Even as I enjoy the many blessings and freedoms available to me in this country, my thoughts are never far from my Brothers… cast out far and away, across the span of the globe and over the vast oceans.
…of Dmitri Shestahkov, a Pastor of a small church in Uzbekistan who was abducted by secret police officers and charged with “incitement of national, racial, and religious enmity” for preaching and evangelizing the Gospel. Who has been beaten while in custody and currently faces at least five years in prison if convicted. He has been refused any legal representation and has not been able to see his family since being taken into custody.
…of Baptist Missionary Zvizaih Chiphonda and his church in Zimbabwe, which has been terrorized and persecuted since its inception – yet still prevails. Chiponda oversees ministries which offer free medical assistance to the local population as well as free education to children, yet they have been forced to relocate numerous times due to pressure from the government and vigilante terrorism.
…of Hua Huidi, house-church Pastor and Missionary to China, who was apprehended by the local police and tortured for several days before being released and warned not to continue in his work. When Huidi did not obey this order, he was taken into custody. The police have not allowed any of his family members to visit him and have indicated that Huidi`s sentence is indefinite.
…of these few names that are known, and of the many more whose names are silent echoes in the sands of human history, my thoughts go forth with them.
O, these great champions! Giving all of themselves for that Name above all names, dying with His words upon their lips… and assured of a better resurrection.