Mark says I bury my head in the sand when it comes to the news, and he’s probably right. I quit watching the news and reading newspapers a long time ago because the news just brought me down. I can be a lot more optimistic when I just keep track of what’s going on around me. However, there are certain news stories that get through my defenses and I find them very distressing; I don’t know how to deal with them.
You may recall that at Lent I was asking everyone to pray about those Christians that had been captured by ISIS, that they would be delivered and that the members of ISIS would have the demons cast out of them and they’d repent. I tried asking God to do this by Easter, but it didn’t happen and I became discouraged.
In fact, the news has gotten even worse. My friend and mentor, Denise Fuller, sent me the news that some missionaries opted to stay and stand with the Christians in a town that had been captured by ISIS. I suppose some of you have seen images of what ISIS is doing. I don’t need to see pictures. My own mind is filling them in.
On Wednesday of this week, Mark and I drove two hours to see the movie, War Room, that’s playing in Green Bay. If there’s a theater close to you that’s playing it, go see it. It’s all about prayer and it’s very inspiring. So I have been experimenting with a new way to pray since seeing the movie. I am applying what I learned to the situation with these persecuted Christians.
And while I was cleaning bathrooms today, I was thinking about this situation and I had an inspiration. I have decided to put my tithe money where my prayer is. My Aunt Marg has been volunteering for years for an organization called International Christian Response (ICR). It is an organization headquartered in Switzerland that gives aid to persecuted Christians around the world. They are very effective because they are able to get relief in through people who know the language and the country.
ICR happens to have a branch in Lynden, WA. I called Aunt Marg up and asked her a few questions about the organization. She said she’d send me a pie chart as to what percentage of donations go to administration and what goes to the persecuted Christians. She said the administrative costs are low because most of the people who work for ICR are volunteers like her. I asked if one could designate where they want their donation to go…for instance, to the persecuted in the middle east or in some other part of the world and she said yes, donors can designate where they want their donations to go. I also asked if ICR can take sporadic gifts (since my income isn’t stable) as well as monthly pledges, and again she said yes.
On the off chance that my readers have been feeling powerless in the face of current events, you can donate to the relief organization of your choice, or if you’d like to join me, here is the address for the organization whose sole mission is to help persecuted Christians:
PO Box 611
Lynden, WA 98264