Pray for true freedom on Eritrean Independence Day

Eritrea will celebrate 22 years of independence from Ethiopia on Sunday – but the people of Eritrea are far from free. The Eritrean regime tolerates no dissent of any kind: there is no free media, no university, and even the ruling party (the People’s Front for Freedom and Democracy) has not held a party conference for years. Eritrea is number 9 on our World Watch List, and more than 1,000 Christians are currently imprisoned in horrific conditions.

Despite this, the church in Eritrea is growing. “Recently the church saw the release of 11 long-time prisoners,” said one church leader. “All of them say the Lord has kept them despite their difficult circumstances.”

Please Pray:

  • That God’s presence will comfort and sustain imprisoned believers, and that they will have the strength to remain faithful despite their suffering
  • That the UN Commission of Inquiry will increase awareness within the international community of the plight of Christians in Eritrea, and lead to greater freedom for all Eritreans
  • Praise God that the Eritrean church continues to grow, and ask God to glorify Himself through it.

Defeating the strong man

When Senet* was arrested for refusing to put the state before her faith in Jesus, she was put in a small cell with 55 other women.

“We were so tightly crammed in that we could not sit properly, let alone lie down to sleep. We were forced to work long hours without rest. My immediate commander was especially cruel.

“But in a dream one night I saw myself fighting with and defeating a very strong man. In the dream I was surprised by my strength and wondered how I had managed to defeat him.”

The strong man of persecution in Eritrea may seem impossible to defeat. And yet many faithful believers have been surprised by the strength God has given them. Senet was asked to recant her faith several times, but refused; as a result, she spent over six years in prison. But she says it was an honour to suffer for the name of Jesus: “May the Name of the Lord be glorified!”

Please join with me in praying that God gives Senet all the strength she needs as she faces tremendous deprivations.

And also let us pray for all persecuted Christians, in whichever country they live

With many peaceful and prayerful blessings

Geoffrey

PS For further information about Open Doors please visit:-

http://opendoorsuk.org/

Billy Graham recalled an amusing incident that happened early in his ministerial career.

He arrived in a small town to preach a sermon. But beforehand he was anxious to post a letter so he asked a young lad, who was passing him, where the post office was.

Billy Graham thanked him for the information and said, “If you come to the Baptist church this evening, you can hear me telling everyone how to get to Heaven.”

“I don’t think I’ll be there,” The boy replied, “You don’t even know your way to the post office.”

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Friendship

My thought(s) for the day are about friends:-

  • The secret of friendship is being a good listener
  • A true friend is someone you can trust with all your secrets
  • A true friend wants nothing more from you than the pleasure of your company
  • Friendship is a candle whose flame grows brighter when the hour is darker

How many really good friends do you have?

I know that I have (literally) hundreds of ‘friends’ on Facebook and Linkedin, living in all four corners of our world, yet I only have a relatively few friends that I know well enough to trust with my life.

Am I unusual in this regard – or do you have the same thoughts?

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

A Gift from God

This my Thought for Today:-

I heard recently about a 3 year old girl called Eden.

She is extremely cute but she was not named Eden because her parents thought that she was an angel.

“No,” they said, “it is because we know that there will be good and bad in her, but she will always be our gift from God!”

Corinthians 1 12:4 says:-

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same spirit is the source of them all.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

See a need and fill it!

Fifteen year old Thomas went on a mission trip to volunteer among the many street people in the city of Philadelphia. He went with a team of teenagers and stayed for a week.

Thomas had begun the journey with some misgivings; it was a new and often intimidating experience for him, but later he returned home rejuvenated and excited. Not only was he more thankful for what life had given him, he also said that he would never look at a homeless person or someone in need the same way again.

“It’s easy to judge people without knowing a thing about them and to think that they are all the same,” Thomas explained, “I believe that it is a mistake that many of us make, but I know the thoughts I had towards the homeless left me as soon as I met them on the first day.”

A Haitian proverb says: “The rocks in the water don’t know the misery of the rocks in the sun.” In other words, we cannot understand another man or woman unless we walk in his or her shoes.

Today, if we meet someone with a need, let us think how we may be best to fill it.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

“What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder”

Yesterday, my wife, Marlene, and I went to a wedding. It was a very joyful occasion; love was most definitely in the air.

It has been many a long year since I was last invited to a wedding. But funerals? Now that is a different story. I guess that at my age – 67 – it is only to be expected that some of my friends have run out of steam here on earth.

During the wedding ceremony I was reminded about what Mark had written about marriage (Mark 10:9):-

“What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder”

Here in the UK we are supposed to be a Christian country – even the Prime Minister professes to be a Christian. Yet a closer examination of some of the Government’s policies suggests that our country has moved a long way away from God’s laws!

There is a Facebook Group ‘I love My Foreign Spouse’ :-

https://www.facebook.com/groups/139807999382936/?fref=ts

Members of this FB Group are mostly wifes/husbands/partners who are separated and who have problems living together because the Government have decreed that if one lives outside Europe then it is necessary to have a minimum income of £18,600 per year to obtain a spousal visa.

Marriage, so it sadly appears, counts for absolutely nothing. Money rules, unfortunately.

I am sure that there is no reference in the Bible to having to have a minimum level of annual income to be able to live together once once falls in Love and becomes married.

We can only pray that the Government see the error of their ways and will repeal their draconian immigration laws, which are most certainly not God’s laws!!

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Foundation for International Development Assistance

The Foundation for International Development Assistance is a small Canadian organisation that works with the poor in rural Haiti.

Through agriculture cooperatives, staff teach farmers how to produce and store healthy crops, as well as focusing on literacy skills, conflict resolution and sound business practices.

The success of FIDA’s work is due to strong relationships – the farmers trust and work closely with staff, who actually live with them for short periods of time in remote mountainous regions.

Every piece of FIDA’s correspondence carries this ethos of the cooperatives:-

‘If we work hand in hand, we can go far. We must trust each other because we need each other to go on’.

These are very powerful words to live by. In our global world, which seems to grow smaller with each and every passing day, we are all neighbours responsible for the wellbeing of one another.

For more information about the Foundation for International Development Assistance please go to:-

http://www.fida-pch.org/

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey