We all go through times when we feel like we’re just holding onto our faith. Over the last year the covid lockdown has dictated how we see friends, engage with church and meant many of us have missed out on big life changes. Some of us might have felt we’re just holding onto our faith when the ordinary supports that keep it in place (church, friends, youth group) have been taken away. If that’s you, we hope the emergence out of lockdown brings hope. But we also know we can find inspiration, challenge and encouragement from our persecuted church family. Sarika’s* story is one that might help you keep holding onto God…
“Some time ago my family started going to church and believing in Jesus, but people from our village opposed us. They brainwashed my father and now he no longer considers himself a Christian. Now, only me, my mother and brother are believers.”
Sarika is 15 and from Central India. She’s working hard at school, she has exams coming up – but it’s not easy to study and focus when her dad is so opposed to what she believes.
“We are not allowed to go to church, but we still go in secret. My mother and I have experienced the presence of Jesus Christ and His love in our life; this is why we do not want to leave Jesus. Even if my father scolds and tortures us, we do not want to leave our faith.”
After her dad found out that Sakira was planning on getting baptised, he beat her mother. He’s put idols of Hindu gods around the house and is trying to make his family worship them. Sarika and her mother keep refusing, despite the pressure – they pray to Jesus instead.
It can’t be easy for Sakira and her mum. But their commitment to keep going despite questions, pressure and intimidation is incredible. We all face doubts and questions, and Sakira has many, but she’s holding onto God and the promises of His love and faithfulness. Spend a few minutes looking up the following passages and pray that Sakira and her mum would know the truth of them now. Once you’re done, go back through the passages and pray the same for yourself.
Want to respond and help your persecuted family around the world? Get our World Watch List prayer map and resources to learn more and pray regularly.
*Names changed for security reasons…
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.