Isaac Crockett: Hello, and welcome to the program. I’m Isaac Crockett and I’m joining the cohost today of the honorable Sam Rohrer. He’s the president of our American Pastors Network, and Dr. Gary Dull, the senior pastor of the Faith Baptist Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania. We’ll be speaking with our guest, Justin Murff, here on the program today, looking at some interesting situations going on around the world.
Pretty much every day, as we look at the news, the main part that draws the focus is the pandemic and the reactions to COVID-19 and what’s going on. One of the things that we talk about on here is that there are many unintended consequences. And so, whether it be looking at rates of suicide and overdose, or at the economy and the borrowing and the debt, both on a personal private level and community, state, and the national federal level, there’s a lot of things to consider that are happening.
But one of the things that I was looking at and thinking, I’m counseling a young couple that’s planning on getting married this summer. I have several other folks that I know who are planning to get married or were planning to get married. My wife and I have been in contact with a host of young people who were planning on getting married very soon or already, and their marriages have been postponed. Their weddings have been postponed indefinitely, so therefore their marriages. And so, the different reactions. For some, they’ve just decided, “You know what, we’re going to cohabitate.” For others, they’ve decided to go ahead and get married with a small wedding and have a big reception later.
We’ve actually been talking with Justin Murff about that. He’s involved with a group called Millennials for Marriage, but as I was talking to Justin, he started telling me about another group that he’s involved with and they’re helping the persecuted church. There’s so much happening across the world that we’ve been so involved in our own country what’s happening here, but there are so many things happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ, all over the world. In particular, in the area of the world, the middle East and Northern Africa, that are going on. It’s just really been quite shocking for me to hear from Justin’s group and the things that are going on there.
We’ll be going to that momentarily. Justin, I don’t believe you’re on with us quite yet. Are you? Sam, let me talk to you just for a brief moment here as we start this program out. When we talk about the unintended consequences and with all of your experience working, not just with ministries and churches and pastors for years and years and years, but you worked for about 20 years in the government and as a state leader, and every time that a decision is made to do something or to stop doing something, we have to count the cost. It’s a biblical thing that has to be done. We have to count the cost to look ahead. As we look at these unintended consequences, how can we as Christians help those around us. And how can we try to plan for close future, maybe the next few days, next few weeks and further, especially churches and ministry groups that have had to completely change their operations at this time? What are some biblical principles to think and to be doing this as we try to expect the unexpected?
Sam Rohrer: Well, Isaac, I think it’s a great question. You know what, in reality, we see all across the country. Headline news today is making it very clear. Right here in Pennsylvania, where I’m sitting in Elverson as an example, the headline news are indicating that the governor here, Governor Wolf, a Democrat, some of what he’s doing and closing down the state is now … There’s an uprising from, as they’re positioning at Republican lawmakers and County commissioners, who are saying, “Wait a minute, we’re also elected by the people. We also are concerned about what’s happening in our local level and the economic destruction, the carnage, that is happening as a result of some of these health standards that have been put into place.” It would be an example of one of the unintended consequences. And so, now there’s a fight going back and forth, and I think it will develop and it needs to be exercised and worked out.
But ultimately, Isaac, I think these are perfect days for, how do we deal with it? I’m trying to encourage those who are in office, those who are in the pulpit, citizens generally. Actually, we have to ask ourselves the question, who has the authority? Where is the authority in whatever is being done? If the governor issues of mandate and he’s actually making law, which is a major issue, governor, governors of any state, what is your authority for doing what you are doing? You’re making law, you’re the executive branch. You don’t have the authority to make law. Or individuals. If they choose to do something, one thing or the other. Respond, however, they have to ask the question, who is in charge or in authority? I think, Isaac, and I’ll be finished with it, that’s a biblical theme that the Lord Jesus Christ himself delivered.
When he talked to the Centurion and the Centurion says, “Oh, you don’t have to come and heal my son. Just speak the word and it’ll be done.” Jesus said, “I have not seen such faith in all of Israel.” But the point was, the guy said, “I’m also under authority. Just speak the word and it’ll be done.” I put that out there is that, all of us, no matter where we are, any time, need to determine the authority that we’re under, the authority that gives our statement on what to do or not to do. And it’s either for us laid out biblically, moral law, or it’s laid out constitutionally and the two happen to mirror themselves. That, I think, is what can bring order out of what’s happening today. That would be something to do. That’s also a way to analyze what is being done.
Isaac Crockett: Gary, let’s go to you. You have many ministries there with your church at Faith Baptist. One of them is an international ministry, Way of Truth ministries. You deal with a lot of pastors and missionaries all over the world. Again, as we look at the unintended consequences here in the United States and things going on right in our own backyard, so to speak, we sometimes forget about what’s happening internationally. You are involved with many countries that have Christian minorities. Here in America we’re the majority group, but a lot of the countries you’re in are Christian minority groups. What are some of the things that your ministry has done to look for? What are some maybe issues that we don’t think about as easy as we have it here in the United States, when these sort of things hit us, if we were a persecuted group in another country?
Gary Dull: Well, one of the things we need to be thankful for are the freedoms that we have here in the United States, Isaac. One of the things that concerns me as we’ve been going through this COVID-19 is that we may be seeing the foretaste of the reduction of those freedoms, when you take into consideration with what some of the governors and otherwise folks are doing. Therefore, we as Christians today here in the United States of America, must be ready to stand firm for our freedoms. You see, in the other countries of the world or many of the other countries of the world, and we work in Asia and Africa, third world countries, they would love to have the freedoms that we have here, but they don’t. They go through all sorts of issues that are really unknown to us. If we’re not careful and stand firm on biblical and constitutional truth here, we may find ourselves in their category in the future. So it’s a very serious time and we need to stand firm today.
Isaac Crockett: Welcome back to the program. I’m Isaac Crockett joined by Sam Rohrer and Gary Dull. We’re talking about the persecuted church during this time of pandemic and all the changes going on and so many unintended consequences, whether it’s a young couple that is having to figure out what they’re going to do to get married, whether it’s a church figuring out when they can restart having in-person services or what to do, how to work around that, or whether it’s your job or all kinds of different things that are happening.
Many of us have forgotten to think about our brothers and sisters-in-Christ who are in bonds. Of course, it’s a very biblical thing to pray for them and to think and try to help them. And so, many in the persecuted church, churches over in the Middle East or Northern Africa, they’re struggling right now. And so, we want to look at that a little bit closer. We’ve got our friend Justin Murff, who is the executive director for the MENA Collective. He’s on with us. Justin, could you just let us know, what is the MENA Collective? How does that work? How are you all involved with helping the persecuted church?
Justin Murff: Sure. Thanks for having me. The MENA Collective is a cooperative of believers here in the West and churches and ministries that are working together to support more than 150 ministries serving throughout the 23 countries of the greater Middle East. This is North Africa, it’s the Arabian peninsula, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. All throughout these countries, there are Christian ministries, churches, witnesses, who are laboring day and night for the gospel. They need our support, they need our prayers and that’s exactly what the MENA Collective exists to do. We provide prayer and we provide financial support for these ministries.
Gary Dull: Justin, it’s a delight to have you with us today. Here where I serve in Altoona, Pennsylvania, we have the privilege of having with us a Pakistani pastor, his wife and family. They are here right now, simply because of the fact that they were persecuted for their faith in Pakistan. Yet, he has the desire to go back in order to minister to them. He wants to preach the gospel to them. He has the desire to see them come to Christ and, certainly, he has shared with me that there has been quite a bit of persecution over in Pakistan, and it seems to be growing in certain elements of the nation. In fact, he’s been with us here on Stand in the Gap in the past, so this is particularly of great interest to me. Therefore, just share with our people exactly what is going on as it relates to persecution in Pakistan, if you would, please.
Justin Murff: Sure. Well, in light of the COVID crisis, of course, countries all over the world have instituted lockdown measures. But in Pakistan, people are more afraid of dying of starvation than they are getting COVID. We have videos from our partner, Pakistan Partnership Initiative, which in itself is actually a network of churches and ministries throughout Pakistan. They are one of the most trustworthy Christian aid organizations inside of Pakistan. They are a part of the Pakistani Council of Christian Churches and they’re distributing aid. The report that we got from them was heartbreaking. The first is that, Christians, both in love for their neighbor and in genuine fear for their own provisions, have begun to intentionally reduce their meals down to just one meal a day so that they can stretch out their food. Not just for themselves, but many Pakistani Christians have taken amongst themselves to provide a meal to a neighbor, and to use that opportunity to spread the gospel and to be a Christian witness to their neighbors and their communities.
