Stuff to get you thinking, praying and acting... 

Worth dying for

By Megan

We set out into the dark. Just two of us. To start with the street lights lit our way, the odd car passed us. It all seemed fairly normal. Until we reached the point where we needed to start setting out a trail for the rest of the group to follow. The sign- a candle in a jam jar.

As we crouched at the junction, cradling a tea light, coaxing the flame into life, we wondered, what would anyone driving past think? Would they stop and ask what we were doing? What if someone else followed our trail and found the meeting?

We turned down a quiet industrial road. Quiet until we reached a group revving their car engines, squealing and shouting. They watched, clearly suspicious of the large bag of clinking jam jars and where we were going on this road to nowhere in particular.

It was so dark and so quiet. Every rustling of leaves, every possible murmur of voices. Was it a member of the group? Was it someone else? Or just an animal?

Would they stop us?
Would they follow us?
Were we safe?

We sat at the meeting location, a circle of logs in a field, hidden by trees.
We waited.

And waited

Why were the rest of the group not coming? Had the candles gone out? Were they lost? Perhaps we should look for them.

It was so dark and so quiet. Every rustling of leaves, every possible murmur of voices. Was it a member of the group? Was it someone else? Or just an animal?

A light amongst the leaves. Was it a light? It came closer, four silhouettes. Was it our group? Or someone else? We sat there, the two of us. Alone. Vulnerable. Tension as our minds raced. To sit or to run? Eyes strained to focus on faces.

Familiar faces.

Another light. Another and another. Relief coursed through veins.

We joined together, worshipping in whispers, sharing scraps of scripture. All of this risk to worship our Jesus, to share, to strengthen, to encourage each other. Then quietly we dispersed.

We were never in any real danger. This meeting took place just down the road from the Open Doors office during our advocates’ weekend. But for a moment it felt real, and for so many believers around the world this is reality.

Brother Andrew, Open Doors founder describes meeting with believers in Afganistan:

“We rode in a 4×4 over very rugged mountain terrain to a clandestine meeting of
Christians in the southern part of the country…After a gruelling number of hours we finally arrived
at a nondescript house where the meeting took place.

The windows were covered with blankets to hide their activities from prying eyes. There was no heat or electricity; candles and sunlight filtering through blanket cracks provided what light they had. Two women, wives of two of the men, sat in a darkened corner of the room shrouded in their burkas. For the next few hours we were transported into a world few have experienced…

The primary purpose of this secret meeting was to baptize the 12 men and two women who had gathered there. The meeting began with singing some Psalms in Pashto led by a former mullah (Muslim religious leader) with a “hauntingly beautiful chanting voice.” He said he wanted to be a “mullah for Jesus.” As the meeting progressed each man gave a testimony to his Christian faith.”

In the weeks and months after this secret meeting many of the group were martyred.

I grew up in a rural village, less than a five minute walk from the village church which stands proud in the centre of the village. Every Sunday I rolled out of bed, grabbed a shower, and dashed, hair dripping, no makeup, to church. Nearly everyone I passed would have known me, known where I was going, known I was a Christian. All my life I’ve taken this freedom for granted.

For so many believers around the world church is not something you roll out of bed on a Sunday to do. It’s something which has to be carefully thought through and prepared for. It’s something which could cost you your life.

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The Author
Megan used to work with us at Open Doors Youth, but she hasn't managed to get away completely! She loves being outside and loves having adventures! Megan's passionate about social justice, loves people and wants to learn how to love them better.

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.