“In the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving…They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, … and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish.” (2 Tim 3:1-12, suggest you read the complete passage)
Do those verses sound uncannily familiar?
Recently, the Lord allowed us to have virtual mission trips to several persecuted countries. As we get to know these believers in distant lands, we can’t help but love them. They risk their lives by sharing stories of God’s word and they do it willingly–eager to spread the joy in knowing the One True God. They are forced to worship in secret and also face ostracism from family and community, as well as, loss of jobs.
We have not prayed for our persecuted brethren as we should. Would you take a few minutes to check out the resources in this newsletter so that you can show up, stand up, and speak up for those in restricted nations? So often I’m caught up in my own world with the worries of the current health and economic disasters. Let us be faithful to pray for those who are suffering for their faith.
“Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” Hebrews 3:13
We’d like to ask specifically for a brother, a friend of ours who helped translate Bible stories for us during a training time a few years ago, who has been imprisoned for more than a year in Southeast Asia for preaching Jesus. Pray for his wife and children who suffer as well. (I wrote this yesterday morning. In the afternoon we received news that he was released! Pray for him as he adjusts back to freedom.)
Here is a special opportunity to hear incredible testimonies from three men who were imprisoned in three of the most severe prisons in the world in Sudan, Iran, and Turkey. You will be incredibly encouraged to hear their stories of triumph despite their brokenness and despair.
As a preview, here are some of their comments. Each experienced extreme suffering yet is able to share their joy.
“Why do I have this privilege?” (he was able to lead many to Christ in prison, even ISIS extremists)
“God is really, really good. I love Iran. I love the Iranian people.”
“God brought a tremendous amount of good from my imprisonment. People poured out prayers for Turkey and that will transform the country.”
On a personal note:
- Could you pray for us as we each teach a 6 week online class for a local bible college from April 20-May 28.
- Please pray for us to be able to travel to the U.S. in June 2021
In the meantime, we’d love to talk with you online. Send us a private message on Facebook or an email so we can set up a time. We are 12 hours ahead of EST. We want to pray for you. Please send us an update.
Until the whole world hears,
Al/Panz and Nancy Alvarez