There is a lot of open hostility against Christians inside of Pakistan, and so to see their bold and their willingness to use this time and this crisis as a touch point and as an opportunity for witnessing is absolutely inspiring. The second report that we’ve had that’s really troubling is that, when many people have given to international aid organizations and those international aid organizations, like the UN or others, they send aid to a country like Pakistan, and then it’s the government that’s left to distribute those materials. Well, in some provinces in Pakistan, we’re actually hearing reports where Christians are being forced to pray the Shahada, the Islamic conversion prayer, publicly before they receive any food packages. Time and time again, we’re getting reports of Christians who are saying no to the food. “I will not abandon Jesus for rice. I will not abandon Jesus for cornmeal. I will rather starve than lose my faith in Jesus Christ.”
That’s the reality on the ground right now in Pakistan. And so, our partners, the Pakistan Partnership Initiative, amongst themselves, they’re not receiving support from any U.S. organization or government entity. They notified us actually of their plan and what they are doing to, amongst the churches in Pakistan, raise support and create food packages to support these Christian communities in other parts of the country that are at risk of forced starvation by conversion. It touched us so deeply that we feel, “We need to get behind that. We need to help raise support.” And so, we’ve created the COVID-19 .themenacollective.org page. That’s where we are helping to raise support to provide the partners in Pakistan and a number of other countries throughout the region who are on the front lines, helping to resource Christian in this time.
Because honestly, while we are experiencing difficulties here, the financial hardship, most of us, we may not be able to find toilet paper when we want, but we can certainly find something to eat. In Pakistan and in Lebanon and in other countries throughout the Middle East, that is the reality that Christians are facing. Is not just the ability to afford the food, but even getting access to it because of government restrictions in these Islamic countries. And so, that’s our response and that’s the situation that we’re seeing on the ground. But amazing that the church in Pakistan themselves decided to mobilize themselves to support their fellow believers in the country. What an amazing encouragement that is to see the maturity of the church in Pakistan, and it’s something that I think we just need to get behind and support.
Sam Rohrer: Justin, that is really, really great to have that on the ground insight into a couple different directions that we could go here. But one thing that you said caught my attention is, one, that you said, whereas the COVID-19 has implications and reaches across the world, for the believers there in Pakistan, and I want to ask you this question, even beyond that, is the concern for food. We covered on the program here about a week ago, the United Nations, which we obviously have trouble with in so many regards. Their numbers are often faulty, but nonetheless, they are saying that, in the coming months yet into the summer, you could be touching a hundred million people that will be faced with starvation because of a number of things that are happening, the locust, other things that are taking place that are impacting that. Speak to that a little bit more about more. How real is that, you mentioned Pakistan, how real is it in other countries in your working, and again, how does it affect the believers who are there?
Justin Murff: Let’s turn right now and look at Lebanon. This is a country where roughly 35% of the population are Christian. It is the most Christian country in the entirety of the Middle East. By law, the president of the country must be a Christian. That’s part of the power sharing agreement between Christians and Muslims to keep the peace post civil war in Lebanon. Because of the economic crisis, the government was already into peril and difficulty before COVID. But since COVID, the Lira, the dollar in Lebanon, has skyrocketed in terms of its inflation rate. It used to be 1,500 Lira to the U.S. dollar. Now it’s approaching 4,500 Lira. One of our ministry partners told us last week that, “Justin, what even eight weeks ago, what it used to cost to get groceries for one week for a family, today can only get us a gallon of milk and a package of diapers.”
That’s the reality that our brothers and sisters are facing in the most friendliest countries to Christians, is the economic crisis is making it difficult. We used to see just refugees from Syria and Iraq. Many of whom, they’ve survived the horrors of civil war and the chemical bombings of Assad and only to be captured by ISIS and tortured by those radicals. Now they’ve fled for their lives to Lebanon where they’re living as refugees and, thankfully, many of them are coming to Christ. There is scores of former Muslims from Syria and from Iraq who have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. They are being actively engaged in churches, lives are being transformed and yet, right now, because many of them are day laborers, which under quarantine, they can’t go work to produce money for their family.
And when they can get money, because of the inflation, things are so astronomically expensive right now that it used to be just refugees who were signing up for food partial assistance. We’re now seeing middle class, working families in Lebanon having to go on food assistance from churches. Simply because of the quarantine, they can’t work. And so, the economic stability created out of this quarantine crisis. Keep in mind, you are more likely to get hit by a car in Beirut than you are to get COVID. That’s the reality in Lebanon. Yeah. The response has been a global response. Everybody going to lockdown, and there is a massive economic impact to what’s happening here. Unfortunately, our brothers and sisters in the Middle East are at the very center of being targeted for some of these.
