Faithful workers in South East Asia
About 40 years ago, Abbas met a foreign Christian in his hometown in Afghanistan. And Abbas decided to follow Jesus. When his Christian friend left he was utterly alone, and knew no other believers. He eventually married a distant cousin and she, too, put her faith in Jesus. They raised 6 children and taught them everything they knew. For 37 years Abbas and his family struggled to walk faithfully with God, even though they didn't have a church family to encourage and train them.
Then, 3 years ago, one of his sons was killed by Taliban militants. The killers found the son's cell phone and threatened the entire family.
I met Abbas and his family when I traveled to Tajikistan, on the Northern border of Afghanistan. While there I stayed with this precious family (only half are here in this photo), and heard the stories of their struggles as followers of Jesus.
From the time of their son's death, to the night when a grenade was thrown into their small garden courtyard, to they day the youngest daughter fought off an attacker in the market, Abbas and his family have remained faithful to God's purposes for their lives.
Now they live as refugees. Trusting God for provision each day. Yet grateful that He has protected them, despite the struggles they face as strangers in a new land. I was truly touched by this Afghani family's steadfastness, their love for their people, and their generous hospitality as they fed and cared for me, a stranger.
In this holiday season, would you remember to pray for Abbas and his family? Pray for all that God is doing in the Muslim world. And especially for those who face similar persecution on a regular basis.