rebelling against low expectations

3 Practical Ways Teenagers Can Serve Persecuted Believers

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“Tell the world these things we are going through in Nigeria.”

A twenty-eight-year-old mother of three, Aisha was raped–just because someone saw a Bible in her home and assumed her husband was a pastor. Her story and plea on the Open Doors website broke my heart.

We hear these horror stories every once in a while in our Christian circles when someone feels the need to remind us of how good we have it. But Aisha is not the only woman to have faced this exact nightmare just because she was a Christian. Her story, and others like it, are far too prevalent to be used just as a reminder for gratefulness.

Today, I’m not here to tell you to be thankful for how good we have it—though we should be.

Today, I want to challenge you to take action. It is not okay for our family in Christ to be treated like like this, and in so many other unmentionable ways.

“That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26)

I know. It may seem a little impossible for an American, or Canadian, or what-have-you teenager to do much about it. I mean, if you can’t even have a driver’s license yet, how are you supposed to help a persecuted Christian in Nigeria? Seriously. You’d love to make a difference, but how?

I’m here to tell you, it’s not impossible. Not at all. There are so many ways we as teenagers can serve, honor, and fight for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ—even if we’re still in school, can’t drive, and don’t have any connections to help us serve. Today, I want to share three of those ways with you.

1: Write A Letter To A Persecuted Believer

A few months ago, I started volunteering for Open Doors, a ministry that started by one man—Brother Andrew—smuggling Bibles to believers in the Soviet Union. Now, it serves persecuted and oppressed believers all over the world. My job is to review letters thousands of people around the world have written to believers in difficult situations. Believers like Aisha.

These letters let our brothers and sisters in Christ know they are not alone. These letters let them know they are seen, and they give them hope, knowing people are fighting for them—a lot of people. Writing these letters is not hard. It doesn’t have to be fancy or take a long time. All you have to do is go to the Open Doors website and write down a few encouraging words and Scriptures.

Our words are powerful, even when we’re young.

Or if you want to take it up a notch, Voice of the Martyrs helps you send action packs to believers who need them—packages with necessities like clothing, soap, and a Bible. You can do all of this right from home with the stuff you have, without needing any special qualifications or opportunities.

2: Pray Earnestly

I know this is something you’ve heard a thousand times. But seriously. Stop and think for a moment. When was the last time you prayed for a persecuted believer? Or just persecuted believers in general? Prayer is something that we are called to do for one another, and often!

How can you pray more? Brainstorm some ways; maybe by finding an accountability partner, scheduling a time, or writing it on your hand? And not just pray more, but how can you pray specifically and earnestly for your brothers and sisters in Christ? It makes such a huge difference in the spiritual war going on. The battle isn’t focused on the men who abused Aisha, but against the Enemy who led them to it.

So teenager, fight! If you don’t know what to pray for, ministries like Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors, and others, often have prayer lists you can join, or even a prayer app so you can be notified of specific current prayer needs.

3: Tell The World What’s Going On

You might not have an email address for “the world,” but you know more people than you think. And there are ways that they can serve persecuted believers even if you or they don’t think so. Tell the world what’s going on. Don’t let people suffer these things without anyone fighting to change things and to help.You might not have an email address for “the world,” but you know more people than you think. And there are ways that they can serve persecuted believers even if you or they don’t think so. Tell the world what’s going on. Click To Tweet

Yes, it’s not a pretty conversation topic. Yes, it’s messy and painful to hear about and read about and talk about. But it’s even more painful to live it. So let’s speak up, and tell the world, just like Aisha asked.

Teenager, our brothers and sisters in Christ need us to stand with them. Even though we’re young.

The question is . . . will we?

Teenager, our brothers and sisters in Christ need us to stand with them. Even though we’re young. The question is...will we? Click To Tweet
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About the author

Sara Willoughby

is the 18-year-old author of He's Making Diamonds: A Teen's Thoughts on Faith Through Chronic Illness. She loves to read, write, and have adventures, be it off to Narnia one more time, wading through mud chasing the family dog, or playing a new board game with her two younger siblings. Sara is also a Lymie, TCK, and Bright Lights leader. You can find her at sgwilloughby.com

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rebelling against low expectations

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