There’s also accusations that COVID is because of Christians, so there are some communities where there’s a lot of ignorance and they’re actually blaming the Christian community on the crisis. They’re saying that this is the punishment of Allah that only the infidel Christians get COVID and they’re the ones who brought it into the country. And so, it’s been very, very difficult-
Isaac Crockett: Justin, there’s a lot going on here. As we go back into this topic of looking at the unexpected consequences of COVID 19, looking at how this affects different people in different ways, Justin, you’ve dealt with a lot of young people right now who were thinking they were going to be getting married. It’s one thing here in the United States, maybe a young couple trying to figure out how to have a wedding when you’re not allowed to gather together. What did they do next? Their honeymoon plans are canceled. They’ve lost a bunch of money on their different reservations for their wedding. And that’s difficult, and there’s churches grappling with very real and difficult issues in their communities about getting their doors open again and all these other situations. But I thank the Lord that we have technology and freedom to have digital services and to be able to do a lot of things online and that our freedoms seem to be opening up again.
But in many of these countries, they don’t have those same kind of options. There’s also a lot more serious things at stake, like where their next meal will come from. Like actual physical persecution, whether it’s arrest or just a mob that could come and do damage to them physically. We’ve had people on our program before that have been a part of those things. And so, you were saying that in some areas of the world, Christians are being blamed. They’re the ones that people are being upset with and being blamed for this virus that is being treated as a pandemic and everything is being closed down. Could you maybe follow that thought and share with us maybe any other part of the world that you’re working with other countries that would be something we should be aware of and to watch what’s going on, so we can better pray for them and connect and help believers all over the world?
Justin Murff: In Iraq and in Iran, both, there are videos that have come out where clerics and people who are, particularly ISIS brides in the refugee camps inside of Iraq, and then clerics in inside of Iran. Now these are two different branches of Islam, but both of them are blaming COVID as a punishment for the Christians. They call the Kufr, those who are infidels, and that this is God’s way of clearing out the infidels. When challenged, when you said, “Yes, but there’ve been people in our own country, there have been Muslims in our country who have gotten the virus,” the response is usually something along the lines of, “Well, they weren’t really devout enough, so they weren’t good Muslims.”
And so, this is just Allah’s way of thinning the herd. And so, it’s been really discouraging to see that type of response, not totally unexpected, but … The other concern is that, government officials will use, like they seem to be trying to do here in the United States, in some States, particularly, I’m here in Virginia, the idea of, for safe public transmission and, and to enact social distancing measures, shutting down churches. Countries like Algeria, this is the country where St. Augustine was from. This is a Christian country 700 years before the Islamic conquest of North Africa. But in this country, churches are being shut down. And it’s because of a very shady legal loophole where they say, “We know the constitution guarantees religious freedom. We do. Everyone has the freedom to worship in Algeria.” Except that, to have a religious building, there is a committee that has to approve that permit for the religious building.
In the eight years since the Algerian constitution in its present form is ratified, that committee has not met a single time. And so, it’s one thing to say, “It’s on the books.” It’s another thing to actually do the work and have that committee even sit for once. Yet our government and many others still provide aid and support and financial assistance to the country of Algeria and are completely choosing to ignore the plight of the historic Christian community. Many of whom can trace their roots back even to the time of Augustine. And so, there is a clear disparaging that’s happening throughout. The concern is, honestly, that many churches will remain closed because of the numbers, trying to do crowd control. The most vulnerable population in the Middle East right now is the Christians who are inside of these refugee camps and all refugees in general.
They can’t practice social distancing. There’s no way for them to keep that six feet of separation from everybody. Soap isn’t readily available, medical supplies are almost nonexistent. Fresh water, clean water, proper sewage, all of those things are near impossible feat for a lot of these refugee camps and tent cities. And I mean cities. These are home to thousands of people living in tents and shelters. So it’s a shocking situation to see, and yet we have ministry partners every day who are faithfully serving on the ground. Some of our ministry partners chose when the lockdown went into place to stay inside the refugee camps, knowing that that meant that they couldn’t go home. They couldn’t be with their own family. They chose to stay in the camp under quarantine so they could continue to minister to these refugees who are coming to faith in Christ. And so, it’s just an amazing thing to see the bold witness of the local believers all throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Gary Dull: Certainly, there are many lessons we can learn from them. Here in the United States, we talk a lot about persecution, Justin. We just talk about it, because we really don’t know what persecution is in the various third world countries of the world. Yet, they’re telling us that there may be more people being persecuted for their faith right now more than any other time in the history of Christianity. I would believe that, particularly when I consistently keep up to date with the Voice of Martyrs and other groups. In fact, I’ve been told that our number one prayer request should be to pray for the persecuted church. Every week, when we put together our church weekly prayer guide, that is the number one prayer request; pray for the persecuted church. But my question to you is, what can we as Americans learn from our persecuted brothers and sisters-in-Christ around the world? We talk about it, we’ve not really experienced it, but what can we learn from them who are being persecuted, even as we speak?
