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Message From Pastor Leon

posted Aug 21, 2016, 6:30 AM by Tracey Morris
In last month's column I told you about the Voice of the Martyrs organization which ministers to Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith. VOM has recently published the book I Am 'n' which consists of 48 stories of Christians who are facing persecution from Islamic extremists. This is the book I spoke about in the sermon on August 14th. The 'n' in the title is short for "followers of the Nazarene (Jesus)." It is the mark sprayed painted on the homes and business of Christians targeted for persecution by ISIS. In many places, to say "I am 'n', a follower of the Nazarene, and I will not deny my faith," means your business will be destroyed, you have to leave your home, and you may be killed. The book tells the stories of many people who have given up everything to follow Jesus.

As I wrote last month, we can learn much about following Jesus from reading the stories of these Christians. The book is divided into six sections, with stories in each part to teach us about various aspects of the Christian life-- Sacrifice, Courage, Joy, Perseverance, Forgiveness, and Faithfulness. It is inspiring to read how, in such extreme circumstances, these Christians are able to persevere, keep the faith, forgive others, and still be courageous and joyful.

This book (and other resources that go with it) will be the focus of our adult education opportunities this Fall. Beginning Thursday, September 15th I will teach a class based on the book and a six-part DVD that accompanies it. The class will be held every other Thursday evening, at 7:00 p.m. in the Mary Room.

Some of the small groups may use this as they continue meeting at their usual time. Others may join the Thursday class for the six sessions. Some individuals will do both.

You may also get a copy and read the book on your own.

Copies of the book I Am 'n' is available in the church office ($6.00). That book contains the 48 stories. There is also a supplementary Participant's Guide ($4.00) which contains background information, Scripture readings, and prayers. That also is available in the church office.

The lives of these brothers and sisters in Christ will inspire you, make you grateful for your many blessings, and encourage your prayers.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Pastor Leon

 

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