Rode 99 miles today to Dickinson, ND. A long ride in the saddle. Finally left Montana after 9 days. I enjoyed my days in Montana - big rivers, trains, lakes, cattle, and of course the big blue sky. Met another gentleman today named Charles who was traveling across the country (forgot to take his picture).
I wanted to take time today to revisit "why this ride". Not only are Christians being persecuted in Iraq and Syria, but also in Northern Africa. Even though this ride is focusing on persecution in the middle east, there were more recorded killings of Christians due to their faith in northern Nigeria in 2015 than in the rest of the world put together. The top 6 countries where most Christians were killed for their faith in the World Watch List 2016 reporting period www.opendoorsuk.org/advocacy/documents/world_watch_report.pdf were all sub-Saharan African countries: Nigeria, Central African Republic Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Cameroon.
Messages received through the website:
From Amanda: It sounds like a great cause you're bringing to awareness. I remember when one of the bishops from Sudan commented that they assumed that we were praying for them during their suffering, and when he visited our country he was shocked that we were barely aware of what was happening. We have to suffer with our brothers and sisters around the world, through our spiritual unity with them in the Body of Christ. Thank you for suffering with them across our country and inviting us to "go with you" through the internet.
From Debra: Skip, read an article in the paper a day or two ago that said Christians are the most persecuted group now. One Christian dies every hour for their faith for the entire year. I think about my comfortable life and every hour someone is beheaded or crucified or burned alive for believing in Jesus. They will not renounce their faith even in the face of death. It said one woman cried out Jesus and smiled and looked heavenward right before she was beheaded. I sit in my nice peaceful house and all I can do is pray. Bless you for shining light on our persecuted brothers and sisters.
Pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering for OUR Christian faith, and as Amanda says, through our spiritual unity with them in the Body of Christ.