Key of Medicine
April / May 2010
No Honest Commitment
Violence and unease continue in Nigeria although it is not all making the headlines. The Sunday after I left last month, 3 Christian villages were attacked in the middle of the night by Muslim men armed with knives and guns. The carnage and loss of life was great especially among women and children; some as young as 4 months old. Then a week later, about a dozen women and children were attacked in the field as they tended to their herds and viciously murdered. Reports that I am now receiving from our friends in-country are that "things have come down", but that "meeting with Muslims produce no lasting impact, no honest commitment". I have also received reports of "secret killings", where the Muslims are "killing Christians by driving them out to remote places". The Internet is reporting the finding of fresh graves around Jos as well as the killing of a pastor and his wife in the adjoining state of Bauchi. The city of Maiduguri, where we base our operations, had to call in the military because of emails that were intercepted about pending violence against the Christian community. Outspoken Christian leaders have been placed on Muslim ‘hit lists' because they are filming, reporting and speaking out about the true story of violence that the Muslims are perpetrating on the Christians.
Could It Happen Here?
Could it happen here? A time when we would be cautious, even fearful of attending church for fear of being attacked and brutalized or even murdered because of our faith and believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God? When openly declaring our faith and assembling to worship would make us targets of those who oppose our faith? This is the question that I asked last month in reporting on my return from Nigeria due to the violence and tension that the Christians there are facing for their faith. Could it happen here? NO! It could never happen here, you say?
A pastor friend of mine shared recently that he remembers hearing a speaker of Pakistani background back in the ‘80's who warned that America's greatest threat was not the communists but rather the Muslims! Then at another conference, the guest speaker made a remark that some of us were preparing for martyrdom because of the areas in the world where we minister. I think he spoke right but just not inclusively enough. I believe that we Christians here in America will face, sooner than later, the very real prospect of martyrdom for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Our religious rights and moral convictions have been eroding for decades and we the church for the most part have stood by and allowed it. You only have to turn on the news everyday or pick up a newspaper or magazine to hear of some new lawsuit that has been filed to stop praying at school functions, take GOD out of the pledge of allegiance, remove preaching from the public airways, etc, etc,. Now Islamic followers have been emboldened to push for more and more recognition and freedom in all walks of our society. Islamic doctrines are being taught in schools from coast to coast and the highest court in the land is condoning this practice by refusing to hear arguments against it. States are allowing Islamic beliefs to supersede the law of the land such as the wearing of veils when taking pictures for driver's licenses.
A Different Letter
This is not, I realize, a typical newsletter containing news and information about the work that we are accomplishing in the field where God has called us to labor. However, I have felt strongly impressed to write this report to you for this past month. In fact, it has taken me all month to accomplish it as I began to prepare it for the first of April's newsletter. I have not written this to scare or worry you, but rather that the truths behind the headlines and reports that we have seen and heard on many biased news organizations, can be known. I welcome your feedback on this writing and encourage you to search for yourself, as I did, the Internet and other publications that support, in much more detail, what I have written here.
I rejoice to report that because of your faith and believe in this work all the outstanding expenses for our recent outreach have been met! Thanks to all of you who have so sacrificially and unselfishly given so that the Gospel can be taken to those who sit in darkness, where others will not go.
Your Servants In Christ,
Larry - Sarah