COVID-19: A Disaster Facing the Persecuted | UPDATE
04/29/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – We recently launched an initiative to bring relief to persecuted communities affected by COVID-19. Since then, we have been blown away by your generosity!
Thanks to your response, we are already distributing aid on the ground. Through your partnership, lives are being changed.
James 1:27 reads, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Thank you for joining hands with us to fulfill this call! Click here to learn more and get involved today.
About a week and a half ago, I sent out an email, a video email just like this. Letting people know about the situation that some of the persecuted are going through, where they’re under severe financial strain and it’s connected of course, with COVID-19 and the lockdowns they’re going through. And so we sent out the appeal and people have responded well. And if you haven’t seen that video can you go back and watch it. Just pause this, and look for the link below or we’ll show you where it’s at. And listen to that, because that’s going to give you the context for everything I’m going to share today. But anyways, people responded really well. Our donors jumped on board with us and a lot of new people have come on board wanting to share with a brother and sister.
And so, I just wanted to let you know, this is just an update and say, we are out putting aid out and the countries where we’re working are, let’s see, it’s Pakistan, India, Egypt, Iraq and another country that we don’t want to mention. And so, we’re only helping in those areas where there’s severe distress and where our staff can get past the block down the lock down rather, and get food to the victims. But anyway, so reports are coming back and I just wanted to read you some of these testimonials. So, let me read these for you. So, let’s see. “I thank you for considering me eligible.” This is from Rachel by the way. “I thank you for considering me eligible for the food stuff. This food aid is like providing life to my family. I had almost started begging wealthy people for help and therefore I appreciate this food assistance. I’m an elderly woman and my children are daily wage laborers. There are no jobs. This food means a lot for us.”
This is from Nadeer and he said, “Christian people in the villages are suffering. I tried to get food at a mosque, food distribution, but was rejected because I wouldn’t turn to Islam.” And he said, “We experienced rejection and that was heartbreaking, and my children did not eat for two days last week. However, we had faith in Jesus our God is a God of miracles. We had faith in him and therefore we have this food which is enough for a month.” This is from Zena. Zena says, “Since the beginning of this month we had to cut to one meal a day for the family due to the shortage. And now my children will enjoy food three times a day. Muslims here do not respect us. We’re often rejected and discriminated against but inviting us to collect food stuff has strengthened my faith in God.”
And one more. This is from Irshad and she said, “I am out of the job for almost two months now and therefore I’m facing a lot of difficulty to feed my family. My kitchen was empty, there were no eatables. All in storage was gone. However, this help has brought happiness back to our faces. I’m thankful to you and your organization for taking care of me and my family. May God bless you abundantly.”
And whenever you’re hearing those things, you need to hear it personally. Because all we do, we’re the hands and feet and you guys are the givers. So, we work together as partners, but when they’re thanking somebody they’re really thanking you and I wish you can hear that. So again, I talked to some of the countries we’re helping, and I just wanted to take today focus on one group of people that we’re helping.
And that is MBBs, and MBBs are Muslim-background believers. And they’re a special class of people and really to understand what they’re going through, you have to understand first of all, Islam, it’s much more than a religion. It’s a way of life. It’s all encompassing. And when you leave Islam in a fundamentalist culture, everything is lost. So, the person goes through quite a climb to get to that point where they’re willing to leave their faith. And it’s not because it’s not just a faith, they’re going to leave their family, probably their job, maybe their wife and kids, there’ll be taken from them. So, they’ll have to leave their family home. Just everything collapses. And so, it’s a monumental decision to come to faith. And then they come to faith and then they’re often in severe danger, either beatings or even killings. And the killing will usually come from their family, which is crazy enough to Western ears it doesn’t make sense.
But it has to do with Islam. And so anyways, they have to escape. They flee their city usually and they go of somewhere and they’re working menial jobs, and they’re in a hiding and isolated. So, you’ve put all that together, and you think of this severe financial distress they’re under when they go through a situation like that. And then you put the lockdown on top of it. And what happens to these guys? Again, they’re already menial daily, just typically just doing something to survive because they lose their jobs and then they have no income come off. So, we’ve been helping with MBBs. And I wanted to read some of their testimonies too. Here’s just a couple of them. So, these guys, in fact, they’re not the food testimonies, they’re conversion testimonies. So you understand what these guys go through.
This is from E.M, he’s 29 years old. He typically works in a coffee shop, but it’s been closed due to the lockdown. He said, I found Jesus from my neighbor. I was fond of her, say her, right? I was fond of her and then began to get to know her, and then she shared her faith with me. She was a graduate from Al-Azhar University. Al-Azhar University is the Muslim university to go to in the world. And so he says, she had studied Islam and Sharia law at university. But as she explained Islam, I began to see how things were wrong. And then she gave me a Bible, and I began to read it and I began to understand how Jesus was crucified and he loved us, and I accepted Jesus as a savior. And I began to grow in faith, and then I proposed to her. She’s now my wife.
Her family though, discovered we became Christians, and they were going to kill us. So we ran away and we got married, and we live in a place far from our families. So, this is just so typical. They’re discovered that they’ve become Christians and then they have to run. You’ll hear it again. This is B.H, one more for you. He’s a handyman. He’s married, has a pregnant wife and one daughter. And he says, I found Christ through a friend. I saw a change in his life and he stopped cursing. And his life changed so much that I asked him about it, and he told me about Jesus. He said, Christianity was strange to me. So I kept asking him all the questions I had for a month, and after that I was convinced I accepted Jesus.
And then he took me and he introduced me to other believers and I joined a disciple group. And then my wife accepted Jesus. He said, our family discovered we became Christians and they wanted to take revenge on us. So we had to leave our home and move to a new area for safety. So, hopefully that gives you a little understanding like this. I just wanted to single out this class of believers we’re helping, is the MBBs, they are in such a precarious situation. And so, we’re helping in lots of different areas. I’m going to come back and give you more updates in the next couple of weeks. In the book of James, it says, that true religion is to help those in severe distress. That’s a paraphrase.
It’s talking about widows and orphans, but it’s the most vulnerable people in the most distress. And he says, that’s true religion. And I just want to say thank you because you guys are living up to that. You’re thinking about your brother and sister. We’re going through our struggles here, but when we look in comparison obviously, we see a whole different level of suffering. And so, anyways, I just want to say thank you. If you haven’t given and you would like to give, or if you’d like to give again, just follow the link and God bless you guys. I’ll be back and tell you more.