Justin Murff: By visiting us on Facebook at the MENA Collective, or going to the menacollective.org website, there’s a whole section of stories, and the stories will inspire you. They will encourage you, and they are filled with great, valuable lessons that we can learn from our brothers and sisters over there in the Middle East and North Africa. We call the MENA region, Middle East, North Africa region. The main thing I would say that we can learn is resiliency of the faith. The fact that God is moving, people are coming to faith in spite of the persecution. They are emboldened by their faith. The more they are persecuted, the more … It’s true Tertullian. A North African Christian Saint said that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. That is absolutely the truth, and that truth still continues to this very day.
The church is growing leaps and bounds like never before right now. If I could ask your listeners to do one thing, it would be to pray for the gospel witness right now amongst the Muslims in the Middle East. Because, here’s the thing, the Hajj to Mecca, one of the five pillars of Islam, going to Mecca and making a pilgrimage, was canceled because of COVID. Now we’re in the middle of Ramadan, and the great feast of Ramadan where they … Again, one of the five pillars is fasting, and they fast from sunup to sundown. Abstain from everything. I mean, even some countries, they will spit instead of swallow their spit. They’re so observant of fasting. Yet, all of those feasts are canceled. All of those big celebrations are canceled right now because of COVID.
And so, many, many, many Muslims, and I would even say we’re in the neighborhood of millions of Muslims, are contacting our ministry partners, these 150 ministries ministering now online, many of them through television, through satellite television, through radio, through the internet, through YouTube and Facebook, and they’re asking really the right question, Is Allah real? Is the Prophet Mohammed truth? Is the Quran truth.” Why? Because there isn’t a theology of suffering in Islam. There’s a theology of inflicting suffering, but there’s not a theology that says, “We, as those who follow this God, will suffer.” But Jesus tells us, when you are persecuted, not if. So as Christians, we expect it. We know that it’s going to come at some point. Yet, despite these travails and these trials and these hardships, the church is experiencing tremendous growth, radical growth. In fact, the fastest growing church in the world right now is inside the country of Iran, where millions of believers are gathering online right now. We’ve talked about the underground church, but what we’re seeing is the development of the above-ground church.
Isaac Crockett: Welcome back to the program. I’m Isaac Crockett, again, joined with Sam Rohrer and Gary Dull. As we finish up this discussion, looking at some of the unintended consequences of the really not just national shutdown, but global shutdown of so many parts of the economy and of the world. And we’re talking with Justin Murff. He is the executive director of the MENA Collective, Middle Eastern, Northern African collective. He’s also president of Next Generosity and chairman of Millennials for Marriage. Justin, we’ve been looking at all these consequences of the restrictions put in place because of COVID and how, in many cases, in some of these Muslim majority countries and things, they’re using it as an advantage to try to strong arm Christians into praying up a prayer of conversion or to blame Christians for the sickness that is ravaging some parts of the world more than others.
Of course, they’re using it against the Christians, to persecute them even more. We’ve seen things happening in our own country where some people are going through some very difficult things as a result of this. Yet, at the same time, we see God working. You were just mentioning people, even in Iran, coming to know the Lord and becoming emboldened about their freedom in Christ and the grace they’ve received from him. Maybe you could give us some of your final thoughts on this, Justin, and some of the final information. Then, just remind us of your website and some of the initiatives you have going on, where we can connect and partner with our brothers and sisters-in-Christ there in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
Justin Murff: Absolutely. Well, so be encouraged. While the situation is severe on the ground for a lot of our brothers and sisters-in-Christ, there is hope. The church is growing, and so we want to be able to support them in prayer and support them with resourcing. If you or your church is interested in learning how you can partner with any of these ministries on the ground, please visit us at themenacollective.org. You can follow us on Instagram and Facebook at the MENA Collective. One of the things that we are very, very strict on is making sure that every single one of these ministries are solid evangelical.
