This is a photo of the newly appointed SEND International missionaries attending SEND International’s Candidate Orientation Program (COP). You will notice that some of the faces are blacked out for security reasons. The Church has been persecuted because of its faith in Christ since the beginning. Jesus warned the disciples “Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.” (John 16:2 ESV) It began with Stephan (see Acts 7) and happens still to this day.
But Jesus also said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”(Matthew 5:43–45 ESV) And that is what these folks are doing. They are putting themselves at risk to spread the Word of Truth to people who might try to kill them for it. This is because they have been forgiven much, and so they love much.
And behind them are hundreds of other faithful Christians (doing God’s work here at home) who are supporting them, blessing them, and sending them out to make self-initiating, multiplying, fully-devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. SEND has put together a helpful guide on How To Pray For Missionaries and Missionary Kids. Check it out and feel free to share it with others. To God be the glory. Great things he has done and is doing still.