Post by Pastor Tim – It’s often difficult to understand what the Work of Mercy of ransoming the captive is . . . let alone actually meet someone who is actively ransoming someone. But this past week I was able to do just that, in fact I met about 60 people who have dedicated their lives to ransoming the captive.
When it comes to ransoming, people are not only figuratively held captive by their emotions, backgrounds and circumstances, but today there are over 200 million Christians who are literally held captive in about 60 countries around the world.
These 60 men and women are all a part of Voice of the Martyrs and they are serving the Lord in places like North Korea, Nigeria, Laos, Iraq, Israel and India.
A great example of this are the doctors that are a part of VOM Medical Missions. It would certainly be much easier for these doctors to simply give money to the cause, but instead they physically traveled to some of these dangerous places and administered both spiritual and physical care for those that have been persecuted for their faith. In fact, these doctors recently went into Nigeria and helped Habila Adamu, who survived a vicious gun-shot to the face because he refused to deny Jesus Christ.
Over the past year, I’ve found myself thinking that in this day and age there weren’t many opportunities to ransom anyone. But my time with these honored brothers and sisters reminded me that persecution hasn’t diminished since the time of Christ . . . it’s grown! And like the VOM medical doctors, we should have a part in the work of mercy of ransoming. This could mean a number of things, but it certainly means that we should begin to devote our time, prayers, money and ourselves to the persecuted church.
But one aspect of ransoming that we don’t often think of is the part that the persecuted church plays in ransoming us. We may not need a physical ransoming (like they do), but we could certainly use some spiritual ransoming! For example, I’ve been discipled by the North Korean underground church in that I’ve seen and experienced their faithfulness firsthand through the “100 Days of Worship.”
And this was perhaps the most special part of my time spent with these 60 men and women. We gathered together in a common place (a hotel conference room), and we worshiped the Lord together using the “100 Days of Worship” booklet. People from the U.S. stood side by side with Christians from persecuted countries, and we worshiped the Lord in unity. We served each other communion, we confessed our sins together before God, and the Holy Spirit met us through the example and faithfulness of the persecuted Christians in North Korea.