Since 1955, Open Doors has dedicated our time in making sure that persecuted Christians are never left to walk the journey of salvation alone. We’ve shared many stories of our persecuted family from all around the world, and now we want to share the story of the persecuted Church from the eyes of Abishek*, an Open Doors field worker.
Abishek grew up in a Hindu family in South East Asia
He became a Christian while he was still in school. One day a preacher asked him what he wanted to do with his future, “I will study well, become an engineer or maybe a doctor, and I will earn money and have a good house,” he said. Then the preacher showed him Matthew 16:26 and it changed his life forever… “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
“That really touched my heart and I later [truly] received Jesus Christ,” Abishek said. He went to study at a Bible college and taught there for almost 10 years. He later felt the Lord calling him to a different ministry, which led him to join Open Doors in 2014.
Serving the persecuted Church
When we asked Abishek what serving the persecuted Church looked like for him, he said, “If somebody is struggling or has been persecuted or attacked, my first job is to collect information from local leaders or pastors. As soon as we get the information, and if that place is [safe] and the situation isn’t too sensitive, then we go to the place and meet with the believers.” He also acknowledges the importance of preparing Christians for the persecution they will endure.
“It is our solemn duty to educate believers so that they can read the Bible. The more they read the Bible the more they understand the love of God and grow in their faith,” he says. In this way, Open Doors aims to help boost their faith, so they can be persistent and stand strong no matter the cost.
The Lord is always in control
Abishek’s work comes with great risks, particularly when meeting with persecuted believers in their home regions. “When they attack one believer in a village, they look to see who is supporting this person. And when they see us, they ask lot of questions: ‘Why are you helping? Who are you?’” But despite all these dangers, the Lord continues to give our Open Doors field workers boldness to continue in His work for His people.
Open Doors’ role
One of the most important tasks of Open Doors’ field workers in countries like India is simply ‘being there’ for our persecuted family so that they don’t have to face their pain and sorrow alone. “We encourage them; we comfort them; we stand with them, shoulder to shoulder and we share with their sorrows,” Abishek says.
Through the prayers and support of our partners in Southern Africa and across the world, Open Doors field workers can continue to dedicate their lives, and together we can make sure that even though our family in Christ is persecuted, they are NEVER alone!
Date published: 20/07/2019
Written by: Open Doors
Article source: JOY! Magazine