Angry men bent on death. She broke the law, and she must die. The scene has been repeated in Pakistan, Indonesia, and the eighth chapter of John. What Jesus wrote and said in John 8 saved a woman’s life. Could he use our writing to do the same?
In countries around the world, Christians break the law by sharing the hope of Jesus with someone trying to live without him. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to interview Darcie Gill, who serves with The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). VOM is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian pastor who spent many years imprisoned for his faith.
Reaching Our Audience
According to their website, www.persecution.com, VOM assists persecuted Christians by encouraging them, providing them with the tools they need for evangelism, providing for families whose loved ones have been imprisoned or killed, and delivering aid. They also bring the Church together by sharing stories of persecution and perseverance.
Darcie has what she calls the “neatest job in the world.” She meets with Christians in hostile nations. Then, she brings their stories back to the free church, being the “person uniting both.”
Is there a way we can be writers who unite both? How do we connect a story about a mother in a foreign place to a soccer mom in suburban America?
The first step is realizing our persecuted brothers and sisters are just like us. They must choose every day to grow to become more like Christ, just as we must. We all face the same issues, such as forgiveness.
Darcie shared the story of a widow in Colombia. The woman’s husband had pastored for a few years in a guerilla-held area before he was killed. VOM helped her and her two-year old daughter with basic needs and employment. When they asked the woman what her future plans were, she answered that “she wanted to go back and share the Gospel with those who had taken her husband.” She realized she “could give them something even her husband couldn’t give. She could forgive them. This woman realized the greatest gift she could give was forgiveness. And it would open an opportunity for the Gospel with them.”
Reaching Our Brothers and Sisters
Darcie also shared about the ministry of Prisoner Alert, a way individuals can become involved in the life of an imprisoned Christian. Prisoner Alert provides all you need to write and send a letter to a brother or sister in jail.
But I asked her if writing a letter can really make a difference. She quickly answered, “My goodness, yes,” and told me the story of an imprisoned pastor who had been beaten so brutally he faced kidney problems. Christians responded with thousands of letters. The guards stopped beating him and got him medical help.
What about times the prison officials don’t deliver the letters? Someone still reads them, and God uses them to change hearts.
Ways to Reach Out
Writers are by nature, storytellers. We share stories with everyone who will listen. We need to hear the stories of the persecuted Church and share them with the audiences God has blessed us with. Here are ten ways to do it:
- Blog about it.
- Share the stories through social networking.
- Write an insert for a church bulletin.
- Write a Sunday School handout.
- Write a play/skit/drama.
- When you write letters to friends and family updating them on your family, slip in an encouraging story you have read about a Christian brother or sister.
- Write a letter—or letters—through Prisoner Alert to persecuted Christians suffering for their faith.
- Write letters to national and international government officials—Prisoner Alert supplies the information you need.
- Introduce a character into your story who has experienced or witnessed some of the persecution you have read about.
- Incorporate what you learn into your poetry readings and writing exercises.
Reaching Our World
As we read the stories of our brothers and sisters who are suffering, we take to heart the command in Hebrews to remember the persecuted. As we share their stories with our readers, we may see hearts changed. What Jesus wrote and said changed an angry crowd ready to stone a woman into men who put down the stones and walked away. His words saved a life. My prayer is that God will use ours to do the same.
For more information on Voice of the Martyrs, Prisoner Alert, or requesting a speaker to address your church or writing group, please visit www.persecution.com.
Bonnie Rose Hudson lives in central Pennsylvania. Along with spending time with her family and writing, making kids smile is her favorite thing to do. Her heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She loves creating curriculum and working for SchoolhouseTeachers.com, the curriculum arm of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, as the site’s executive editor. At TOS, she found a place where her love of God and history combine with her love of writing to bring encouraging, educational, and entertaining material to students and their families. She would love for you to visit WriteBonnieRose.com to discover how you can write for the homeschool market.