They all signed the Liaison Covenant. They are all vetted through our own vetting process, which is in standards with the ECFA. And so, these are ministries that you can really trust. Now that they’re doing everything they can in the most responsible way possible. Yet we’re seeing amazing results and responses on the ground. God is certainly at work. And so, we thank you for that and for your prayers and partnership. Again, if you have any information or you’d like to know more, feel free to reach out to us. I’m glad to hop on a call with anybody anytime.
Isaac Crockett: Well, thank you, Justin. Thank you so much for sharing this information with us today and for the work that you’re doing there to help our brothers and sisters-in-Christ and just the way that the ministry has been really growing. This has really been something that has been on your heart for almost two decades, if I remember correctly. A lot of this started back at least 18 years ago or more when you were working in some of the refugee camps over in Europe. And so, Justin, thank you so much for being here today to share this information with our listeners.
Justin Murff: Absolutely. Thank you.
Isaac Crockett: Sam, as the president of the American Pastors Network, you talk with pastors and churches pretty much every day, going through different issues. I’m sure you can relate. You also work with a lot of international pastors and you work with Save the Persecuted Church organization. As you heard Justin describing some of these difficult situations and yet the great hope we have in Christ because so many churches underground, or as he said, used to be underground now they’re above ground. So many of these persecuted Christians are responding publicly and openly with God’s grace and God’s strength. What kind of thoughts do you have about this and what kind of maybe encouragement do you have for our listeners as we get ready to wrap this program up?
Sam Rohrer: Isaac, I think there are a couple of things that come to my mind. Number one, what Justin has shared is a reminder. I think that’s just one thing we ought to walk away. We need to be reminded that though our limitations on mobility, restrictions on physical gathering and worship, all those kinds of things that we are working through here as a country, that we do not forget that there are so many, many others that are not being temporarily inconvenienced. They are actually faced daily with whether or not they live for their faith or they die for their faith. As we heard, many of them actually wondering where they’re going get their next bite of food. It reminds me very much of the disciples’ prayer, “Lord, give us this day our daily bread.” God gave that to us as an example and prayer for us here.
But we in this country, we’ve not had to worry about our next bite of food, and we’ve not been subjected to serious consideration about going to jail or losing our life or being forced to denounce our relationship with Jesus Christ. But I think what we just heard from Justin is that, so much of the world is in that exact location. So two things, a reminder to pray for all of those who are a part of the household of faith, as what scripture talks about, who we may never see with a face, and we don’t know them by a name, but they are a part of the body of Christ. We should feel and empathize with them and pray for them. Then, I think, when we look in the mirror every day here, we should count our blessings and we should ask, “Are we living with the same intensity as those that we heard about today?” If we would put some of those things into perspective, what a difference it would make.
Isaac Crockett: That is very true. Thank you, Sam. Gary, if you would close our program in prayer. But even before you close us in prayer, I would love to hear your final thoughts on some of this as well, as I know that you and your church are very involved with persecuted church. Even with your pastor friend, who’s there staying at your ministry there in Altoona and been a great encouragement to you all, and you all have been able to be an encouragement to him. I would just love to get your final thoughts and encouragements before you then take us to the Lord in prayer.
Gary Dull: Thank you, Isaac. I think what I want to share is, let’s not forget to pray for the persecuted church, the persecuted Christian. I know one of the things that the Voice of Martyrs encourage us to do is to pray that the persecuted Christian will know that we are praying for them. Certainly, they would find comfort in that. How else would they know that we are praying for them sometime except the fact that the Lord puts that on their heart? But it’s important that we pray for those who are going through things that we cannot even begin to imagine here in the United States of America. The Bible tells us that those who live godly in Christ, Jesus, shall suffer persecution.
Again, most of us under this radio program today have no concept of what that really is, because we live in a free country here in the United States of America. But in other countries of the world, they face it daily. I remember, Isaac, back in 1986, I went into the land of Tanzania after it had been shut down for seven years because of a socialistic government that they had. We weren’t allowed in there, but when we went in there in 1986, after it opened up again, it was amazing to see how those Christians grew. One of the things that we can thank the Lord for is the spiritual growth of those who are suffering persecution when they put their eyes on the Lord.
Isaac Crockett: Well, thank you, Gary. Justin Murff, thank you so much for being with us to present the ministry of the MENA Collective. To all of us today and on behalf of Sam Rohrer and Gary Dull, I’m Isaac Crockett thanking you for listening to Stand in the Gap today-