Safely Home by Randy Alcorn - Let me start by saying this isn’t a book review. It’s about how this book inspired me. I’ve read it twice. The first time, I had recently returned from a trip to China with my sister. She and my brother-in-law where traveling to adopt their second child and I went along as a helping hand. After reading this story, I was convinced I should take Bibles to China. I didn’t. Recently, that same sister challenged me to encourage reading by posting the cover of some of my favorite books over a period of seven days. Safely Home had made such an impression on me that it has remained one of my favorites - after posting it to social media, I decided to read it again. This time the impression became indelible. Why? Because I’m different. When you meet Jesus, He changes your life in ways you cannot begin to image. You see everything in life in a different light - in His light.
As a child, one of my first desires was to be a missionary. It may have been the allure of travel, something I still enjoy. Followers of Jesus frequently quote the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and low, I am with you always even to the end of the age.” Matthew 27:19-20. It is also found in Mark 16:15-16, “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.’”
While I still desire to go beyond the boundaries of my hometown and country, sharing the saving truth and love of Jesus Christ, I realize that my inability to go does not make me any less a missionary nor excuse me from the Great Commission. Some go, others may enable those going to be successful, by their gifts and their prayers. This story showed me and reminded me of those who are being persecuted and the difference between the United States and other countries, be it China or any other country, that does not allow the freedom to worship God as we do.
As believers we need to lift our brothers and sisters in Christ up in prayer every day. Especially those who are being persecuted. Our national news seldom reports the truth of the persecution Christians in other countries face daily. We are their voice crying out to God on their behalf, it is more than our responsibility, it is an opportunity. An opportunity to be united as believers, an opportunity to speak with our creator, an opportunity to strengthen our own faith.
As I read Safely Home, it once again reminded me that those who are persecuted are stronger in faith than those who are not. I am blessed to be an American. But I am an American not because of anything other than it was God’s will that I be here - what am I doing to help those who God put in other countries? How would I have fared had I been placed there instead of here - I fear I would not have had the perseverance and faith of my persecuted brothers and sisters. Who's to say that persecution won’t someday come to the shores of America - even now I see it’s tentacles. Would it not behoove me to pray without ceasing so that should I face such a time, my faith will be strong?
There are sources that bring you the news from these countries, here are a couple of the best that I’m aware of, check them out at your leisure, Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs. Join me in being committed to praying, not only for the missionaries and citizens in oppressed countries, but also believers in America. Pray that America will be awakened, dare I say revived, to the great need and the part we each have in fulfilling the call of the Great Commission.