicities together to worship God. It is an uplifting experience for all parties.
Mia, a member of ICC’s administrative team, had not experienced persecution up close until the conference, and she was deeply touched. “For me, it connected my work with our mission … To see their own struggles outside of persecution, their joy is still to serve. To see how much they care for the victims just humanizes it for me. It was transformative,” Mia said.
Mia was especially touched by the testimony of one of ICC’s Egypt field staffers. Christians in Egypt have been marginalized for hundreds of years. They are considered secondhand citizens. In parts of Egypt, Christians receive a cross tattoo on their wrists during infanthood. If they are stolen or separated from their families, this mark prevents them from being coerced into the Muslim faith. It reminds them of their heritage. When they shake someone’s hand for the first time, the tattoo sends a clear message: “I am a Christian.” They are not ashamed of their faith.
By the end of the conference, Mia had witnessed the resilience of the persecuted Church and the incredible work that the field staff were doing all over the world. Persecution stared back at her from the slideshow, from the stories, and from ICC’s field staff.
And she wept.
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