You Can Sit With Us

I was asking the Lord this morning what I should write about today and I believe He led me here. This is an excerpt from the book, I am N. This book is inspiring stories of Christian’s who are being persecuted for their faith in God. Most who live on the run….. I hope this gives you a glimpse into what others’ are facing outside of the United States. When our faith is firmly planted at the foot of the cross and we come to know who God really is; we stay the course even when it can be outright dangerous. God is with you and will help you if you release your life into His care.

Location – Afghanistan

It was 5:00 a.m. Inside the apartment, a handful of bearded men, heads wrapped in white or beige turbans, sat in a circle as if gathered around a campfire. What drew them together? Not the warmth of a fire but the light of God’s Word. Positioned on the floor in the middle of their circle, like the hub of a wheel, were hand-sketched illustrations of Bible stories. Nearby, a turquoise pitcher of water and matching basin had been prepared for foot washing. This was a Bible study.

In a tone just above a whisper, Farid, the group leader, prayed, “We thank you, God, for your willingness to meet with us this morning. We thank you for your presence here among us.”

Farid had just introduced the book of Acts when someone pounded on the door. Before anyone could react, dark-clothed intruders burst in brandishing rifles and knives. Farid was slammed to the floor. His hands were tied behind his back and a knife was placed just inches from his neck. None of the six men resisted.

Amid the panic and confusion came clarity in prayer. “God,” Farid prayed, “if this is the time for me to die, I forgive these people who want to kill me.”

Farid believed it was an honor to die for God’s glory. If he died, he didn’t want the intruders’ blood on his hands. “I wanted God to forgive them, and I wanted them to come to Christ as a result of my death,” he later said.

He closed his eyes, waiting for the prick of intense pain and the end. When nothing happened, he sensed God wanting him to stand up and leave the room. So he stood. His hands were no longer tied. The straps simply fell to the floor. He walked toward the door, which was guarded by two armed men.

“Sit down, dog,” one commanded. “You’re not leaving—alive.”

The other pointed his AK-47 rifle at Farid and squeezed the trigger.

Click. Nothing. The rifle had jammed.

Click. Again.

The rifle’s failure to fire diverted both guards’ attention, and Farid fled. As he raced down the stairs three or four steps at a time, he heard gunfire. He saw bullets chip the wall beyond him, but he escaped unharmed.

The story of his escape is even more amazing in light of the fact that none of his five companions were injured. Only the leader of the terrorist group was accidentally shot. Inside a bag, police found an Al-Qaeda flag, two swords, and a video camera.

According to police, the terrorists had planned to videotape the beheading of all six men and show it on the Al Jazeera television network. Evidently, the attackers knew Farid was winning Afghan Muslims to Christ. The videotape would warn missionaries, evangelists, and former Muslims that they would be killed if they didn’t stop their evangelism and discipleship.

What terrorists wanted to accomplish that morning did not happen. Heads did not roll. Blood was not spilled. The only casualty was one of their own, even though none of the six Christians resisted with force.

Instead, followers of Jesus experienced yet another reason to rejoice in the awesome power of their sovereign God. No wonder the apostle Paul rejoiced in his suffering and wrote of his desire to “know him [Jesus] and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10). May our joy in Christ ever increase as we grow in trust and faith in Him.

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