This weekend I was up in Leicester to celebrate a close friends 61st birthday with a community BBQ and some delicious food. After 10 years in Azerbaijan he and his wife now work with, among others, asylum seekers. Many of these are from Iran.
Behind every person there is a story. Today I heard the story of someone I will call Lydia. She had to flee Iran because she and her husband were in danger of arrest and imprisonment because of their involvement in a house church. Lydia ended up in Turkey and her husband in Greece with neither knowing each others exact whereabouts, separated for over a year. At her point of greatest despair someone found her crying on a park bench, calling out to God and took her to their home. Thus began the long journey to Leicester and being re-united with her husband. She was in tears telling her story though now those tears are starting to be of hope as well as pain.
Hers was just one story I heard yesterday. All different but with similar themes. Stories of fear and anguished decisions; pain and separation; dangerous journeys and challenging adaptation to a new culture. It is one of many thousands of stories of Christians who suffer for their faith; who lose much and make difficult choices.
We all have stories. Do we take time to hear each others stories? Someone once said we are all like aeroplane black boxes-the information is all stored but often what we see is the external outworkings of peoples reactions rather than the root cause. You have hurts and joys that influence who you are, some of which are very difficult. The 340 million persecuted Christians in the world all have stories to tell. What would you or I do in their situation? Hearing the cry of their hearts is the start of trying to do something about it. Open Doors is seeking to make a real difference; 60@60 to support the work of making a difference. Attached is the longer version of Taher’s story video. Thank you for your continued interest and help.